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tips to drop your last 5 pounds

5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Summer is coming and you may still want or need to lose a few pounds to look perfect. Here are some overlooking tips to drop your last 5 pounds, reach your goal, and look stunning.
 
You´re trying to reduce your body fat to the minimum so you´re fighting a natural survival mechanism. Food shortage has been a constant threat throughout human evolution. Without fat as a powerful energy store, humankind would have been extinct long before Stone Age. Body fat serves as:
  • an energy store,
  • a padding against mechanical impacts,
  • a coating against heat loss,
  • a construction material for tissues and organs,
  • and as a carrier substance for vitamins and other important components of metabolism, just to name a few.
(The beneficial effects of of body fat and adipose tisue in humans: https://www.nature.com/articles/0800473.pdf?origin=ppub)
 
When we get to this point, we usually forget the basics and complicate our lives. So, I’m going to remind you some things that people usually overlook.

1 – Stay focused.

This may not seem a tip because we use to think we only need the motivation at the beginning but, we need motivation all the time, and at this point, motivation is key.
You have been training and dieting and now you´re so close to your goal. It´s not time to drop the ball. Stay focused!
The finish line is ahead, few weeks ahead, few workouts ahead, few meals ahead. Don´t skip your workouts, no more cheat meals these last weeks… You didn´t come this far just to stay 5 pounds away from your goal.
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds

2 – Drink plenty of water.

Drinking enough water is crucial to your overall health, but it’s also an important tool in successful fat loss. Many studies support this statement, showing a positive correlation between increased water consumption and fat loss. 
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body cannot do its job efficiently. If the only liquids you consume are coffee, tea, sodas, artificial fruit juices and the like, you will become mildly dehydrated, forcing your body to slow down its metabolism to compensate. A slow, water-starved metabolism may not burn fat efficiently.
In a 2014 study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121911/ ), 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks. The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A mini-review from 2016 ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/) found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

3 – Outdoor activities.

At this point, more hours in the gym may bring you more stress than benefits. You already train hard enough and you deserve to explore life beyond the gym.
Outdoor activities help you lose fat because you burn many calories in just a short time.
(Read: https://chape.fitness/calories-burned-by-activity/ and pick your favorite outdoor activity).
In addition, outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost beyond that of indoor gyms. Moving outdoors has been shown to reduce anger and depression and improve mood. Exposure to sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which may be partially responsible for this mood-enhancing effect.
(Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25791903)
You don’t have to run a marathon or crush an outdoor boot camp to reap the benefit. Even low-intensity activities, like walking or gardening, will do. Personally, I love these two activities:
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Interestingly, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity shows greater improvements in self-esteem than high-intensity outdoor exercise. Activities shown to improve self-esteem include walking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing and gardening. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise.
If you prefer high-intensity outdoor activities, these are my suggestions:
  1. Hiking is an activity that requires little or no equipment and gets you into the great outdoors. The big advantage to hiking is it naturally spikes the intensity level of your workout which helps you to burn three times the body fat of a flat walk. A combination of cardio, endurance, and strength-building exercise, hiking requires minimal equipment, and you can adjust the workout pace based on trail difficulty, fitness level, and personal preference. Hiking targets glutes, abs, and leg muscles. For maximum effects, choose a hilly terrain and keep up a brisk pace.
  2. Cycling is a wonderful way to burn a handsome amount of calories and get the body back into shape. It helps increase heart rate which in turn burns fat. The best part about cycling is that it involves all major muscles, builds lung capacity and endurance. Depending on skill and fitness level, you can bike in the park or out in the street, or even try conquering rocky slopes.
  3. Swimming is quite an effective outdoor activity to lose weight. It’s a top cardio workout and helps improve muscle tone at the same time. Since swimming involves a lot of efforts and negotiation against water, it leads to muscle building and fat burning. Swimming also can help reduce blood pressure and alleviate joint pains.

Time for a true (recent) story!

My old friend Tito still competes in kayak events. We know each other since we were kids and we love to go out and have a few beers when we get together.

Last summer he participated in Guinness records, paddling for 24 hours. This summer will participate in the World Championship, senior category.

He trains in a high performance center with Olympic medalists, and the center’s trainers and nutritionists prepare them detailed and very demanding training and diets.

However, my good friend always asks me for an opinion when he is in trouble. Two weeks ago, he broke his foot and sent me a message, because he needs to lose weight for this summer’s competition. Because of this injury, he can not run, bike, elliptical … So I told him, “swimming is your only option, dude.”

Last weekend I sent him a message to ask how he was doing. He was really happy because he was losing weight. “My foot hurts a bit when I get in the pool but, in a few minutes everything is fine. I do not use my legs, as you told me and I swim for an hour. I’m losing weight and I do not hurt my foot.”

This is how your hands look like after 24 hours of paddling.

But my point is, even if you´re injured, there´s an activity that you can do without affecting your injury. As John Wooden said: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 

You do not have the pressure of a championship this summer, you just want to look better. If you face an injury, lack of time, or whatever, look at your situation with perspective, evaluate your options and do what you can right now. Life is not perfect and we all have to deal with difficulties. How we deal with them is what will make the difference.

4 – Sleep.

What you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.
One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?
Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a new study. When dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. Sleep-deprived dieters also felt hungrier, producing higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
You must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.
In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

Try these tips to drop your last 5 pounds, I´m sure everything will be ok but, if you feel like you need more help, get in touch!

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 12

CONGRATULATIONS!! Ready to finish with a bang? Also, you should weight and measure your body perimeters to check your progress!!

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, lats, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Mountain Climbers – 40 seconds
  2. Lateral Plank (Left) – 40 seconds
  3. Lateral Plank (Right) – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Wall Squat – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Squat – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Deadlift – 40 seconds
  9. Bent Over Back Row – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Triceps Extensions inverted grip – 40 seconds
  12. Resistance Bands Seated Preacher Curls – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Cat-Cow – 40 seconds
  2. Child pose – 40 seconds
  3. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  6. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Avocado. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youKidney beans. Read my blog about the kidney beans health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Gym Instructors, Personal Trainers, and Online Training

What exactly do gym instructors do in comparison to personal trainers?

A Gym Instructor is usually employed by the gym and is mainly there to ensure that members are using the equipment properly and safely. The most important responsibility they have is to check that gym members are using the correct technique when performing any exercises. If the wrong technique is used, injuries can occur easily so it is best to have an instructor there to avoid it. Almost exclusively based at a gym, an instructor is there for everyone, often volunteering to spot gym members who are performing slightly more difficult exercises such as lifting heavier weights.

A Personal Trainer is there to help their clients. However, they have a more personal approach, as the name would suggest. Their primary focus is their client reaching their fitness goals. Being a qualified Personal Trainer means that they have the knowledge and tools to work with a client on a specific pathway. This will differ client to client but will usually be based around working out their current level of fitness through fitness testing, developing long term and short term goals for the client and then developing a plan to assist the client to achieve these goals.

They also assess the progress and adjust the goals accordingly to help maintain the motivation of the client. If the client wants to lose x amount of weight, the PT will work on developing a workout that will turn that into a reality. A Personal Trainer also has studied nutrition and as a result will be able to amend clients eating habits not only to help them to achieve the goals that the clients have set for them but in order to assist them to become a healthier individual in general.

A Personal Trainer is also there to provide motivation, to ensure the client doesn’t give up. Developing this long-standing relationship is one of the key differences between that of a PT and a gym instructor. While the gym instructor will help you, their services are utilized on a more ad hoc basis.

Personal Training and Online Training: People tend to think there is an obvious difference between face-to-face training and distance training as if they were two separate realities. But the truth is that today, there is no such difference. There is quality personal training, which involves caring for the client and making sure that they achieve their goals. Quality training is related to the service received by the client. It is not about face-to-face or online. It is about paying attention.

The statistics offer a revealing fact: clients perform less than five face-to-face sessions per month on average. This means that clients work with their personal trainer an average one day per week. The reasons? Cancellations due to schedule problems, trips, meetings, unscheduled issues… whatever. The truth is that clients training face-to-face, work with their coach less than five times per month. This can make achieving significant changes very difficult.

The purpose of online training is providing a new service to the client, based on specific objectives. It is about always being in touch, and monitoring all of your client’s progress on the go, no matter where they are. It is necessary to be there for the clients every day throughout the training plan. Technology makes this possible, effective and bi-directional. Client and coach can be in touch despite physical distance, adjusting online sessions to the needs and personal circumstances of the client each day, giving an astonishing added value.

Thanks for joining and completing the challenge! I hope you´ve enjoyed it and, most important, got the results you´re expecting.

Don´t miss a workout:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 11

Hello! We´re almost there. Just two workouts to go!

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, delts, traps, lats, pecs, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Bird-Dog and Crunch (Left) – 40 seconds
  2. Bird-Dog and Crunch (Right) – 40 seconds
  3. Resistance Band Accordion Crunches – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Rear Shoulder High Row – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Shrugs – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Push Up – 40 seconds
  9. Lying Lat Pull – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Standing Overhead Triceps Extension – 40 seconds
  12. Hammer Curl – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Cat-Cow – 40 seconds
  2. Child pose – 40 seconds
  3. Standing Wall Chest Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Standing Wall Chest Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Standing Shoulder Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Shoulder Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Cod. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youAvocado. Read my blog about the avocado health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Weight-Loss Maintenance

When your goal is to lose weight, being tunnel-vision focused on dropping those pounds isn’t totally a bad thing. The more you focus, the more likely you are to stick to your plan, even when you hit roadblocks. And that will help you reach your goal faster. But while thinking short-term can help you lose weight, it can also make it hard to keep the weight off, which is the bigger challenge.

Here’s why keeping weight off is harder than losing weight:

  1. YOUR METABOLISM SLOWS: Our metabolism becomes more efficient when we lose weight. As your metabolism becomes more efficient, you burn fewer calories, leading to regain weight.
  2. YOUR HORMONES CHANGE: Studies found that after losing weight, levels of leptin, which decreases appetite, decrease, while levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite, increase. Because of this change, you are more likely to be hungry and less likely to feel full on foods that used to make you feel full.
  3. EATING IS MORE REWARDING: On top of being more appetizing, food gives you a bigger high when you do eat. When you have food, your brain releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that’s produced when your brain expects a reward. So that makes food more pleasurable, makes you want it more, makes it harder to resist it and makes you crave it more.

Yes, most of these changes are beyond your control, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed to yo-yo diet. The key to keeping weight off is to think long-term from the beginning. Strive for consistency. Researchers found that following an unwavering schedule of exercising and eating healthy can help you manage your weight long term. It’s about making it a lifestyle that stands the test of time.

See you on Friday!

Don´t miss a workout:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 10

Hello, do you realize you´re facing the last week? I knew you could do it!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, delts, lats, pecs, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Plank – 40 seconds
  2. Plank Twist – 40 seconds
  3. Glute Bridge – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Resistance Band Squat and press – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Lateral Raise – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Bent Over Back Row – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Chest Press – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Triceps Pulldown – 40 seconds
  12. Resistance Band Standing Biceps Curl – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Child pose – 40 seconds
  2. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  3. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  4. Figure 4 (left) – 40 seconds
  5. Figure 4 (right) – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Chest Stretch – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Eggs. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youCod. Read my blog about the cod health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Fats

Are you afraid of fat? Don’t be. In addition to making food taste good, fat plays an important role in a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is crucial for life — so much so that our bodies figured out a way to make fat even if we eat almost no fat at all. Excess carbs and protein can both be converted into fat and stored as energy. Fat also helps our bodies function correctly in several ways.

At 9 calories per gram, fat is the most calorie-dense of the macronutrients (carbs and protein each have 4 grams). This makes sense since one of the biggest roles of fat is energy storage. For day-to-day activities — from sitting in front of your computer to walking the dog — fat is the main fuel our bodies burn for energy. Generally, during an activity where your heart rate is less than 70% of its maximal rate, fat serves as your body’s primary source of fuel.

Fat is found in a wide variety of foods — either naturally occurring or added fat during processing and cooking. Naturally occurring fats tend to be found in dairy, meat and fish, nuts and seeds, oil and fatty fruits (Think: olive oil and avocado). Added fats tend to be found in processed and packaged goods. Not all fats are created equal when it comes to health.

Saturated fat mostly comes from animal sources like meat, particularly red meat, and dairy. Certain plants and their oil are high in saturated fat, such as coconut and palm. Virtually all major health organizations advise us to eat less saturated fat since it raises LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.

Trans fat is synthetically made by taking liquid unsaturated fat and blasting it with hydrogen so it resembles solid saturated fat. This makes foods more shelf stable, easier to cook with and allows manufacturers to replace saturated fat in their products. However, evidence has revealed trans fats are one of the worst things for your heart. Not only do trans fat increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, but they also decrease HDL (good) cholesterol.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is what we think of when we say “healthy” fats because they don’t carry the same risk for heart disease as saturated and trans fat. Generally, found in high-fat, plant-based foods such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olives and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel.

Omega-3 and Omega-6: While they’re technically polyunsaturated fats, the omegas deserve a separate call-out since our bodies cannot produce them and we must get these from the foods we eat. Both omega-6 and omega-3 fats play important roles in regulating our immune systems. Omega-3 fat plays an essential role in developing our vision and nervous systems.

Till Wednesday! Have fun!

Did you just find this challenge? Start from the beginning:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 9

Hi! Last workout this week.

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, pecs, delts, and triceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Alternating Shoulder Tap Plank – 40 seconds
  2. Mountain Climbers – 40 seconds
  3. REST – 20 seconds
  4. Resistance Band Squat – 40 seconds
  5. Bodyweight Backward Lunges – 40 seconds
  6. REST – 20 seconds
  7. Hand Release Push Ups – 40 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Shoulder Press – 40 seconds
  9. REST – 20 seconds
  10. Standing 1 arm Triceps Extension (Left) – 40 seconds
  11. Standing 1 arm Triceps Extension (Right) – 40 seconds
  12. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  2. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  3. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Standing Chest Stretch – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Quinoa. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youEggs. Read my blog about the Eggs health benefits.

Trainer Tip: #4 Drinks That Can Help You Lose Weight

Is what you drink affecting your ability to lose weight? The short answer is yes. Liquid calories play a huge part in our health, and the amount you consume is directly related to your ability to control the number on that scale. Beverages go down quicker and easier than food. But that’s also the definition of “mindless” consumption: not paying attention while we’re doing other things.

Sodas, as most of you know, are liquid sugar. But that’s also true of many other beverages, including energy drinks, iced lattes, bottled green teas, smoothies, sports drinks, alcoholic beverages, sweetened teas and, yes, even those fresh-pressed organic juices from your local juice bar. Most of these contain a lot of sugar and very little fiber to help keep you full. A few hundred calories per day can add up quickly, as many people fail to factor liquid calories into their daily intake.

Most sodas, bottled teas, energy drinks and sports drinks have sugar and calories listed on the container. Always read labels, and choose beverages with little- to no-added sugar and calories.

Alcohol is where things can get tricky, as calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates aren’t required to be listed on labels. With 7 calories per gram of alcohol, it’s the second most concentrated source of calories, more than both carbohydrates and fat. It’s also absorbed directly into the bloodstream, meaning your body doesn’t burn extra calories in order to process and break it down. Many of today’s trending craft beers have as much as 200–250 calories per pint, and that’s just for one. Wine has around 120 calories per 5-ounce pour if you can limit it to just a glass. Cocktails mixed with sodas, simple syrups, and tonic waters add up quickly, too. Limiting alcoholic beverages is one of the first steps you can take for successful weight loss.

But wait: The good news is there are a few things (other than water) that you can start sipping that may aid your efforts to shed some pounds. Drinking to promote better hydration, sleep and digestion can also help with weight-loss efforts.

1. Green Tea: Drinking green tea regularly may not only boost your fat-fighting metabolism but may also play a key role in weight maintenance and hunger suppression. Green tea is also brimming with antioxidants and flavonoids that are good for overall health. Drink freshly brewed tea with no added sugar or cream. Bottled store-bought varieties have fewer antioxidants (the concentration decreases the longer tea sits after brewing) and are often pumped full of honey or sugar.

2. Coffee: A 2015 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that participants could do almost 20% more leg presses and 12% more bench presses when they drank 2–3 cups of coffee before their workout. A similar 2011 study found an increase in energy expenditure both before and after exercise in the group that drank coffee before exercise. In addition, coffee positively affects the hormones that help improve blood-sugar regulation. Maintaining stable blood sugar is essential to your well-being, overall fitness, regulating your hormones and plays a role in how much fat your body is able to store and burn. But before you get too excited, I recommend you skip the sugar and heavy cream, the benefits noted above are singular to black coffee, not the mostly sugar and milk-based lattes, frappes, and mochas from Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts, which sell drinks that may contain more than 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar!

3. Kombucha: This fizzy, pleasantly puckery fermented beverage is made by adding a probiotic-rich bacteria to lightly sweetened tea. More and more research is looking into gut health and how it relates to obesity and weight, finding that the millions of bacteria that live in our guts may play a large role by altering the way we store fat, how we balance blood sugar and how we respond to the hormones that make us feel hungry and full. Fueling our gut with beverages and foods that stimulate good bacteria may make losing weight easier than we ever thought possible. Kombucha is readily available in most supermarkets and comes loaded with probiotics, just be sure to look for brands with less than 5 grams sugar per serving.

4. Turmeric Milk Tea: I’ve said it here before: Sleep is essential for more efficient weight loss. Drinking turmeric-steeped warm milk before bed may help you catch more sleep. The brain uses calcium and tryptophan (both of which are found in dairy products) to make sleep-inducing melatonin. Turmeric contains a component called curcumin, which may shrink the size of adipose cells and limit fat accumulation. Curcumin also stimulates antioxidant effects, reduces inflammation and may help relieve anxiety. Research on turmeric is still young, but it certainly can’t hurt to add this warming spice to your nightly routine.

Wish you a great weekend!

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