Training Techniques

Amanda Lea

Training Techniques

There’s many different types of training techniques athletes use to prepare themselves to perform their best. A few types I find interesting and are most often used are circuit training, strength training and interval training.

Circuit training is a type of conditioning that helps develop strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. This type of training is a variety of exercises in short bursts with resistance and no breaks in between exercises because you’re using moderate weights  and frequent reps targeting different muscle groups. Circuit training workouts contain series of workouts or stations that must be completed in a minimal amount of time giving the trainer or coach the ability to create and add variety of workouts. According to Westcott, on WebMD, one important fact to know is that a circuit workout improves both strength and endurance and jump starts metabolism.

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Many people get circuit training and interval training confused because their routines are similar, however, there are many differences between the two. Circuit training, as you have read, is a variety of exercises that are working multiple muscle groups in shorter duration with no breaks.  While interval training is focused on one exercise at a time and the intensity varies throughout the workout. Circuit workouts consist of about ten exercises each about 60 seconds each with about 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Athletes perform a number of sets based on their level of fitness and goals. <http://bit.ly/Y9vHqN>

According to sports medicine here are some “guidelines” for circuit training;

  • 8-12 exercises or stations for the entire body
  • Each exercise should be about 30-90 seconds allowing 15 to 30 seconds of rest between each exercise; however allow 48 hours between sessions that workout the same muscle groups
  • Select weights/resistance that allows you to perform exercise for the entire time but still provides a challenge
  • As your fitness improves you can increase your resistance, weights, reps, and decreasing time of rest
  • To focus more on muscular strength, increase the intensity (resistance) at each station and allow rest time between for full recovery
  • To focus more on cardiovascular endurance, decrease the intensity at each station and increase length of time spent at each station and shorten rest

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Joe Burch, a P.E. teacher at Madison Elementary and the head wrestling coach at Pella High School, does a lot of circuit training to keep his athletes in shape and him as well—he participates in rugby.

Joe has his athletes typically do a 45 minute workout with a partner. Their workout consists of each person doing a particular lift for ten reps and has to be done within a particular time i.e. a minute with a minute of rest. They repeat this workout for five sets.

For his wrestling athletes he does more explosive lifts to help build strength and explosive movements that also help focus on endurance.

Interval training is the alternating between short and high intensity bursts of speed which uses both anaerobic and aerobic systems. This type of training helps build speed and endurance. According to Sports Medicine, some of the benefits of interval training are;

  • Increase cardio efficiency
  • Increase tolerance to built up lactic acid
  • Improve performance
  • Greater speed
  • Endurance

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Also, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercise.

The duration of intervals should be somewhere along these guidelines;

Short Durations—6-30 seconds

  • 6 seconds can help improve speed and endurance
  • 30 seconds help produce better outcomes for athletes that are very competitive
  • 6 seconds result in less muscle damage and faster recovery

Long Durations—2-3 minutes

  • These are very demanding and damaging to muscle tissue
  • Long intervals result in greater muscle damage, greater need for oxygen, and faster depletion of muscle glycogen
  • Longer rest phases
  • Longer than three minutes are less common and should not be done more than every few weeks

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Strength training reduces body fat, increases lean muscle, and burns more calories more efficiently.

According to the MayoClinic website strength training has many benefits such as;

  •   Developing strong bones
  •   Controlling your weight
  •   Reducing risk of injury
  •   Boost in stamina
  •   Manage chronic conditions
  •   Sharpen your focus

Strength training can be done at the gym or at home with body weight, free weights or weight machines. Like any workout, making sure to stretch and warm up, such as a brisk walk for about ten minutes, is a start, and then picking a weight or resistance level heavy enough to perform twelve reps.

< http://mayocl.in/YDwKyX >

Aaron Mejia, a student at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is involved in football, wrestling and track. He does a lot of strength training to stay in top shape for all of these sports; the biggest focus is weight lifting and conditioning. For targeting those core muscles for football Aaron does bench, squats, and cleans. This benefits him to get stronger and heavier in order to play better and benefit from it. Stretching is a necessity to prevent tearing muscles and enabling Aaron to run on the fields and track; along with doing conditioning to keep his cardio in shape and maintain his ability to keep going throughout his competition. He typically does this five times a week to be at his best and perform his best—which makes a great and determined athlete!

“Take a Shortcut to Fitness with Circuit Training”. Fitness & Exercise. WebMD. 2013. 26 March 2013.

Quinn, Elizabeth. “Circuit Training for Sports Perfromance”. Sports Medicine. About.com. 28 Oct. 2008. 25 March 2013.

Quinn, Elizabeth. “Interval Training Workouts Improve Speed & Endurance”. Sports Medicine. About.com. 28 Sept. 2011. 25 March 2013.

Quinn, Elizabeth. “Interval Training Workout Routines—How to Design Training Workout Routines”. Sports Medicine. About.com. 20 Jan. 2011. 24 March 2013.

“Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier”. Fitness. MayoClinic. 2 Aug. 2011. 24 March 2013.

Before, During & After – They All Matter!

Amanda Lea

A number of people don’t realize the importance of foods and/or drinks they consume before, during, and after exercise. It’s very crucial for the body to make sure it gets the right nutrients to perform at its best and feel at its greatest. There are different sources of foods/drinks you can take before, during, and after workouts such as; bars, gels, “protein” powder drinks, etc.

Eating Before a Workout

You should never workout on a full stomach because that can lead to cramping and aching which causes discomfort and sluggish feeling. Eating an hour to a few hours before working out, depending on how much you eat, is based on how your body reacts; considering everyone is different. It’s all based on how quickly your body digests the food. A good thing to keep in mind is eating easily digestible carbohydrates to help prevent a person from getting hungry during a workout. Some easily digestible foods are grains, fruits and vegetables.  Experimenting prior to workouts would be a good idea to see what “time frame” best fits you to eat before exercising. A good common sense rule to know is the closer to the time you are going to be performing exercise, you should eat less.

Dumbell, bottle, towel and green apple

Pete Peterson, owner and instructor of Roundkick gym in Ubrandale Iowa, taking pre-workout drinks are key ways to performing at optimal levels physically. He feels he can do just fine without taking any pre-workout supplements, but he can definitely tell a difference in his stamina (energy and endurance through a period of time) when he does take them. Being a person involved with taking pre-workout drinks/supplements, he does state that it is important for people to experiment with different ones to determine what fits them best, considering everyone is different and may react different depending on what they take; simply just reading an article on the internet or paper will tell you if it works for you for sure or not. You must try it out and find out yourself. Being a trainer and health fitness instructor for many types of fitness classes, Pete understands that it is important to get the heart racing and feel that adrenaline during a workout, however some drinks/supplements may make the heart race at an uncomfortable level along with jitters, which is why doing a trial and error experiment is best.

http://www.facebook.com/PetePetersonRKG?fref=ts

Cody Land, a full time training MMA fighter, highly believes that taking pre-workout drinks/supplements is essential for a great performance. Cody particularly likes the products by Visalus. He not only takes it himself, but sells it to others in hopes to helping them achieve their goals like he is doing. An example of a pre-workout “meal” for breakfast he may have is Visalus mixed in with his coffee and a couple eggs; this meal is packed with vitamins and minerals and a great amount of protein which is a perfect combo right before a workout.

http://www.facebook.com/codylockedandloadedland?fref=ts

There are many supplements in bottles you can buy to take before workouts. However, here are some foods that you can eat if you’re more on taking in something more “natural”…

Fruits Are Essential!

Fruits are great to eat before working out because they are packed with simple sugars that help fuel the body for energy, and they dilate blood vessels which help the transport of oxygen flow through the body better. Bananas and oranges are great examples of fruits to eat before working out. Complex carbs are best for long-term energy; some complex carbs contain beans, breads and pastas. When these carbs digest they store glycogen, and glycogen is the main source of energy.  Another important nutrient that is a must have is protein. Protein is pretty much mandatory for any pre-workout meal. Protein helps the build of new muscles when you’re exercising and breaking them down. It helps the rebuild and repair of these new muscles. Protein is also another fuel provider and can help control those hunger cravings during exercise. Some sources of proteins are fish, turkey, chicken, milk and yogurt.

“Foods To Eat Before A Workout To Increase Energy”

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There aren’t a “recommended” amount of protein and carbohydrate intakes a person should consume before a workout, it really all depends on the time frame. Basically meaning that a person should consume a serving of complex carbs and proteins (fruits and or veggies) but only to an amount based on how long they have until they perform their exercise. If they plan on hitting the gym within an hour of eating, it should be a simple serving, such as whole grain toast with peanut butter. If it’s 2-3 hours, they could consume a serving of oatmeal with a piece of fruit and tall glass of milk or a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a serving of fruit or veggies.

Staying Hydrated During A Workout

It’s very important to stay hydrated when exercising for a couple reasons; one, it keeps your performance at top level and two, it can save your life. Without enough fluids, you can get dehydrated which causes your body to reach severely high levels, putting you at risk for health complications and even death. A good way to measure this is by weighing yourself before and after your workout, and every pound you lost, drink two cups of water. Many people think that drinking just water is okay, but it’s not. Water is healthy and a great choice of hydration, however, sports drinks such as Gatorade replenish your body with electrolytes and all those lost nutrients from exercising. If a person is exercising for longer than 60 minutes, especially in hot/humid weather, it’s very crucial to drink sports drinks.

Foods to Eat After a Workout

Whether it’s building muscle, losing weight, or wanting overall nutritional health; the meal after your workout is probably the very most important for any of these categories. It’s important to eat plenty of carbohydrates and proteins and not fat. Fat slows down the digestive system which is not a result any one is looking for when being healthy. Consuming the right foods/drinks after a workout will help the body recover at its best and continue to perform at its best.

Balanced=Results!

Pete Peterson completely believes in post-workout shakes. He says that anyone doing any kind of strength training, where you are breaking down those muscles and tearing those fibers, having a recovery drink is the best solution to building them back up to be even better and stronger. Pete stated, “If you don’t get the necessary protein consumed within an hour window, you essentially lose the opportunity to repair and rebuild the muscles”. Pete suggests taking a protein shake or meal replacement shake within a half hour of any strength training type of workout. Pete gave me a very informational fact that would trigger most people; when your body breaks down the protein consumed and is sent to repair the muscles, it uses up body fat for energy to perform this function. Therefore, your body is burning fat while repairing muscles!

Cody Land is not a huge fan of taking pre-workout supplements that aren’t more on a ‘natural’ level because he gets the jitters, like a large number of people do, but he takes something else for a post workout; something called BCAA drink. BCAA stands for branched chained amino acids. This drink simply feeds the muscles and speeds up the recovery from training, and after the hard work out Cody does for his MMA training, he finds this to be the most useful. Cody said for a meal he loads up on proteins such as turkey, chicken, and fish (as I mentioned above are excellent sources of protein) and veggies or he will have a protein shake from Visalus.

Regardless of your preference of what to eat, having the right balanced ratio between carbohydrates and protein is the key. Chocolate milk, for example, is a great choice. It has the right combination of carbs and protein and helps decrease muscle soreness. A couple snack options after a workout are;

  •  1 Medium Banana and glass of low-fat milk
  •   Low-fat Yogurt and ½ C berries
  •   A serving of whole grain cereal and low-fat milk

Meals after working out should contain foods with protein (chicken, turkey or fish), carbohydrates (brown rice, grains, fruits and veggies) and dairy (low-fat milk, cheese or yogurt) for proper nutrition and best results for your bodies needs. The sooner the snack or meal taken after a workout, the better the repair and rebuilding and quicker the results you are looking for. According to Sports Medicine, the optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio to consume after working out is 4:1 (4 grams of carbohydrates for every 1 gram of protein).

“Eating After Exercise – What to Eat After a Workout”

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References

Lancaster, Angel. “Foods to Eat Before a Workout to Increase Energy”. Livestrong. 28 March. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. http://www.livestrong.com/article/232468-foods-to-eat-before-a-workout-to-increase-energy/ .

Quinn, Elizabeth. “Eating After Exercise – What to Eat After A Workout”. Sports Medicine. 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa081403.htm .

Abs, Abs, Abs 101!

Amanda Lea

ABS, ABS, ABS 101!

As women, we find it hard to lose that, as we call it, “muffin top” and getting that flat tummy that we desire to have so much. There are so many ads and false information out there on how to get that “perfect stomach”. There is no quick fix to tighten that tummy, unless you get surgery, and even then it’s not the best solution and as rewarding than to do it yourself. Today we hear so many ‘rules’ and rumors/myths on exercises and what you should or shouldn’t do to get the best of your workouts.

According to the web article, Busting the Myths: Understanding Ab Workouts, there are a few common myths you should watch out for. I’ve listed a couple of them below. < http://bit.ly/URP0o7 >

Myth #1: Several hours a day should be dedicated to just working ab muscles to get the best results and most tone.

This is not the 100% truth. Working certain muscles for too long doesn’t do any good. It actually does worse for them. Muscles need time to break down muscle fibers and repair new tissue to become bigger and stronger. Working your abs 10-15 min a day for at least 3 days a week is a good start. Eventually move up to 5 days a week, and if you prefer, eventually move up to every day for a good 15-20 minutes.

Myth #2: Pilates help develop your abs.

Pilates are used more for support and strengthening your entire core, even though it focuses on tightening around your tummy for that ‘flab’ it’s not necessarily the best type of exercise for the results you are looking for if you’re wishing to lose that muffin top. (TIP: Cardio is the best for tightening up that flab)

Myth #3: Your ab training should only be done at the end of each workout.

This is completely false. Ab workouts do not have to be done as a final closing to your entire workout. According to the physical therapist and researcher, Gilbert Willett, in this specific article, there is no physiological difference in when your abs are trained. The key to this is being consistent every day with them and pushing yourself to continue with your goals.

CRUNCHES AND SIT-UPS ARE NOT THE KEY TO A FLAT STOMACH!

Cardiovascular exercise and a well-balanced <HEALTHY> diet, however, IS the key! <http://bit.ly/YIMb6C>

Main Muscle in the Abdominal Muscle Group < http://bit.ly/13bmZLC>

The Main Muscles in the Abdominal Cavity

The Rectus Abdominus

This muscle is most superficial of the ab muscles. It plays a part in the body posture, but not as much as the obliques and transversus muscles. This muscle group is what gives people that “6-pack” ab look.

Obliques

These muscles have a strong affect on the posture of a person’s body. Internal & external obliques reside on both sides of the torso. Both of these types of obliques are involved in rotation and lateral flexion of the spine, which is why it’s very crucial to perform back exercises when doing ab workouts. Keeping your back strong is necessary in continuing ab exercises.

Transversus Muscles

The deepest muscle in the abdominal group.This one has a tremendous affect on posture. This muscle cannot be touched from the outside; it wraps around the torso and creates a “support belt” for the spine.

On to the Good Stuff!

Now that we have covered the types of muscles in the abdominal group and a couple myths to ab exercising…Lets go over some actual ab exercises you can do.

 

Abs for Beginners; Gotta Start Somewhere!

Lower Ab Exercises:

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Leg Lifts: Hands at side –Or under butt—heels about an inch off the ground; don’t let heels touch floor until done. Legs together, contracting your lower ab muscles and tightening your leg muscles as you lift

Toe Touch: Legs up; toes facing the wall behind you…LEGS STRAIGHT!

Superman Variations: First one; laying stomach flat on the floor, extend arms and legs out and hold. Second one; laying stomach flat on the floor and extending one are out along with opposite leg & switch and hold. Third one; same as before, except same arm, same leg and hold. Forth one; laying flat on stomach; arms along side of the body and lift chest up with extending the legs and hold.

Superman

Walking Lunge Twist w/ WeightßOptional : Step forward and lunge; make sure you kneedoesn’t go past your foot, and twist your torso left/right. Repeat. Make sure your FORM is correct. It’s the most important.

Flutter Kicks: Feet are couple inches off the floor, hands under butt or at your side, and toes pointed to the ceiling. Quick kicks. Keeping feet towards ceiling.

Bicycle Crunches: Lying flat on back and legs extended straight. Hands behind neck. Bring one leg towards your chest using your elbow to reach for it. Switch back and forth between legs. (As if you are cycling lying down.)

Plank: Arms extended out holding yourself up. Keeping knees off the floor; supported by your toes. Your body will support your body weight while you hold it for X seconds. (Also side planks!)

Walking Lunge with Twist

Reverse Crunches

Double Leg Circles:  Lie flat on the floor, legs together a couple inches off the floor, continue to move into a circular motion

Reverse Crunches: Lay flat on floor with hands under your butt to start out. Lift legs to a vertical position, bending at knees, contracting lower ab muscles as you do a crunch having your elbows touch your knees.

Fighting Off Those ‘Love Handles’

Oblique V-Up: Lie on your side in a straight line; folding your arms across your chest; keep your legs together as you lift your elbows towards your thighs. Switch sides.

Two-Handed Woodchop: Stand holding a dumbbell with both hands at your right; rotate to your left as you extend your arms and dumbbell to the side of your left knee; lift back over head to the opposite side. Repeat.

Saxon Side Bend

Saxon Side Bend: Hold a pair of dumbbells above your head, aligned with your shoulders; keep your back straight and slightly bend to the right as far as possible without twisting your torso. Go back to upright position and then repeat but going to the left.

Speed Rotation: Standing with a dumbbell in both hands in front of your chest, turn to the right at a 90 degrees and then a 180 degrees to the left. Keep abs tight; return to center.

Two Handed Woodchop with Weight

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Oblique Twist: Also known as mason twist. Sitting on your butt, make sure back is straight and knees are bent to where your feet are not touching the floor. Start at center (with a weight if you prefer) or holding hands, start to twist to the right and then back to the left.

Oblique Twist on Med Ball: Lie back on a exercise ball, feet flat on floor, and holding weight straight up. Balancing yourself, turn to the left and then right. Repeat.

Mountain Climbers: Position as a plank but more of an arch in you lower back/butt. Keep toes on the floor as you do a foot-switch run.

Ab Exercies

 (Here are a few exercises for those ‘beginners’. You can modify how many you want to do, based on your comfort level, however I encourage you to do at least the number I give. Do these exercises 3-4 times a week for three weeks.)

Exercise #1:

Roll-Up  10x (Make sure you maintain control while tightening your stomach. Don’t just ‘plop’ down on your back. Maintain control.)

TIP: add a weight/medicine ball for more resistance

Criss-Cross 20x (Opposite elbow to opposite knee; extending leg after it reaches your elbow)

V-Ups 20x

  • TIP: try putting your arms straight up and maintaining good straight back posture when doing this exercise

Leg Lifts 20x

*Repeat*


Adding cardio into your workout, especially when focusing on your abs, is a great advantage to getting a tight stomach.

Exercise #2

15 Squat Jumps

25 Regular Crunches

10 Burpess

30 Sec Plank

20 Jumping Jacks

25 Bicycle Crunches

5 Mountain Climbers

15 Leg Lifts

*Repeat*

You should start off with exercises like these 3-4 days a week for at least 3 weeks. Whether it’s the first exercise or the second, you can mix-match different workouts together but this can get you off to a start. Write down what you do and how many you do, if you can’t reach the amount I wrote, that’s fine, but try to reach it and write down what you get too. Then you can see how you progress over time.

  • Follow me on Pinterest for more examples on exercises; especially “Beginners Workouts”

http://pinterest.com/mandylea91/

I’ll have more blogs soon on more ‘advanced’ ab workouts, but for now this is a beginners and this is what you should start with for the first 3-4 weeks.

ALSO! Another tips and a great one is to take a picture before you start and take another after 4 weeks.

[Health & Fitness] Yoga; Physically, Mentally & Spiritually

Amanda Lea

Fitness and health are huge concerns for most Americans nowadays. People are always trying to find the best solutions and fixes to their bad eating habits or their extra pounds of weight they have packed on. There are no “magic pills” or “quick fixes” for being healthy and physically fit; it takes time, motivation, and dedication. The quick, most relevant tip for being healthy and fit is “70% kitchen, 30% gym”. Most of you may have seen this or heard this from somewhere or someone. Well, its completely true. You must watch what you eat and how much you eat in order to provide your body with the right nutrients to balance out your physical aspect. It is especially important to start out doing this routine and getting into these healthy habits when you’re younger. Many people in early adulthood want to find all the possible ways to stay or get fit. Many find that yoga has many benefits for both short term and long term health reasons. Millions of people today practice some kind of yoga; from Vinyasa, Hatha, Power yoga and more, and over three-fourths of fitness clubs include some type of yoga for members to join.

Yoga is a great workout to exercise your body physically, your mind mentally, and your soul spiritually. It is a variety of postures demonstrating how to control breathing, body movements and positions. There are many great reasons to do yoga.  Many people, including myself, start using yoga as a guide to help them ease stress and anxiety. Yoga helps improve balance, posture, stamina, and flexibility. Not only physically, but yoga helps reduce risk of cancer, strokes, heart disease, back pains, osteoporosis, depression, etc. People, again like myself, whom enjoy running also benefit greatly from participating in yoga exercises. Yoga can help joints, which get a lot of abuse when being a regular runner, improves bone density, helps prevent pain and injury, relieves tension in helping recovery after injuries in sports, yoga helps alignment of the knees improving balance, pelvic stability, and leg strength.yoga

Yoga is overall a great exercise to perform and make a part of your life. It helps in more ways than one and is so beneficial to not only your physical form but your health. No matter the reason or cause, yoga could probably be a solution for what you’re looking for out of your health/fitness lifestyle.

A Step in the Right Direction

Amanda Lea

Having Good Eating Habits is Important!

Being physically active and fit doesn’t make you healthy all on its own. You have to know the correct balance between exercise and your eating habits. Good eating habits are sometimes hard to get use to and stick with which is why most people fail at losing weight and/or keeping it off. The best start to having good eating habits is to know your nutrition facts on foods, and to know how much you should consume in a day’s time depending on your body type and activity level.

healthy-eating-tips

In the beginning, a lot of people like to plan out and make a schedule of their “food diary”. Sometimes this helps them stay on track by being able to see what they have planned out to eat and how much of it; instead of “splurging” or taking a guess at how much they have eaten already. The first step is to determine what your calorie intake should be per day. The website “How to Calculate Your Caloric Needs and Lose Weight” (http://bit.ly/byPmNs )gives you a formula that will help determine the correct amount you should consume.

Know Your Portions!

Many people don’t realize how important it is to know the portions of the amount food you put in your mouth. Reading the label and knowing the serving size of the food is huge step in the right direction.

Protein builds your muscles making them strong and repairing them; this is especially important for athletes who work their muscles extra hard. Protein is essential for healthy hair and skin and bone support. If the proper amount of protein is not added into your diet you start feeling fatigue because protein provides energy, however too much protein can be converted to fat and stored. You can calculate the amount of grams of protein you need per day according to the article “How to Calculate Your Protein Needs” (http://bit.ly/ZYbdt ).

Having whole grains in our diets is a huge deal in a healthy diet! Whole grains and refined/processed grains have a huge difference! Whole grains are more digestible and contain more nutrients. They are full of fiber and contain antioxidants which help prevent diseases. There is a common mistake people get confused about and that’s the difference between whole grains and whole wheat. According the article “What is the Difference Between Whole Grains and Whole Wheat” (http://bit.ly/YyNDbt ) the main difference is whole wheat flour goes through a refining process that removes some of the nutrients.

portion size

An obvious portion of food you should make sure you have is fruits and vegetables! Fruits and veggies have tons of vitamins and nutrients that help the body function ever day. According to the USDA you should consume around 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day, however, that is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Therefore, depending on your amount of calories you plan on consuming in a day, the amount of fruits and veggies will be modified to fit your daily needs.

Another great essential part of your diet is dairy products. Dairy products contain the best source of calcium that your body needs. Calcium helps build strong bones, help decrease osteoporosis, and regulate your heartbeat. Too much dairy, however, can have a negative impact on your body if too much is consumed. You can help yourself by sticking to 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products per day. Some dairy products include milk, cheese, sour cream, soy milk, yogurt, and butter. Dairy foods contain vitamin D which is essential for the body, and the main source of vitamin D comes from the sun, therefore we rely on dairy to give us that vitamin.

Now, Control Those Cravings!

Knowing the difference between being hungry and being bored is very crucial when dieting and staying on a healthy path. One great way to control those cravings is drinking water, and plenty of it! Drinking a glass of water before every meal will help your stomach tell you it’s full before you “stuff” yourself.photogallery_ways_to_fend_off_food_cravings_04_full

Sometimes eating a mint or brushing your teeth helps you with those sweet/salty cravings because the taste of mint mixed with sweets or salts more than likely are not going to be pleasant! Distracting yourself from the kitchen and resisting to reach for a cookie in the pantry is a great way to forget about that creeping cravings. Exercising is a great distraction, and a great way to motivate yourself to not want to eat. Again, planning a meal out and knowing what you are going to eat throughout your day will help you break that habit of wanting to splurge on a cookie or a giant bowl of ice cream.

‘Short, Sweet, Simple’ Snacks for Your Satisfaction

Snacking throughout the day is not a bad thing, as long as you snack smart! Some snacks that you can turn to if you are feeling the need for hunger satisfaction and that are also metabolism boosting foods are; blueberries, yogurt, almonds, cottage cheese, apples, and tomatoes. One thing to keep in mind is to never snack before bedtime. When you eat, especially unhealthy foods, and then lay down for bed, your body does not burn enough calories when you’re sleeping to burn off that food. Therefore, it becomes unused and is stored as fat. Just remember to drink water! Or one of your distractions from thinking of eating, and eventually it will become a healthy habit.