December 10, 2014 By Billy
I felt this is the perfect time to offer two high-impact health tips that will be especially beneficial during the winter months!
1) Diet – Your body will naturally crave more calories now that temperatures are cooler, assuming that your regular physical activity is maintained. I will explain why weight gain will not be a problem with naturally increasing your calories.
Remember that most importantly, when you increase your portion size, stick the foods in your diet that you already know to be healthy. This will offset the craving and potential overindulgence of the disease-causing foods high in processed calories like sugar, flour, and cheap oils that are especially common over the holidays. An over-abundance of these foods seem to be the norm this time of year. And now that your body is craving more calories, it can sometimes be hard not to give in.
Also, remember that per calorie, these processed foods have far more weight gaining effects, yet conversely do not satisfy your appetite like nutrient-rich foods. The calories in those sweet baked goods can add up quickly! Is occasionally having pie and ice-cream when you’re at a friend’s dinner party going to make you fat? Probably not. But it sure can get away from you because processed sugar is addictive! Be sure to keep these foods from sneaking their way into your home! Stock your pantry with more of the foods that you already know to be good for you. Note – holiday treats and desserts don’t always have to be unhealthy! How about a little dark chocolate (70% cacao or more)? Dark chocolate is an appetite suppressant, so just a few squares and you’re good. Many of you know from my recipes that I’m quite a fan of raw chocolate, especially my green power nuggets!
And remember hot drinks! Chai is classic and often a favorite this time of year. A little caffeine from black or green tea never hurts. But remember that we need to be conscious of the ingredients! The best way is to simply make your own! Have you ever tried my home-made chai recipe? As many of you know, chai is one of my favorites! Also, remember to take advantage of my chai recipe as another appetite suppressant – a satisfying alternative to other sugary drinks.
Again, the big picture is to keep your appetite satisfied with more of the nutrient dense and unprocessed foods! We want to make the extra calories primarily healthy. An excellent choice is hearty soup – something the body naturally craves when temperatures are cooler. Try my curried kale soup. I’ve been loving this one! Because of the nutrient density and high water content, this one will satisfy your appetite with fewer calories.
Lastly, consuming more calories this time of year will not necessarily make you gain unhealthy weight. But it requires integration with tip #2!!!
2) Now is THE time to visit the gym for strength training! This does not entail riding a stationary bike or treadmill (of course a spin-class is in a different category). It pains me to watch people do this as their only form of exercise, while reading a magazine! Sure, you’re burning some calories, but remember that becoming physically fit is more than just burning calories. Plus, this kind of activity actually burns fewer calories than you would think, making this a relatively inefficient way to spend your time and energy.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the strength training with free weights that has the long-term impact of burning substantially more calories! Big picture is we’re building a stronger body. Ultimately, building muscle is the most effective method for keeping your metabolism high. Plain and simple, a stronger machine burns more fuel. Of course it’s a balance of doing both cardio and weight training. The cardio will have a more immediate effect on burning calories, but the impact is shorter term. But build muscle, and your metabolism will increase substantially and is more long term.
In the long term you will burn far more calories by dedicating some of your visits to the gym to exercises like squats and dead-lifts rather than the treadmill and machines. When I share this information with others I often receive a blank stare. The reality is most of us don’t know how to do strength training like squats and dead-lifts. It’s seldom done because it’s challenging and requires some knowledge to do it right. This is where I strongly recommend working with a trainer! Hiring a professional trainer is one of the best things you can do for yourself! It certainly has been for me. They are using specific strength training protocols that will make the energy you put into this yield far more benefits. It also makes working out more fun! You will notice when people are working with trainers, they are typically using free weights, not machines. Free weights are overall far more strengthening. But again, it takes some knowledge to do it right and prevent injury. So hire a trainer!
If this will be new for you, I suggest strength training at the gym twice a week. Personally, I do Mondays and Fridays at the gym with my trainer, and Wednesday I do a solid outdoor workout, generally involving a hike. Even if it’s cold, still try to get at least one outdoor workout per week. Go for that power-walk and pump those arms like you mean it!
Note – Tip #1 addressed our natural tendency to eat more this time of year and what to do about it. And here is the reason Tips 1 and 2 form a perfect integration – you can build strength faster when you’re eating more. You’re building a stronger body and more calories speeds up the process. And so this is the perfect time of year for strength training! But just like we talked about, keep the extra calories healthy! Rather than increasing animal protein in your diet, add a post-workout smoothie to your day. Be sure to include a serving of Infinity Protein! You will essentially be taking advantage of your natural tendency of eating more this winter to build strength that ultimately will make you leaner in the long run. In the spring when you instinctively cut back on your calories, you will actually lose fat much faster and easier because of the substantial increase in your metabolism. Make sense? This is essentially the protocol used by body builders. We’re just doing the less extreme version.
Let’s do this! Life is good and we can make it even better. But no waiting. If you feel any enthusiasm from reading this letter, then now is the time to go for it. All of this takes relatively little discipline when you know how good the results will be.
PS…one more health tip – Dance!!! Dance is like tea. There are many flavors. Break dancing to barn dancing – all of it. Just pick the one you love and do it! I truly believe dance to be one of the very best things you can do for yourself. There is a huge amount of scientific data that dancing has a profoundly substantial effect on numerous elements of our health, especially the brain. I read an impressive article on how dance can stimulate a part of the brain that regularly is inactive. This has shown to affect memory, general happiness and more. And it can be serious exercise. So get out on the dance floor and wave your arms like you mean it.
….and last thing – I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for your loyalty to Infinity Greens. Some of you have been solid customers since the very beginning, 9 years ago. It makes me happy so many of you believe in what I’m doing, and I will do whatever it takes to always serve you the very finest health forming products on earth!