The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent
Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, and all of the other diets that exist…what works for you? I used to be absolutely obsessed with trying the hot new diet to shed a few pounds and make it last. Though, nothing ever worked for me. So what was a 5’4, 173 lb. girl to do, after she stopped trying and reached all time highs with weight and lows with self-esteem? I know! Eat better and exercise. So simple, but effective.
A few years back my mom challenged my brother and I to enter a half marathon with her and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that kind of physical commitment. However, I’m an athlete, so I had to say yes to the challenge. Running the half-marathon, simultaneously helped me to eat better and take care of myself in a way that just seemed to stick. At the end, I had lost 24 lbs. and three years later, I still manage to keep at least 20 of them off. These days, I’m not running 13 miles all the time (or any of the time for that matter), but I am trying this ‘new-to-me’ diet called, intermittent fasting. First and foremost, with this type of fasting I really haven’t changed the way I eat and exercise. Rather, making slight modifications in when I eat and eventually exercise.
Intermittent fasting is all about eating during your fed state and abstaining from food during your fasting state. To delve deeper, James Clear who wrote the article The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting describes your fed state as, “ When you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high. Versus your fasting state where, “your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.” Fasting state last about 8-12 hours after your last meal and makes it far easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low. Sounds straight to the point right? It is! While I have not seen any major body transformation from myself yet, it’s saved me money (because you’re eating 2 meals versus 3 meals a day) and it makes my life much more simpler. I enjoy cooking, but it can get overwhelming trying to account for 3 meals a daily. That’s why so many people cheat!
As I said before I have yet to reach my #bodygoals yet, but I’m so interested to see the results when following the intermittent fasting guidelines while changing the intensity of my workouts and moving the workouts to the fasting state. You all should read more about this way of life and see if it works for you. If it worked for Terry Crews (YouTube interview), then you know it will work for you!
What new diets have you been hearing about? Have they worked? Post your transformation pictures and hashtag us or #ItDidntHappen!
Hello Fresh To try or Not To Try
Every time an innovative mail-order service surfaces, I always ask myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Welp…Hello Fresh, was right up there with the auto-renewing subscriptions like Bevel and Curlbox that had me wanting to be a boss! Hello Fresh is a service that delivers measured, fresh ingredients with 3 easy recipes a week for up to 5 people. The price tag on this weekly subscription is $59.95 and seems pretty expensive for a meal that isn’t cooked already. However, taking a step back I think it’s reasonable considering those who may eat out often and spend lots of expendable cash on food! Luckily, I had a friend send a free week of Hello Fresh meals some time ago and thought this was the perfect platform to shout out this company and give my very subjective review on the service. I’m pescatarian so I opted for the vegetarian menu, which was a lot of hype in terms flavor. In fact, the meals hit my taste buds maybe one time out of the three, but would I recommend it to someone else considering? Yes, yes I would. Here’s the rundown on my overall experience with this subscription service:
Um, hello! They deliver your food straight to your door, and it’s fresh! The convenience of it all really makes my life want to hug me back.
The delivered box stays cold if you’re out longer than expected. You select a time frame and day that works best for your meals to be delivered, but sometimes the planning still goes awry. Thankfully, they package the box with ice packs and insulation to keep your meals fresh!
The recipes are straight to the point and quick! All of my meals took 45 minutes or less including prep time, which is amazing!
If you eat out a lot, this is the answer. Having fresh ingredients to use gets you in the kitchen more and deters you from going out and spending $15-$20 on meals every night.
The dishes are easily replicated or likened from items bought from the grocery store. You might’ve remembered the delicious dressing you made with only 2 ingredients or the specific combo of veggies that your taste buds loved. These are all things you can put in your arsenal for future dinner parties to come.
They’re just ingredients! Let’s say you cooked a huge meal or shopped heavily for groceries right before your box arrived. Well, they’re just groceries, so they can wait in your fridge until you’re ready to use them.
Customer Service is diligent. Hello Fresh’s customer service department is highly responsive and very professional. When I accidentally selected classic meals instead of veggie meals, I freaked out thinking it was too late to change the order; but, I sent an email to customer service and they had it straightened out within 15 minutes of my initial request.
Maybe I had a bad week, but I didn’t like 2 meals out the 3 they delivered. I thought to buy groceries still for the week, which was a lifesaver considering I had to find a way to finish eating meals I wasn’t too keen on.
Customer Service is diligent. In the pros section, you see that I appreciated the level of customer service, but after I decided to cancel I received one too many emails and phone calls regarding the cancellation. No means no!
Well, there you have it! The pros definitely outweigh the cons and I highly recommend that everyone give it a try, but especially people living in the city, where getting to the grocery store is a half-a-day activity; or others, who spend a large amount of money on eating out, and want to dip their toes in the daily cooking lifestyle. What are some other health and nutrition subscriptions you’ve been obsessed with? I’d love to hear about them and try them out! Until then, make sure you check out the JUST2BEFIT Facebook page for the latest tips and tricks to reach those summer body goals.
Flab-U-Less Uncovering the Secret to Instant Weight Loss
Oh no, not another weight loss article! Are you sick of hearing the different crazy
stuff you have to do in order to lose weight? How many apples have you sniffed already
to lose appetite? When was the last time you massaged your ears? How much more
horror movies do you have to watch to burn fats? These types of measure do not work
quite well in the real world. So, I present you the effective ways to lose your weight
● Carve the Carbs
Are you fond of eating food that contains huge amounts of refined sugar and
other different forms of starches? It may take a minute to say hello to high-carb food
and forever to say goodbye. However, you have to do this for fitness’ sake. This by itself
will help you rapidly lose weight and eliminate the excess fats that are found in your
body especially in the areas around your waist.
Did you know that not all carbohydrate sources are beneficial for you? Ingesting
some forms of carbohydrates will not only make your body produce more fat but also
reduces your body’s speed in burning your fats. Taking in carbohydrates will also cause
fast changes in insulin and glucose which may cause hunger that could lead to
If you really want to lose weight in a small amount of time, try eating less carbs.
By lowering down your carbs consumption, you will be enabling your body to burn down
the carbs present in your body for energy. After all the carbohydrates are consumed,
your body would be forced to burn down the fats which it will convert to energy. You
become a fat-burning machine through this process. Soon, if you’re lucky enough to
control yourself changes will be visible.
● Hi Protein Diet!
It is time to welcome the protein family in your life! Placing yourself on a high protein
diet will reduce your appetite. Through this, you will feel full and end up eating
fewer calories for the entire day. By consuming foods that are high in protein, you will be
able to control your habit of eating junk foods and stop overeating.
It will take more time for your body to digest and metabolize foods that are rich in
protein. This only means that your body is burning more calories in processing them.
Protein-rich foods include milk, eggs, chicken, fish, steak, tofu, cottage cheese and so
forth. This diet is good for people who are watching over their weight since they will be
able to see the effects in just a few weeks.
Nutrition Metabolism published a study which shows that people who took 30
percent more of their daily protein intake lost up to 11 pounds or 4.5 kilograms over the
12-week period without taking in diet pills and using other dietary measures. This diet
enabled them to decrease 450 calories from their daily intake.
It is important to know your daily calorie intake so, make sure to check the
number of calories per serving in the food you are eating. Additionally, researching
about the calorie content of a product and jotting it down would also help you. Write
down all the food that passes through your lips and you might be surprised on just how
many calories you are eating each day.
● Excuses don’t burn calories
No more excuses, just do it. Losing weight is simply a numbers game. To lose
weight, you will have the less calories than you burn every day. It is just that simple.
In a pound of fat, there would be 3500 calories. In order to take away a pound of
fat every week, you will have to lessen your calorie intake by 500. Through this, you will
achieve 3500 less calories. The average calorie intake of a person to maintain their
weight is 2000 cal for women and 2500 cal for men. Thus, you will have to take in 1500
cal for women and 2000 cal for men every day for the whole week.
● Leave the SnacKingdom
Kings and queens, if you do not want to break your efforts in losing weight, you
are suggested to quit snacking out. It is better to focus eating three filling, healthy meals
and quit eating snacks that would not fill you up. There will be cheat days but once or
twice per week would be enough.
● X-your-size Daily
Say goodbye to your old size and start exercising! This is just as important as
your diet. It is a great way to boost your body’s metabolism which allows it to burn
calories at a faster pace. A healthy diet along with exercise is a very effective to reduce
your fats will make it harder for you to gain weight.
One should aim 20 minutes of exercise per day to really lose weight. Cardio
exercises such as jumping jacks can burn as much as 200 calories or rope jumping
burns up to 260 in just 20 minutes. However, if you find these exercises difficult to do,
jogging and fast-paced walking would be perfect for you.
● Water you waiting for?
Drinking water would not magically remove excess fats from your body.
However, this would help you a lot in your effort to lose weight. Water has no calories in
it so you are lowering your calorie intake when you drink water for the entire day.
Having to drink one to two glasses before a meal will help you get full easier. Thus,
you can consume lesser amount of food and calories. Drinking enough water will also
make you feel energetic since you are hydrated very well.
A study was conducted by the American Chemical Society in the year 2010,
which shows that consuming two cups of water right before you have eaten will lessen
about 75 to 90 fewer calories at that meal.
● Don’t sleep back to your old ways
When you deprive yourself of sleep, your metabolism would not function as it
used to be. Cortisol, a stress hormone that is associated with weight gain, will rise when
you are sleep-deprived. This only means that having poor sleeping habits can result in
In this era where everything is so advanced, humans tend to become lazy and
forget to take care of their health. Weight should be an important aspect of your life and
is something that should be paid attention to. Make sure that everything is balanced and
follow the steps above to live a happier and healthier life!
Written by Reinier Jewel Gecole
Alcohol & Fitness
To drink or not to drink? That is the question. Over the years, this one simple decision has plagued
dedicated fitness enthusiasts with a pestering source of anxiety and uncertainty on how to
proceed. In this article, you’ll get all the facts of how alcohol will affect your body composition as
well as performance in the gym, and also some options where you can enjoy yourself and still have
a few drinks from time to time. It’s important to have a healthy balance between your fitness goals
and your social life. Let’s face it, protein shakes are great and all but life’s too short. Let loose and
have some fun once in a while! Come along for the ride and I’ll show you how!
Many people are unaware that alcohol is actually its own separate macronutrient containing 7
calories per gram just as protein, carbohydrates, and fats contain 4,4, and 9 calories per gram,
respectively. The difference between alcohol and the other macronutrients, however, is that
calories from alcohol possess no nutritional value and are therefore considered to be “empty”
Alright so now you know the calorie content of alcohol but what does this really mean for the
fitness population? It means that we receive no nutritional benefit in terms of muscle gain or
performance from consuming calories from alcohol. Also, when alcohol calories are combined with
calories from your daily food intake, there is a greater chance you will exceed the amount of
calories your body requires to maintain its current weight, and the excess calories will be stored as
Effects On Performance:
So now you know the basics in terms of what happens within your body when you drink alcohol,
but how does this relate to your performance in the gym? If we take a look of some of the common
side effects of drinking, we can see that it can have a very adverse effect on your training
regiment. Let’s take a look at these side effects and see how they influence your workout.
First off, because alcohol dehydrates you, your muscles do not have the water they require to
function at their peak capacity. Proper hydration is required to achieve a pump in the gym and
without it you’ll feel weak and have a flat look to your physique. Another common tendency of
training while dehydrated is an increase in muscle cramps. The higher our body temperature gets,
the more likely our muscles are going to tighten and cramp up. Water is necessary for our muscles
because it helps to regulate body temperature and act almost like coolant for our body.
Secondly, alcohol has been shown to greatly reduce our body’s ability to recover from exercise.
Often times, if you train after a night out, you didn’t get the proper amount of sleep the night before
to facilitate ideal recovery. As you all probably know, sleep is one of the primary factors in relation
to achieving maximum muscle recovery. Additionally, as mentioned above, alcohol draws water
from your muscles, and water is another primary determinant of how well we recover.
Finally, training after a night of care free alcohol consumption, or worse, training while under the
influence of alcohol, can greatly increase your risk of injury. Impaired decision making combined
with a decrease in bodily awareness can lead us to ignore typical warning signals from our body.
This problem is further solidified by our decreased strength as a result of consuming alcohol. You
feel weaker so you push harder just to achieve your regular results. It’s a vicious circle.
You didn’t think I’d just leave you hanging did you? Although it may seem like there is countless
downsides for a fitness focused individual to consume alcohol, there are ways to go about it that
can minimize risk and maximize fun! Let’s take a look how!
1. Lower your fat intake by approximately 2 thirds to 1 half of your typical intake. For example if you
regularly consume around 60 grams of fat per day, drop this number to between 20 and 30.
2. Be sure to maintain a high level of protein throughout the day as this will help ensure satiety
which is important because you will be consuming less fat and carbohydrates.
3. Be mindful of your alcohol selection. Mixed drinks, beer and other similar choices tend to be
higher in calories that hard liquor.
4. Prepare a tasty, high protein, moderate carb snack to enjoy when you get home from tearing up
the town with your friends or whatever you may be doing. Some good options could be your
favorite low fat yogurt mixed with berries, or a bowl of oats with your top choice of protein powder.
5. Avoid training while under the influence of alcohol at ALL COSTS! At the time it may seem like a
great idea but I promise you, you’ll regret it. Be smart guys, don’t drink and lift.
6. Drink plenty of water. One of the most detrimental effects of consuming alcohol is the
dehydration that comes paired with the fun. Be sure to drink a decent amount of water (more than
usual) the day you are going out as well as the day after. Also, when you get home from your
nightly festivities, it helps to chug down a big bottle. I promise you, you’ll thank me in the morning!
7. Try to schedule your training sessions accordingly. What I mean by this is try to refrain from
training the morning after drinking alcohol to avoid the negative consequences listed in this article
all together. If you absolutely must train the day after going out, push your session as late in the
day as possible.
8. Listen to your body. If your body is telling you no, don’t ignore it. Many injuries are 100 percent
preventable and occur as a result of pushing through pain because people feel they have to. In
fitness, the focus should be placed upon long term progress compared to short term obligation.
9. Have Fun!! Life is too short not to enjoy the time we have with our friends, family and loved
ones. Go out, have a few drinks and a great time!
written by Iva Boychok
The Magic of Meal Prepping
My mom packed my lunch until I was probably 6, and then she was like, “You’re on your own kid.” While I may or may not be joking about when exactly my mom reared me to be a more self-sufficient human being, the fact that I continue this practice even as an adult tells us what she taught, stuck…and in the best way possible. My love for preparing in advance and cooking in general has led to my commitment to using less dishes, not eating the same meals for 8 days after I cook them and increasing my overall efficiency and pleasure in meal preparation.
So, let’s start at the top! When did packing a lunch turn into ‘meal prepping’? I always get the, “How hard has it been for you to meal prep,” when they see my to-go boxes filled with yummy leftovers. Guys the jig is up! Meal prepping does not have to be as complicated as it sounds. In fact, I’d like to share with you how we can simplify the process.
- Don’t grocery shop in the same day you plan to meal prep. No-brainer, right? Well, just in case it wasn’t, let this piece of advice sink in. Meal prep definitely has an element of planning ahead and if you succeed at doing this, you’re almost guaranteed not to play yourself when it comes time to actually cook. Completing these two pieces of the puzzle together is like working another full time job in a day. So, try getting yourself excited about the dishes you want to make on Pinterest in the middle of the week, grocery shop on a Friday or Saturday and cook on Sunday!
- Speaking of the grocery store, buy healthy snacks and ‘I ain’t got the time today’ meals! There is nothing worse than packing a delicious meal and feeling prepared, but it’s not quite enough to hold you over to the next meal. That’s where keeping your bag handy with protein/granola bars, water and fruits & veggies will make you feel like ‘You won!’Not to mention those days where you spent all night watching the Real Housewives of Whatever Land instead of cooking like you were supposed to do. I keep tuna, crackers and quick & interesting salad items in my arsenal at all times. I can never calculate those days where I worked a little too late or caught a wave of laziness, so it’s great to have this as a back-up.
- Let’s try not to cook 21 meals in one day guys. You will hate yourself in the end and never want to do it again. In order to make this process more digestible, I recommend that you prepare no more than 3 dishes at a time.That’s 6 meals that you can ration for 3-4 days if you play it smart!
- Efficiency is key in making this a painless process. Choose dishes that can cook at the same time, require less prep work and possibly some that might be able to be frozen later. So instead of doing all 3 compartment meals (i.e. baked chicken, rice & veggies) try mixing it up! Personally, I love to get a good crockpot of chili going while roasting vegetables and potatoes and cooking rice and bean burgers on the stove-top. From start to finish, it should take about 2.5 to 3 hours to get your meals together. That’s over EIGHT meals cooked for one person. I’m in heaven just thinking about not cooking for the rest of the work week.
All in all, don’t overthink it. Of course, there is planning, but if you break down the goal into smaller tasks, it makes the process less worrisome.Turn on your favorite playlist and turn your kitchen into a sanctuary…a place you’ll want to return to every week. If you want to see what kind of dishes I rotate between on a weekly basis, make sure you sign up here for all of the newest stories, news and updates!