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5 Workout Videos That Actually Work (No Special Equipment Required)

 

Not everyone can make time for the gym and gym memberships can be costly. Even if you have a gym membership there are times when you want to switch it up a little. If you’re looking for some great free workout videos that you can do at home, here are 5 of our favorites. Whether you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle or even deep stretching these videos will definitely have you feeling the burn!

32 Minute Home Cardio Workout with No Equipment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWy_aOlB45Y

Prepare for some intense cardio condensed into a short period of time to give you a little boost and keep you motivated. This video might be a little intense for beginners!

Power Yoga

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE2pHzbMyKU&t=1977s

Finding a good and affordable yoga studio can be tricky. With this one-hour Power Yoga video, you can get some of the best benefits of yoga practice in the comfort of your own home, including stretching, strength building and even cardio. Altogether, this workout provides amazing upper body targeting.

Yoga for Your Butt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLC1ZveOkpI

Work on your yoga butt with this fantastic, yoga-inspired workout for your glutes. Created for the busy person without hours of time to spare, this 20-minute workout is a quick way to keep your glutes toned and strong.

Brazilian Butt Lift Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09UN3UCv3ds&t=401s

This 25-minute video is deceptively intense: it might say it’s for beginners, but it might be challenging for beginners: you will definitely feel your muscles burning and you’ll probably be sore the next day. This is a great butt-and-leg-toning workout.

5 Minute Fix Upper Body Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho89a5PLPp4

If all you’ve got to spare is five minutes of your time, this video is a great way to crush a quick workout. Targeting your upper body, this can be a fantastic quick fix when you feel like you’re spending too much time sitting in front of the computer at work. You can also repeat the sequences for a longer upper body workout.

When it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, these videos can help you get in a quick fitness fix. Remember, every bit helps and even a small workout can make a huge difference in your mood and energy levels.

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8 Small Changes That Will Make a Huge Difference in Your Health

With so much information available to us at the click of a mouse, deciding which health advice to follow can seem overwhelming. But you don’t need to overhaul your whole life to make some positive changes towards overall better health.

Here are a few small changes you can make in your daily routine that will greatly impact your well-being!

Keep a Schedule

A hectic life is one of the main reasons people can’t seem to keep their health habits straight, and the best way to avoid this is by planning ahead. Once a week, set up a schedule including exercise times and meals, and allow as much leeway as possible so your schedule is something that helps you instead of something that just adds to your frustration. If you can, do your meal and snack prep ahead of time to avoid that last-minute making unhealthy choices in order to save time.

 

Make a Shopping List

How often do you go to the supermarket and end up buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need? Do you often buy sweets that end up calling your name at 10 pm long after you’ve finished dinner? To avoid this be mindful about grocery shopping. Make a list before you go to the market and stick with it: this will help you keep unhealthy foods out of your home and out of reach in moments of weakness. Pro tip: eat a healthy meal before you go shopping or you’ll most likely come home the proud owner of the snack aisle!

 

Don’t Skip Breakfast

For years, experts (and your mom) have insisted that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it really does determine the amount of energy you’ll be packing for the first half of the day. The best way to go about breakfast is to start your day with a lot of fiber, including foods like Greek yogurt, oatmeal or eggs with greens (such as spinach or broccoli).

 

Eat Often

It might seem counterintuitive, but a quick way to lose a few pounds is, in fact, eating more often. Instead of starving, try surrounding yourself with healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, and cut veggies. Don’t eat your meals so far apart that you’re starving by the time you eat something; when you’re not desperate to eat you’re less likely to binge. Eating constantly can also help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

 

 

Mind Your Portions

Once you’ve embraced healthy snacking as part of your daily routine, it’s also important to keep in mind that part of the idea of snacking constantly is keeping portions to a minimum: the trick is to eat smaller portions, more often. A good rule to go by is the handful rule. Your portions should be roughly a handful.

 

Drink More Green Tea

Green tea (or better yet, matcha) is filled with antioxidants and also helps burn fat, which is great when you’re trying to lose a few pounds. It can also provide a healthier alternative to afternoon coffee, helping you stay alert during those long working hours and also providing a more natural and stable caffeine high that won’t experience the awful caffeine crash and crave another cup in a few hours.

 

Keep Moving

It might seem impossible to fit in gym time in your busy work life, but even the smallest bits of extra physical activity can make a huge difference in your health. When you’re at work, set your timer to every 20 minutes, and take it upon yourself to walk outside or even just walk around the office for 2 minutes. This way, you’re helping your body stay active!

 

Rest Up!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, sleep is extremely important if you want to be at your best. Seven or eight hours of sleep each night can do wonders for your body, from increasing your energy and mood throughout the day to even accelerating your metabolism. Be careful not to oversleep, like everything else in life you balance is key.

You don’t need to make drastic changes to improve your health. The journey towards your health can start right now with a few small changes. You have the power to take control and build new habits that your body will thank you for!

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5 Reasons You Should Never Count Another Calorie

We use the word calorie to measure the amount of energy provided by each food and drink we consume. Many diets are based on balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned through physical activity.

Historically, we’ve based our diets on calorie intake, taking careful note of the calories we consume, and organizing our diets and “cheat meals” around the idea that calories, regardless of where they come from, have the ability to “make or break” fitness results.

Anyone who is or has ever been a calorie-counter knows the effort and time it takes to be vigilant, the pain of carefully portioning out 3 cashews or 2 m&ms when we want to reward ourselves.

The trouble is, often times these calorie deprivation diets don’t work, because they’re just not sustainable. Even though you’ll probably see some results when you obsess over your calorie intake, these results are usually temporary.

Here are 5 reasons why you should never count calories again:

5. Low in calories does not equal healthy:

The idea behind counting calories is that you’ll get the same amount of energy from a cookie or a carrot, provided they both have the same caloric content. While an unhealthy food and a healthy one can have the exact same amount of calories, that’s not the only thing your body takes into account during metabolism: bad quality calories do not provide the same nutrients or energy.

While a small portion of unhealthy foods (like potato chips) can have as many calories as a healthy snack (like baby carrots), they don’t provide nearly the same nutritional value. You might be staying well within your caloric allowance, but you’re also feeding your body with low-quality calories that won’t give you the necessary energy, and also will not keep you satisfied for very long. You’ll find yourself hungry again in no time.

4. Caloric absorption is not universal:

The body does not absorb every single calorie it consumes, and there are some foods that offer very little nutrients that your body can absorb. The amount of calories your body absorbs also depends greatly on your individual gut bacteria, and varies from person to person. Individual people have individual caloric needs and there is no universal “magic number” of calories one should consume.

3. You’re probably eating more calories than you think:

Food companies take a lot of liberties when it comes to estimating calorie content in their packages. Due to the fact that there are five different methods to do this calculation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually allows up to 20% inaccuracy when it comes to caloric count in products. In other words, if something is marked as having 150 calories, the true caloric content can be anywhere between 130 and 180 calories.

Calories vary when you cook foods, so that’s another change to take into account when obsessively looking at food labels. It’s always better to eat whole foods that have not been processed so you know the quantity and quality of calories you’re putting into your body.

2. Starving yourself won’t make you lose weight:

A lot of people looking to lose weight quickly end up going on crash diets with drastic calorie deprivation of as little as 1,000 calories a day. Not only will that leave you feeling hungry and without energy all day long, it will also send the wrong message to your body: needing sustenance, your body will look for it elsewhere, and burn muscle instead of fat. It will also slow down your metabolism and take up every last ounce of fat it can find in every bit of food you do eat, all while you’re feeling cranky and miserable. It’s just not worth it.

1. Your body is wiser than your calculator:

When you fill up with the right foods, such as leafy greens, grains, and even grass-fed beef, your body will feel full no matter the number of calories you consumed. The safest bet is listening to what your body is telling you instead of trying to maintain a rigid diet based on misguided assumptions about calorie intake. The healthiest approach to fitness is eating moderate portions of high-quality calories often, that way your blood sugar levels are steady and you don’t end up depriving yourself and then binging.

 

There’s more to calories than the number, and merely counting them won’t help you reach your long-term fitness goals. The best approach is to choose whole foods containing high-quality calories that will nourish you.

 

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The Secret to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hot Body

Gwyneth Paltrow is the queen of healthy eating and organic cooking. She’s constantly praising healthy living in her weekly lifestyle publication, Goop, and she loves a good cleanse. You might say she’s at the forefront of everything trendy in the world of healthy living. She’s up for trying new cleanses and warning against them, if necessary.

One thing she’s not shooting down, though, is matcha, a green tea powder that’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This coffee replacement is brimming with health benefits, and Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it. Could this be the secret to her rockin’ bod? It’s probably a factor …

“The woman who made “conscious uncoupling” a thing while the rest of us were drowning our breakup sorrows with a bottle of wine and a Mariah Carey playlist is, evidently, never breaking up with matcha.”

 

Hailed as the “ancient secret to youth and beauty,” matcha has been around for centuries and there are all kinds of delicious ways to add it to your diet. It contains 137x the concentration of antioxidants which support healthy skin and bones and prevent age-related disease. It’s also a powerful calorie-burning booster that increases thermogenesis (your body’s rate of burning calories) by up to 50%. Plus, with every cup of matcha, you get to enjoy the perfect marriage of caffeine and L-Theanine, which makes for a powerful energy boost without any coffee jitters or caffeine crashes.

So while I always suspected that the 44-year-old beauty took a page out of Madeline Ashton’s book, her actual secret is more likely healthy diet and exercise with the help of routine cleanses and, of course, her daily dose of matcha. Yes, the woman who made “conscious uncoupling” a thing while the rest of us were drowning our breakup sorrows with a bottle of wine and a Mariah Carey playlist is, evidently, never breaking up with matcha.  

ORDER MATCHA NOW

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Lose 5 Pounds in 7 Days With Jillian Michaels’ Dandelion Root Tea Detox

Organic Raw Dandelion Root Tea

People have been raving about the Jillian Michaels Dandelion Root Detox. The detox is pretty simple and consists of a combination of a special detox water (recipe below), eating clean, and regular exercise. The detox works by cleansing your body of toxins and helping eliminate up to 5 pounds of water weight in only 7 days! Want to try it out? Keep reading for 3 simple steps to success.

1. Drink The Dandelion Root Detox Water

Ingredients:

Directions: Brew the tea bag as directed on the box and let it cool (save the tea bag). Mix all ingredients together, plus the tea bag you set aside earlier. Start drinking! If you’re drinking enough of the mixture you’ll have to make a new batch every day for 7 days.

2. Eat Clean

Vegetables with the dandelion root detox

Jillian Michaels stresses the importance of eating properly during the dandelion root detox in her video. Since you’re trying to eliminate toxins in your body, you will want to make sure you’re eating a lot of healthy, plant-based foods, including lots of raw fruits and vegetables, and a moderate intake of whole grains, and flaxseed. Here is a list of top fat-burning food recommendations from Jillian’s video:

  • Caffeine (in moderation): It can boost your metabolism up to 6%. When you take caffeine an hour before working out it will also boost your testosterone levels which will help you shed fat and improve fitness endurance and burn more calories.  
  • Foods with high levels of vitamin C: Vitamin C fights off viral colds and keeps your cortisol (a fat-packing hormone) production minimal.
  • Brazil Nuts: They’re loaded with selenium which supports your thyroid and helps you burn fat and calories. Plus, they have zinc in them which helps your body create a hormone called leptin (responsible for making you feel more full).
  • Garlic: It boosts testosterone which helps maintain new muscle mass and helps shed fat.

As she also stresses in the video above, it’s important you eat organic, not only while on the dandelion root detox but as much as possible. Organic foods must comply with USDA regulations, which means it’s over 95% free of the pesticides, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones that are commonly found in non-organic foods. These pesticides, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones can mess with your metabolism and put you at risk for autoimmune disease.

While cleansing you should also avoid processed food, sodium, and sugar. Fresh fruit is the exception (although you don’t want to go overboard). The USDA daily fruit intake recommendation for adults is about 2 cups for “individuals who get less than 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise.” So if you’re working out, there’s no harm in having more. Despite the sugar content of fruit, it’s still great for you because the sugar in fruit is naturally occurring (fructose) and it’s balanced out by high levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and water.

3. Exercise

Exercising on the dandelion root detox

While cleansing, dieting or detoxing you’ll generally get more noticeable results if you incorporate moderate exercise. Exercise is great for your body and your mind, and also a great way to get your blood pumping and cleanse your organs. It can, however, be strenuous if you’re over-exerting yourself. If you’re tired from cutting back on calories (and especially from the sudden elimination of sugar), you can follow a few easy tips to safely get the most out of your detox.

  • Take it easy: Don’t overdo it during your detox.  If you’re an avid runner, try some brisk walking instead. Light yoga or cycling will also boost your endorphins and keep your spirits up if you find yourself crashing from sugar withdrawal.
  • Avoid high impact exercise: Avoid intense workouts and long training sessions. Too much exercise during a detox can be hard on your digestive tract and can leave you feeling faint.

Just remember, detoxes can be challenging and you may feel less strong than usual, so while exercise is an important part of a successful detox, slowing down a bit and having patience with yourself is equally important.

Ready to try the Jillian Michaels Dandelion Root Detox? To help you out, we’re extending you a secret 10% discount (plus we’ll pay shipping!) on our Organic Raw Dandelion Root Tea using the link below.

START MY CLEANSE!

Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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Weight loss: 7 Common Mistakes You’re Making

Tips for weight loss

If you’re having trouble achieving your weight loss goals, it might be because of these 7 common mistakes you’re making.

Achieving your weight loss goals can be tricky, even when you’re regularly crushing it at the gym and (thinking that you’re) eating healthy. Many health experts cite the 80/20 rule for diet and exercise, meaning that 80% of success is directly related to diet and only 20% is related to exercise. If you’ve ever heard someone say “fitness starts in the kitchen” that is what they mean. 

In addition to not following the 80/20 rule, it turns out there’s a whole bunch of stuff you could be doing that’s preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals. Stuff like eating too much, eating too little, eating the wrong stuff, counting calories, doing the same workout every day, doing too much cardio, or not sleeping enough. Frankly, it can get a little confusing trying to keep your fitness goals on track.

If you feel like you’re doing everything right and not getting the results you want, there is a chance you’re making one (or a few) of the fundamental mistakes below.

1. Eating no Carbs & Too Much Protein

Balance protein with veggies

The early 2000s was the birth of the Great Carbohydrate Panic. Fad Diets like the Atkins Diet trained us all to fear carbs and overload on the proteins. While the “no-carb” approach may initially work, there are critical reasons why a low-carb/ high-fat diet is not the best approach for weight loss or sustainable health. You should always be wary of any diet that puts no limit on fat intake.

It’s important to remember there are plenty of healthy (non-fattening) sources of carbohydrates, like fruits, nuts, oatmeal, and lentils. These foods provide sustainable energy because they don’t create a spike in your blood sugar levels like simple carbs do. Much like calories, not all carbohydrates are created equal, so it’s best to focus on the quality of carbs you’re putting in your body, rather that to fixate on the number of grams.

2. Forgetting your Veggies

Shedding excess fat is as much about what you DO eat as what you DON’T. Research shows that depriving yourself and drastically cutting back on calories can actually make your body store more fat in the long run. If you want to lose weight, it’s not enough to just count calories, you need to up your intake of good calories.

Increasing your daily intake of veggies is a great way to get quality calories. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and loaded with water, so they provide energy and keep your body hydrated, which are both super-important when you’re trying to get in shape. Just make sure you’re choosing unprocessed fruits and vegetables, and when it comes to fruits  and vegetables, raw is always better.

3. Skipping Breakfast

Healthy scrambled eggs

There is some debate about whether or not skipping breakfast will prevent weight loss. Again, the biggest factor is what you are eating for breakfast. Skipping breakfast can make you hungrier later in the day, which might lead to you making less than ideal food choices, but choosing refined or processed carbohydrates in the morning can cause your blood sugar to spike which will also leave you hungrier later in the day.

Instead of cereal, bagels, or toast, try to start your day with protein-packed foods, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Scrambled eggs with greens is a great way to start the day. And sprinkling some pumpkin or flax seeds on top will energize you by adding some of those healthy carbs we talked about above.

4. Losing Sleep

Hunger hormones are very much influenced by how much sleep you get. Many factors cause our hormones levels to change, and it turns out that how much sleep you get directly affects leptin levels, a hormone that is directly tied to weight loss.

Leptin is the “hunger hormone” responsible for telling your brain you are full. Sleep deprivation can cause leptin resistance in your body, which can result in constant hunger and overeating. The hormone balance in your body depends on many factors and sleep is not the only thing that affects Leptin levels. But not getting enough shut-eye not only causes leptin resistance, it can also leave you feeling too exhausted to exercise, placing unnecessary obstacles in the way of your weight loss goals.

5. Binging After Workouts

God, I want this pizza

It’s natural to feel hungry after working out, but an hour at the gym shouldn’t be a precursor to a large cheese pizza. Time Magazine’s John Cloud explored why we tend to overeat after working out in his article Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin. Among the many reasons he cited was something he calls calorie compensation.

Basically, we tend to overindulge after the gym for 2 reasons: because we’re hungry from exertion, and because we want to reward ourselves. But the food/ exercise equation is deceiving because while it may take an hour at the gym to burn 500 calories, it only takes 5 minutes to eat them again.

This idea of “compensation” can also work against you in terms of physical activity. The same study that Cloud explores in his article also found that we tend to compensate for extra physical activity by being less active when we’re not at the gym.

6. Doing The Same Workout Every Day

Experts agree that for the best results you have to vary the frequency, intensity, and time of your workouts. Switching up your workouts is the best way to challenge your body, and get better results. Your body will adapt to any exercise that you do repeatedly, and repetition will make the workout less effective. It can also get pretty boring which can throw a wrench in your motivation.

Instead of repeating the same exercises every day, use a split routine (where you focus on specific muscle groups each day), and switch up the types of exercises you do to train those muscles. Also, switching up the machines you use for cardio can keep your body burning calories at a higher rate. A lot of people stick to the same machines every day, but doing the same cardio every day conditions your body to the stress of that specific range of motion.

Your body will adapt to whatever you put it through, and when you’re not challenging yourself you’re not going to get the best results. The good news is, even small changes can make a big difference. Small modifications like changing the weight you’re lifting or the reps you’re doing can trick your body into producing better results.

7. Too Much Cardio & Not Enough Weights

fitness-957115_1920

There is a common misconception that you have to do a ton of cardio to lose weight, when in fact, too much cardio can actually slow down your results. To get the best results from your cardio try high-intensity interval training, alternating between shorter bursts of high-intensity activity and slower “recovery” periods.

You also need to balance your cardio with weight training, because the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. Many women fear that lifting will add bulk to their bodies, but weight training isn’t necessarily going to make you “ripped,” you just need to figure out what kind of weight training is best for what you are trying to achieve.  

Now Go Forth And Be Fit

Achieving your fitness goals is challenging. No one said it would be easy (and if they did, they lied). But making small lifestyle changes like the ones above can yield awesome results in less time. So if you’re working out like crazy and not losing weight, reassess the basics above and see if there is some small mistake that is standing in your way. There is no “miracle weight loss remedy,” but you can set yourself up for success with a balanced diet, plenty of sleep, a diverse workout regime, and some self-control.

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5 Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation

stay fit on vacation

We’re here to save the day with 5 ways to stay fit on vacation! It’s natural to overindulge when you’re on vacation, but while you’re taking a break from your routine bad health and fitness choices can add up and leave you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. Sometimes the things we leave behind when we go on vacation are the things that are helping keep us healthy and balanced. Read on for 5 ways to stay fit on vacation.

Stay Fit on Vacation in 5 Easy Steps

Fit in a workout when/where you can

I try to book accommodations that have a gym on the premises, but that isn’t always possible. If you don’t have access to a gym, there are other ways to get your workout in. Explore your surroundings and stay active on vacation. Walking is a great way to get your exercise while you’re away from home. You can also experience some culture by joining in a local activity. If you’re in India sign up for a yoga class, if you’re in Argentina try a tango lesson. Participating can be a great way to stay on track.

Be mindful of your eating

Vacation is a wonderful excuse to indulge a bit. Of course, you want to try as much of the local cuisine as possible, so being mindful of how many calories you’re consuming can go a long way when you’re trying to stay on track with your fitness goals. Be selective of the foods you want to try (don’t eat McDonalds in Italy, for example), and eat smaller portions so you can sample more! Try applying the 80/20 rule: eat 20 percent of your calories on the foods of your choice and then stick to healthy choices 80 percent of the time.

Keep Hydrated

Drink water every chance you get. It’s easy to throw your body off balance while traveling. Being cooped up in a dry airplane cabin for hours, not eating enough vegetables, and consuming too much sugar can all lead to dehydration. When your body is dehydrated it can’t perform as well as it should. It’s easy to forget you’re thirsty so set an alarm to remind you if you need to. Water is your friend!

Don’t drink your calories

Alcohol is not only loaded with calories, it also lowers your inhibitions when it comes to overeating. I mean, who among us hasn’t eaten a double cheese pizza in the middle of the night only to wake up full of regrets? Consuming alcohol also prevents your metabolism from burning food. When it comes to cocktails, the simpler the better. Try to avoid sugary drinks with lots of ingredients and opt for a glass of wine or a martini instead. And don’t forget, moderation is the key.

Stay on your feet during flight connections

Long flights can wipe you out but staying on your feet between connection can help burn some calories and get your blood flowing. Use the time between your flights to do some simple stretches and walk around a bit. Flying can be extremely uncomfortable, and the dry cabin air can take a toll on you as well, so be sure you also drink plenty of water and stand up to stretch your legs every hour or so if possible.

Vacations are a great way to unwind and reboot, but the change of routine can also throw you off track. What are some of the things you do to stay fit on vacation? Tell us in the comments below!