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It can be hard to know how often to eat—whether you’re looking to gain size, trim down, or just get through the day continually energized. T...


It can be hard to know how often to eat—whether you’re looking to gain size, trim down, or just get through the day continually energized. The idea of downing three squares and two snacks has been bandied about as often as eating six mini-meals a day. But which is ideal?

“Clients ask all the time if eating five or six times a day is necessary," says Brian St. Pierre, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition. “It seems daunting and many feel they don’t have time to think, plan, and prepare for that.”

According to St. Pierre, the idea of eating multiple mini-meals each day was based on early research. “There’s a thermic effect from eating. It bumps up your metabolism, so the thought was that by eating more frequently, you’d give your body a greater overall metabolic boost for the day, but it’s the total intake that matters.”

For example, a male requiring 3,000 calories a day could eat six 500-calorie meals or three 1000-calorie meals and that would translate to six smaller metabolic rises versus three bigger rises. At the end of the day, however, the thermic effect would be equal, St. Pierre explains.

There can be problems with either strategy. With the six-times-a-day scenario, you’re often eating every two to three hours and may perpetually feel like you just ate, but aren’t satisfied. On the flipside, eating too infrequently, with long stretches of time between meals, can lead to poor choices and overeating.

“It’s about finding that sweet spot. I advise clients to eat about four times a day," says St. Pierre. “That way there’s less meal prep. You can have breakfast at home, pack lunch and one snack to bring to the office, and then have dinner back home. It’s a good general rule of thumb but it’s really about figuring out what works for you.”

Identifying your ideal meal frequency can take some tinkering. Here, St. Pierre offers his tips:


“What’s feasible with the kind of job you have? Forget the physiology of what you’ve read and figure out what fits into your life,” he says. Smaller, snack-like meals may work best if your job is more on-the-go than deskbound.


Are you a grazer at heart or a three-squares person, enjoying fewer, more filling meals, without snacks? “The latter is what my wife prefers and it works for her,” says St. Pierre. “There’s no physiological need to snack between meals unless doing so helps you not overeat at your main meals.”


Did you really eat five times a day or was four times a better fit? If so, then plan for that. Adjust accordingly, removing a meal or adding one, say if you were consistently hungry or if you were trying to gain size, St. Pierre suggests.


“Get into the flow of life and see if you’ve got a better fit. If so, make that your M.O,” he says. “But know that your days may sometimes vary and not go according to plan and big life changes like switching jobs or moving can mean future adjustments.”

Are you looking for ways to make you diet more nutritious? If the answer is yes, read on. The following article is going to explain things t...


Are you looking for ways to make you diet more nutritious? If the answer is yes, read on. The following article is going to explain things to you about nutrition, that you may have never known. If you use the tips here, you’ll be able to improve your way of life.

It is important to consume proteins every day. You need protein because it promotes the health of muscles, blood, organs and skin. These also help you to metabolize energy correctly. They can also help prevent illness. Foods that contain protein include fish, meats, legumes, milk, and grains.

Every sound dietary plan must incorporate riboflavin. Riboflavin is needed and used by the human body to release and use the energies from fats, carbs and protein. This ingredient is helpful at transporting iron throughout your body and increasing the pace of your metabolism to digest foods. Riboflavin is found in dairy foods, the same is true in enriched and whole grain products.

TIP! Salad has always been considered a health food, however the dressing many people use to cover the lettuce is not very healthy. Creamy dressings can add fat and calories to an otherwise healthy meal.

Have you tried a healthy puree of peaches, pears or berries? This sweet spread is ideal for anything from pretzel dip to pita chips. You can experiment with any type of fruit that you like and mix it up often, so you don’t get sick of this healthy snack.

Comfort Foods

If is very important to maintain proper nutrition while using any diet plan. Choosing between comfort foods and foods that are good for you can be especially difficult when you love comfort foods. If you make healthy foods a regular part of your diet, comfort foods will not be as tempting. If you eat nutritiously, you will feel better inside and out.

Do you eat a lot of meals packaged to be made in the microwave? That can be convenient, but not very healthy. Foods that are made to be microwaved are packed with preservatives, which are known to slow weight loss if eaten too frequently.

TIP! Avoid too much salt. Junk foods, especially fast food menu items, are typically high in salt content.

Foods that claim to be fat free or to have zero trans fat are usually not as great as they are making themselves out to be. Although they may lack fat, they often contain high amounts of sugar. Diligently scrutinize the nutritional information when browsing these items.

Quinoa contains 14% protein. Quinoa is also a tasty, versatile food. You can make it into a pilaf or combine it with brown sugar and apples to create a healthy breakfast treat.

Even if you eat nothing but health food, you can appreciate a good dessert. Healthy desserts can fill the void when prepared properly. Try a rich, fat-free yogurt enriched with calcium and topped with frozen berries, nutty granola, or a sprinkle of cinnamon. You could also try crumbling a honey graham cracker into your parfait to add crunch.

You can’t expect for vitamin supplements to improve your diet on their own. If your diet is already healthful, supplements are truly supplemental. A single, high quality multivitamin consumed daily along with a truly balanced and healthful diet should produce optimum results.

TIP! When dining out, try splitting a meal with your date. Even when you choose carefully, you can end up with more food (and more calories and fat) than you need.

Skipping Breakfast

You set yourself up for failure right from the start if you don’t eat breakfast. Many people think that skipping breakfast can lower their daily calories. Since skipping breakfast will leave you hungrier than normal, you may end up eating even more calories as the day goes on. Chances are, you’ll end up eating more than if you would have just eaten a breakfast at the beginning of the day.

Buy lots of frozen vegetables for your freezer so that you always have some on hand. Having frozen vegetables on-hand makes it easy for you to add them to any dish, or even just to enjoy them as a snack. Freezing them keeps them from spoiling before you get to use them.

Sweet potatoes can taste like comfort food. They have the starchy quality you may crave, but not the carb overload you get from regular potatoes. You can use them in everything you would use normal potatoes for, from French fries to mashed potatoes. Serve them up with butter and a dash of sugar. Sweet potatoes also have anti-inflammatory properties, unlike regular potatoes.

TIP! Processed grains have replaced whole grains because, for many, they taste better. White flour might be the only option for some recipes.

Take your children to the grocery store and teach them what is actually in the foods that they eat. You can show them the label on the products and allow them to see how unhealthy the foods are and let them see why you do not want them to eat the foods.

Consuming adequate amounts of water is imperative for any person desiring good health. Because our bodies have such a high water content, hydration is essential to survival. Consume at least sixty ounces of water daily.

You can improve the way you live by reading the above advice. Your level of education with regards to nutrition should have increased by reading this article. Use this advice to make your lifestyle a healthier one.

TIP! A good way of getting them to try new food is by describing what it looks and feels like, and not how it tastes. By giving your child a description of the food, they may be intrigued enough to taste it.

Lactating Women

Good nutrition is especially vital for pregnant or lactating women. Pregnant and lactating women need to get high levels of protein to provide the baby with nutrients. Try blending egg whties into your smoothies for more protein. Because there are few calories in egg whites and three grams of protein in each egg, this can be an excellent source of protein. Use pasteurized eggs to avoid health problems.

Do not deprive your body of sweets when you are on a diet. You want to understand nutritional profiles for your food choices. This has become easier to do in recent years, since many restaurants now have their foods’ nutritional information available.

Try substituting ground turkey for ground beef in your recipes. This will help you reduce the amount of calories and saturated fat in your diet. Be sure to choose lean turkey like ground breast as dark turkey meat is almost as bad as ground beef. Make sure what you’re getting is genuine turkey breast, as some ground turkey packages mix turkey breast and dark turkey meat, which partially defeats the purpose of choosing turkey.

TIP! Ditching a junk food habit is perhaps the most challenging, but ultimately most rewarding bumps along the road to better health. It is especially difficult to quit if you have been eating junk food your whole life.

Do you know how important nutrition is to a long life? Read the following article to learn some of the keys to nutrition that you might not ...


Do you know how important nutrition is to a long life? Read the following article to learn some of the keys to nutrition that you might not be aware of yet.

Consume non-meat sources of protein as well as meats. There are a great number of options available for you to choose from. You can find plenty of protein in fish, as well as vegetarian foods like tofu, beans, and nuts. A lot of these can be added to your favorite recipes or be made into stand-alone dishes. Include many different kinds of protein in your diet to prevent you from being bored with the same kinds of foods.

Moderation is key to looking and feeling your best. When you consume too much fat or calories, it does cumulative damage to your overall health. This can be detrimental to your health as well as reducing your body’s ability to process nutrients.

Whenever your cooking options are between numerous types of nuts, select almonds. Almonds offer many nutritional benefits. They are rich in protein, help to reduce cholesterol and also encourage the production of blood cells. Also, they tend to be lower in price than most of the other nuts.

It is essential to use your daily caloric allotment to feed your body wholesome fuel. An 1800-calorie diet that is packed with nutritious foods will serve you much better than consuming an 1800-calorie cake and calling it a day. The amount of food you eat is important, but so is the kind of food you eat.

TIP! A simple rule of thumb for choosing nutritious foods is to focus on those that are eaten with only slight changes from their original form. Fresh foods that have not been processed offer the best nutritional content and contain fewer chemicals and fats.

Drink plenty of water during the course of your day and make sure your family does the same. Aim to make milk or juice a treat with just a meal or two, and focus more on drinking water the rest of the day. Constant consumption of milk or juice all day long will spoil their appetite.

When you make food, the best cooking methods are grilling, roasting, baking, and broiling. Also, you should use a cooking spray, rather than butter, for food preparation. When browning beef, always remember to strain the beef and rinse it with hot water. This removes excess fat.

Calcium is very important during pregnancy. If you don’t take in enough calcium, you’ll wind up with a calcium deficiency.

TIP! Nutrition information labels on prepared food packages should be read carefully. Even when something is labeled “reduced-fat”, it might be high in sugar, salt, or other unhealthy ingredients.

Keep your freezer well-stocked with a wide variety of frozen vegetables. These vegetables make for easy preparation and then they’re ready to eat. Freezing them keeps them from spoiling before you get to use them.

It is important to get enough cobalt in your diet because it is required for metabolism of the B vitamins, in particular, B12 (also known as cobalamin). The best place to get this naturally is in green vegetables such as kale or spinach. The best foods for this are organ meats like hearts, kidneys, and livers.

TIP! Foods with trans fat in them should be avoided. Foods that are high in trans fats have been linked to heart disease and should only be consumed in moderation.

Don’t salt your pot of water. Adding salt adds extra sodium to what you’re cooking, and that’s not good. You do not need the salt, so just leave it out of the pot.

While canned beets aren’t the healthiest of foods, fresh beats are very good for you. Fresh beets are high in fiber and minerals, but the canned variety is often loaded with salt. You can steam fresh beet greens and add them to salads.

TIP! When eating a restaurant, share your meal with your partner. Entree portions are usually more than sufficient for two and eating this way will cut down on calories.

Raw Vegetables

Don’t forget to eat plenty of fresh, raw vegetables. Eat them as a snack. These help to curtail your hunger while providing you with great nutrients. They are as easy to prepare as buying junk food. This does not even have to be as messy as convenience foods. Raw vegetables can serve as an important link for a healthier diet.

Be sure that you are eating enough meat. Your muscles need protein for optimal growth. Whether you choose beef, pork or chicken is up to you; it is just important to get the nutrients that are needed by your muscles. It is recommended to eat about 10 ounces of meat a day.

Natural foods are your best bet when starting a diet. Processed foods will add to the fat content in your body. You need to have some focus on eating just lean meats and fresh produce. If you have a problem with buying processed foods, stay away from those aisles in the store.

TIP! Regardless of whether you eat meat or not, try to go vegetarian at least a couple of times each week. It will cut down on your fat consumption and may cost less than a meal involving meat products.

Nutrition Involves

As you have read, getting proper nutrition involves more than old wive’s tales. The right kind of nutrition involves a lot of information. You will have to earn it. Use what you’ve just read to form a great diet, and stay in good health from here on out.

TIP! A general belief, advocated by certified nutritionists, says beef, pork and chicken should be replaced with fish. Omega 3 fatty acids are present in fish in high levels.

It can be difficult to figure out what kind of nutrition your body requires. What do you need to eat and how much of it? People wonder about...


It can be difficult to figure out what kind of nutrition your body requires. What do you need to eat and how much of it? People wonder about nutrition every day. This article can help you improve your body and mind.

Adding garlic to your daily diet is beneficial. Aim for around 600-900 mg daily. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as cancer. Additionally, it is an antibiotic and helps to fight fungus. You can enhance your health and the flavor of your food by adding fresh garlic or garlic extracts to your daily meals.

Organic Foods

Adding organic foods to your menu is a great way to upgrade your diet’s nutritional value. Mounting scientific evidence shows that organic foods are higher in nutrients, and lower in nitrates. Organic foods are naturally healthy and delicious. Try some, and you will notice the difference.

Do not eat until you feel stuffed. Once you are full you have eaten too much and it becomes more difficult for your body to process all the food. As soon as you begin to feel full, stop and give yourself a few moments to see if you are full.

At first, most people have a hard time stepping away from fast foods and processed snack foods. Sometimes it becomes a habit to rely on the good taste and convenience of these unhealthy foods. It can be hard to resist these cravings long after the foods have been eliminated from your diet. Learn to recognize cravings for junk food and aim to replace them with healthier snacks instead.

Selenium is an important thing to have in your diet. Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties that contribute to the elasticity of tissue and help to prevent the aging of skin prematurely. Selenium prevents the skin from being damaged by the sun and by free radicals. There are many foods rich in selenium, such as eggs, garlic, tuna, and more.

TIP! Choose ground turkey breast that is lean to substitute the ground beef in the dishes you cook. This will reduce the fat and total calories you are ingesting

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is the chocolate of choice for nutrition-conscious consumers. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can reduce blood pressure. Eating foods rich in antioxidants will help you keep your cholesterol under control. Just make sure that you pick chocolate made from a minimum of 70 percent of cocoa in order to get the most benefit. Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard. Chocolate still has a lot of calories and is best enjoyed in moderation

A great nutritional tip is to not place too much emphasis on dessert. Make dessert a special treat that you only have a time or two a week.

TIP! Supplement your foods with inulin. You can find inulin within artichokes, garlic and leeks.

Olive oil is a great additive for skin care. Olive oil is a great moisturizer for any part of your body. The antioxidants it provides can also combat aging. A thin layer will work wonders for your skin.

People who eat healthy also realize how satisfying a tasty dessert can be. When you make healthy choices, they can be equally as enjoyable. Try low fat yogurt with berries or granola. This same yogurt can also accommodate a delicious topping of crushed graham crackers; either cinnamon or honey flavored.

When looking for ways to reduce your sugar intake, you should focus on avoiding foods and beverages that are loaded with corn syrup. Read the labels on condiments to see how much sugar they contain, as well.

Don’t deny yourself a treat every once in awhile. Eat some fruit instead of a chocolate bar, for example. Of course, you can have the occasional indulgence, but try to predominantly eat well for the sake of your child.

If you are pregnant, a piece of good advice is to ensure that you are getting adequate vitamin B12. This vitamin helps to cut down on the chances that your little one will have a birth defect. Although it is not common for people to have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, it can happen if you diet often.

Iron is an important nutrient for pregnant women. For lots of adult women, about 18mg of iron should be taken daily, unless they are pregnant, whereas 27mg should be the amount. Developing babies require iron so they can develop properly.

TIP! A good nutritious diet should consist of eating meals that are balanced and packed full of nutrients. Your body needs some minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids.

Consume meat products regularly. Proteins, such as those in meat, are necessary for healthy muscle growth and maintenance. You can eat any type of meat that you enjoy as all sources of meat contain the complete proteins that your muscles require. Consume about 10 ounces each day for optimum health benefits.

It’s a good idea to throw one or two “cheat” days into your monthly nutritional plan. Not feeling completely restricted will help you to regularly make healthier choices. Put it this way — if your aunt asks you to a retirement party, you want to go and enjoy yourself with a slice of cake and a glass of malbec.

You should not be eating white foods, except for cauliflower. This is doing to go a long way in the personal nutrition game. You will be doing away with sugars and starches. As you eliminate these starches, you will begin to feel better.

TIP! Olive oil can help your skin stay supple. You must get good nutrition every day.

As you choose the sorts of foods you will eat in your quest to boost your nutritional intake, remember that raw food can be more beneficial than cooked or processed items. This is because when food is cooked, it tends to lose a good deal of nutrients. This really holds true for both fruits and veggies, so try to eat all these in their natural form.

Apply the information that you have read in this article. Look and feel great once you make the essential changes to your diet.

Is there a fat man inside you just waiting to get out? Even if you’ve built a lean body with little visible fat, you could still have danger...


Is there a fat man inside you just waiting to get out? Even if you’ve built a lean body with little visible fat, you could still have dangerous levels of visceral fat, you could still have dangerous levels of visceral fat - the kind stored around the organs under the abdominal muscles. Too much of this can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Weighing won’t tell you visceral fat levels, and neither will using calipers for a body-fat reading-this gauges subcutaneous fat, which doesn’t increase your diabetes risk. Instead measure your waist circumference. Men have a higher risk of health problems if their waist is more than 94cm and for women when waist circumference gets beyond 90 cm. Include interval sprints in your training-a study from Duke University in the US found high-intensity exercise is one of the most effective ways to combat visceral fat.


“Subcutaneous fat” is the pinchable, squishy fat right between your skin and muscle that helps keep you warm, cushions you against shock, and stores extra calories. “Visceral fat” stores calories too, but isn’t as pinchable because it is located in and around your organs. It’s hidden deep within the belly region, which is what makes it firm (rather than squishy) when you press it.


Fat doesn’t just store calories—it’s a living tissue capable of producing and releasing hormones that affect your other organs. Because visceral fat sits near our organs, its release of these chemicals is poorly situated. Having more visceral fat can raise your LDL (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) and blood pressure. Visceral fat can also make you less sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.


Even if you’re thin, you can still have visceral fat around the abdominal region—being “skinny” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There’s no sure-fire way to tell visceral from subcutaneous fat short of an expensive CT scan, but it’s important for you to get a rough idea of what your visceral stores are. Here are a few tricks to figure out where your belly stands:

APPLES AND PEARS: You’re probably wondering, “What does fruit have to do with it?” These two fruits give a quick visual of where most of your fat is stored on the body. Pears tend to store fat in the lower extremities (hips, thighs, buttocks) as subcutaneous fat while apples tend to store fat in the upper region (belly, chest) as visceral fat. It takes a quick inspection, but this is an imperfect way to tell these two fats apart.

WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE (WC): Feel for the top of your hip bone (it’s at the same level as the top of your belly button) and circle a tape measure around this point. Remember to relax and don’t suck in your gut (be honest!). Take 2-3 measurements and figure out the average. Men should have a WC of less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women should have a WC of less than 35 inches (89 cm).

WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO: The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) takes the circumference of your waist (see above) and divides it by the circumference of your hips. To measure your hips, stand in front of a mirror then figure out the widest part of your butt and measure that circumference. Then use this formula:

WHR = (Waist circumference) / (Hip circumference).

Men should have a WHR of less than 1 while women should have a WHR of less than 0.8.


If your parents or siblings have insulin resistance, heart disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver, you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat. Keeping an eye on your visceral fat may be beneficial, but know that the causes of these chronic diseases are complex. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider.


If you fall in the normal range for WC and WHR, that’s great! Keep working at your weight goals as you see fit. If you’re not there, don’t despair. Because of its proximity to the liver, visceral fat is usually the easier fat to burn. It’s the less risky subcutaneous fat that likes to stick around.

Unfortunately, you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Go beyond weight tracking. You can track your waist, hip and even neck circumference in the MyFitnessPal app to see how your measurements change over time as you lose weight.
  • Sweat for 30-60 minutes each day. Visceral fat responds well to regular endurance exercises, such as running, biking, rowing, swimming, that elevate your heart rate. As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein with calories set for gradual weight loss (e.g. about 1-2 pounds per week). Cut way back on added sugars and alcohol since these nutrients will more likely end up as visceral fat.
  • Sleep more, stress less. It’s easier said than done, but in order to take care of your physical body, you have to take care of your mental state. Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals, so learn more about getting a quality night’s rest and use meditation or yoga to calm your mind. Remember, it’s not just about your health; it’s about your happiness, too.

 Dips are most often savory and served with diet-derailing chips, a no-no for a fitness-oriented nutrition plan. This sweet, buttery version...


 Dips are most often savory and served with diet-derailing chips, a no-no for a fitness-oriented nutrition plan. This sweet, buttery version is scooped up with crunchy apples and offers a nutritious and palate-pleasing change of pace. And since it's made with great-for-you ingredients like Greek yogurt and almond butter, you won't suffer any of the pitfalls of the salty, calorie-bomb dips offered in the super-market. So delicious is this autumn-inspired dip, you'll be counting down the minutes until snack time.

 It's Greek to me

Packed with protein, gut-friendly probiotics and bone-building calcium, Greek yogurt is a near-perfect snack option. And it can keep vending-machine temptation at bay.

 Switch hits

• Add a touch of sweetness with honey instead of maple syrup.
• Use cinnamon in lieu of allspice.
• Try low-fat cottage cheese in place of yogurt.
• Scoop up the dip with pear slices instead of apple.

 Go nuts

It's a little more costly, but almond butter is a nutritional upgrade from peanut butter. That's because it delivers more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as well as the bone-strengthening trio of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

► Apple of my eye

Use in-season apples as a transporter from bowl to mouth and you'll reap a low- calorie nutritional windfall including healthy amounts of dietary fiber and the disease-busting antioxidant quercetin.


Makes 4 Servings

1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder pinch of salt
3 apples, sliced into wedges

1. Combine yogurt, almond butter, maple syrup, lemon zest, allspice, ginger powder and a pinch of salt in a blender. Begin by blending on low and work your way up to high speed until the mixture is smooth.

2. Place yogurt dip in a serving bowl and serve alongside apple wedges. The dip is best served chilled.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 196 calories, 8 g total fats, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 62 mg sodium, 24 g total carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 10 g protein

People who are chronically stressed tend to have more belly fat than those who aren’t. That’s because when you’re frazzled, your body pumps ...


People who are chronically stressed tend to have more belly fat than those who aren’t. That’s because when you’re frazzled, your body pumps out sub- stances like peripheral neuropeptide Y, which encourages food to be stored as fat. Anxiety also revs production of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in addition to increasing your appetite, causes fat cells to grow in your abdomen and prompts the body to move fat from areas like your hips and thighs to your belly. Here’s how to stop stress overload—and beat the bulge.


When you’re sleep deprived, your body becomes stressed and secretes cortisol. Lack of sleep also boosts the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite, so you’re more likely to overeat. You’ve heard it before, but aim to get seven to eight hours of shut-eye a night. Consistency is also crucial: People who go to bed and wake up within roughly the same 60-minute window every day have less body fat than those who don’t maintain a regular sleep schedule.


Besides being meditative, a 15-minute cruise around the neighborhood right after eating helps reduce the damaging blood sugar spikes that occur after meals, research shows. Also aim to get up and walk around at least once every hour. The more time you spend sitting, the bigger your waist size.


Chomping on a stick of gum is proven to lower cortisol levels, according to Australian researchers in the journal Physiology & Behavior. They theorize that the act of chewing may relieve tension and increase blood flow to the brain, so you can better concentrate.


Find yourself a hill, or get on a treadmill. Then sprint up the mountain or on an incline, as fast as possible.

Do that for roughly 20 minutes. Make sure you are finding it hard to catch your breath. That means you’re doing it right!

Do this 2–3 times per week — no excuses and no stopping.

You need to do this regularly for at least three months to get results. Perhaps longer.


Yes, I know, here I go again — but it works! Shave those rest periods to about 10–60 seconds whilst doing a larger volume of reps.

The more lactic acid build-up (that sweet burning sensation), the greater the hormone response.


They don’t work! Instead, use multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts and lunges.

If you have a flab on your belly, no amount of ab crunches will help. You have to burn off the fat to see muscle.

Use your time effectively by performing those strenuous exercises, and you will be well on your way towards having abs.


Make sure it’s a lean and low-calorie alternative.


Eat more omega three rich foods to make your cells more receptive to insulin. Aim for about 120g carbs from low glycemic sources.

Better yet, why not carb cycle, so you get the best of both worlds.


Low fibre diets make it harder to get rid of toxins, including belly fat and poor insulin health.


If you have gut issues, it can make it harder to lose belly fat. For example, if our gut is inflamed, we will experience higher cortisol levels, making us more susceptible to gaining belly fat.


Keep a gratitude journal, writing down at least three things that made your life better today. Showing gratitude helps to lower cortisol and create a better mental health outlook.


Two powerful things, yet people don’t do enough of each. Drink 3 litres of water to keep yourself hydrated and in top performance.

THE INABILITY TO HOLLOW YOUR STOMACH IS A SIGN OF A WEAK CORE An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing ...



An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing test. When you conduct this exercise, the intent is for your stomach to cave inwards when your abdomen contracts. You do this by taking a natural breath, pulling your abs in toward your spine, and holding it. If you lack the ability to do this, then you possess a weak core. See the image below for a visual representation of this exercise.

Overall weakness in your core muscles will lead to serious health conditions if not properly rectified. One guaranteed exercise that will improve every condition discussed in this article is the plank exercise. The benefits of performing the plank exercise are amazing. Not only will you strengthen your core, but you will also strengthen your lower back and upper body, improve your chances of avoiding injury, significantly improve your posture, and shred your abs!

Most importantly, planks can be done anywhere. You do not need a gym membership, a personal trainer, or any equipment. Heck, do your planks naked if you want! Two things will happen when you embrace the plank – your fitness will improve and so will your overall health.



You know that the best way to sit at your desk isn't all crunched or crouched over. But what if you can't help it? Hunching over your desk can put strain and pressure on parts of your body that weren't meant to support that position for long, that includes your hip flexors, low back, pelvis, glutes, and shoulder girdle. 

The fix: Practice sitting with your core engaged—belly button drawn back towards your spine—and shoulders pulled back, suggests Lyons. If you have a job that forces you to sit more days, you can try setting an "engaged core" timer, which'll remind you of your goal.


Have you ever noticed someone (or maybe you do it yourself) walking pelvis-first or with a super-arched lower back? Yep, a weak core could be the culprit here, too. Because carrying and delivering a baby can weaken the pelvic and abdominal muscles, this particular symptom is common in new moms.

The fix: When you're walking, asking yourself: "Are my hips stacked beneath my shoulders?" To strengthen your core and make this stacked position possible, add pelvic tilts, leg extensions, single leg extensions, and glute bridges into your morning routine, suggests Wickham. 


If you've ever felt a tweak, pinch, or twinge when performing a day-to-day movement like transferring the laundry, tossing a ball to the dog, or taking something out of the oven (like these upgraded Ina Garten approved roasted carrots), weak core muscles could be to blame. When your core isn't as strong as it needs to be, your lumbar spine can get all wonky, which can put undue pressure on your vertebrae, discs, and the rest of the muscles that encase the spine.

The fix: Work specifically on strengthening your spine. Strengthening the erector spinae— which runs from your neck to your lower back— can help reduce back pain by helping to encourage proper posture and form when performing exercises.


Ever feel weak when performing exercises like tossing a ball, throwing a punch, jumping up and down, or even doing something like a bicep curl? Difficulty doing these things could mean your core isn’t trained properly. That's because our core muscles stabilize and send power and strength to other muscles. If we aren't strong throughout the midline, we throw out the chance that we're going to be strong in arms, legs, shoulders, or ankles—called our distal parts.

The fix: Add compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, push-up, and lunge, which will tone and strengthen your extremities and core at the same time, suggests Luciani. Even unweighted, these movements teach you how to brace your core, while using and strengthening your extremities.


If you frequently rely on the furniture or friends around you to get (and keep) you standing, it's time to add some core bracing moves to your routine. It surprises people how much core strength simply getting out of bed, a chair, or standing in line takes.

The fix: Trying to sit down, get up, or stand without reaching for poles, pillars, tables, or your pals for help, will eventually help you strengthen the weak muscles, says Lyons. As with any other exercise, it's get easier the more you do it.

There’s nothing like a sculpted midsection. But the truth is, toned abs are no guarantee of core strength. Core muscles, such as the transve...


There’s nothing like a sculpted midsection. But the truth is, toned abs are no guarantee of core strength. Core muscles, such as the transvesus abdominis (TVA) are deeper, stabilizing muscles, and play a key role in balance and good posture. The transversus abdomens - a belt muscle that runs from one side of the spine around your waist and connects to the other side - is given a lot of attention in pilates.

The TVA an pelvic floor muscles work together and act like the foundation of a house. The body’s core or centre sits a few centimeters above the pubic bone and these muscles help stabilize from that point. When you move, they should switch on first and steady the body, with moving muscles near the surface the last to be activated. Strong core muscles help with alignment and ensure that minimum effort is needed to hold the body upright.


  • Lack of use
  • Excessive pressure and use
  • pregnancy and childbearing
  • back pain injuries
  • chronic constipation
  • straining to empty the bowels
  • being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over 25
  • heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
  • a chronic cough or sneeze, including those linked to asthma, smoking or hayfever
  • previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy), and
  • aging


1. Sit with a neutral or slightly flexed (forward curved) back. To locate the TVA, put two fingers on the iliac crests - the two bony points on each side of the front of your hips. Think of a muscle band between these two points and draw it back towards you sacrum.

2. Using about 30 per cent effort, draw in the muscle as you exhale, as if tightening a belt. At the same time, draw up from behind your public bone to engage the pelvic floor. Relax as you inhale. Practice several times a day for about 10-15 repetitions.

3. Tighten the muscle, but not too much. If it’s too tight, you’re likely to be engaging the muscles over the top instead of those on the deepest level. Performed correctly, the exercise should make you feel like you are elongating your spine. You want this to become second nature so no matter what you are doing these muscles learn to turn on first. The body works best form the inside out.