Losing weight can be a long, arduous task and let’s face it, who has time for that in today's society?! Personally, I’m a mega fan of all things cereal and it will be a cold day in the land of the dead before I give it up for good.
Consequently, I put on a few pounds from time to time because of all of the sugar. A valid price to pay for the sweet, sweet goodness that is sugar puffs doused in dairy products; however, every price must be paid (such is the law of the universe). When it comes time to pay the piper, I’m also a big fan of doing it in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Below is my top 5 list for the best way to lose weight fast, may it serve you well!1. Drop all sugar from your diet
Ironically the most difficult of all the methods, removing sugar from your diet is the most effective way to lose weight. I’m typically not a fan of anecdotal weight loss stories, but I believe this one is appropriate. I knew a fellow in my college years who had a rather…. Rotund physique. He consumed a full 2L of a popular green soda daily. Not weekly, DAILY. He began noticing that even one flight of stairs completely depleted him. It was a turning point in his life, because the next day he gave up soda, cold turkey. Within three months, he had lost approximately 50 pounds. That’s nearly 2 pounds of weight loss per day!
Be wary of hidden sources of sugar. Cereal, ice cream, and soda are obviously full of sugar, but popular products nowadays can be chock full of it. Often, sugar is disguised with alternate labels in an effort to trick you into believing it is healthier. When it comes to losing weight, sugar is sugar is sugar. Some examples include:
- Beet Sugar
- Coconut Sugar
- Agave Nectar/Syrup
- Fruit Juice Concentrate
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Fat Free Yogurt
- Granola Bars
- Dried Cranberries
- BBQ Sauce
- Salad Dressings
- Wine (saving your heart isn’t an excuse, eat raw berries instead!)
2. Drastically increase your water intake
Water is vital for every metabolic process in your body, and it’s almost a certainty that you are just barely consuming enough to get by. Increasing your water intake may seem like it won’t do much at first. Over the long run (a week or so, don’t panic), it will help to reduce inflammation in your system, coincidentally removing excess water from your body, and reducing your body weight and improving that “soft” look your stomach might have.
Water can also reduce cravings. Individuals tend to feel hungry when they are dehydrated, and even experienced dieters can get confused. If you are hungry, try to take stock of the last time you consumed water. And not flavored water! Plain water. The artificial sweeteners can still increase your insulin levels, leading to weight retention.
3. Move your carbohydrates
Obviously vague, but it will become clear! What does breakfast across the world typically include? Bread or cereal. Simple carbohydrates through and through. The issue here is it can greatly reduce your insulin sensitivity. We’ve covered this topic a number of times throughout our blog-o-sphere, but what’s one more time?
After sleeping for 8-10 hours, your body has its greatest insulin sensitivity. This means that even small amounts of simple carbohydrates can send your insulin levels skyrocketing. Insulin is a nutrient storage hormone, and it does not discern between protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Whatever is in your blood, is going to get crammed right into a cell!
Combat this by moving your carbohydrates to later in the day. Post workout is an ideal time as well. Contrary to popular belief, eating carbs after 6:00pm will not magically cause you to gain weight. It’s a terrible lie, much like the idea that you need carbs for breakfast!
4. Increase non-starchy vegetable intake, two-fold
This method can be the most difficult, as most individuals get their vegetable intake from vegetables being baked and slathered in butter or oil. Not much can be said about the benefit of vegetables that you haven’t already heard, so I’ll save you the after school special speech. Instead, I’ll simply list out some of the easiest go-to vegetables. All of these are easy to eat raw, don’t require dressings, and are easily transportable in a lunch bag! • Cucumbers • Carrots • Bell Peppers (red/yellow/orange) • Snow Peas On the other hand, these vegetables should be cooked as their anti-oxidant levels have been to shown to increase after cooking: • Asparagus • Tomatoes
This one seems like it would be top of the list, but we’ve put it at the bottom of the pile for a very good reason: it can backfire, in a BIG way.
When starting a weight loss routine, everyone thinks that they must embark on a Forrest Gump like trek on a treadmill. The issue here is that low intensity cardio has been shown, repeatedly, to be vastly inferior to weight training. It can help reduce weight, mainly through water loss, but it will greatly affect your metabolism and hormone levels. Not in a positive way though.
By not crossing the anaerobic threshold, your body will only consume calories during the exercise. It is criminally inefficient, and obviously not the best way to lose weight. This is a top-5 list, not “kinda sort works, I guess” list. Cardio should be your absolute last resort when trying to lose weight.
Instead, opt for weight training. You will burn a comparable number of calories during training, but will also continue to burn calories afterwards. Building muscle will also increase your metabolic rate, thus improving your calorie deficit without changing your overall food intake.
Long story short, skip the cardio. Just…just don’t.
Three months into 2020 already! How's your health and fitness related resolutions going? Starting a new lifestyle is a roller-coaster that everyone experiences uniquely. For some, a slow gradual start is the way to go. Eliminate junk foods piece by piece. First to go are sugary drinks, then chocolate, then bread, etc. It’s a nice way to wean yourself from a lifetime of poor eating habits.
For others, drastic change is the ONLY change; going to cold turkey, as it were! Not everyone can do it, and after a few days your mind can start playing tricks on you, convincing you that you’re withering away into nothing. To combat such measures, it is useful to make a short-term plan. As such, we’ll discuss an effective methodology to ensure your success. We’ve dubbed it the 14-Day Shock Diet for Weight Loss!
No refined sugar. That bears repeating. Absolutely…no…refined…sugar. It ruins your insulin sensitivity, causes rampant inflammation. And one more time for the folks in the back….NO REFINED SUGAR!
Quadruple your vegetable intake. No, not potatoes and beans! We’re talking non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, etc. All day every day you should be consuming vegetables!
Increase lean protein intake. Lean proteins are drastically lower in calories than their fatty counterparts. Proteins in general can help you feel fuller for longer. This will help satiate your hunger and prevent you from reaching for sugary snacks.
Water. All of it. It is such a vital aspect of your life, and wildly overlooked in the day-to-day occurrences in life. Plan to drink at least a gallon every day. And no, you cannot chug it just a few times. The human body can only process, roughly, 1 liter of fluid an hour. Shoot for 1/3 liter per hour and you should reach your goal of 1 gallon per day (there are approximately 3.8 liters per gallon).
What about carbohydrates? Can you eat them, or should you eliminate them altogether?
Answer: Both. For a number of days, eliminate direct sources of carbohydrates. We clarify “direct” because even broccoli and carrots contain small amounts of carbohydrates. That’s okay, it isn’t going to break the proverbial bank! Further references to vegetables can assume that we’re implying non-starchy.
Don’t worry, we’ll discuss more about how to layer your carbohydrates next.
Putting it all together: Let’s take a look at a daily planner for what these steps would look like. We won’t go into details on the exact amounts simply because trying to plan out a plan for each individual would take months to do! However, we’re confident you can choose foods that you personally enjoy, but will still meet the requirements for our plan.
Days 1-6 & 8-13
Fatty Protein (think eggs!)
Vegetables (two servings)
Lean Protein (x1)
Lean Protein (x1)
Days 7 & 14
Fatty Protein (think eggs!)
Vegetables (two servings)
Lean Protein (x1)
Lean Protein (x1)
So, we’ve come to Day 7 and 14, and we’re allowed to have carbohydrates, yay! What will that look like?
To keep your body from shifting into starvation mode, and to give ourselves a mental break, we’re going to indulge in a large serving of carbohydrates. Feel free to have a large serving of potatoes (white or sweet, it doesn’t matter), oatmeal (not the kind that comes in packets though!), or rice (our favorite is Jasmine). Don’t plan on doing much after this meal as you’ll likely feel very relaxed and comfortable from the surge of serotonin. Contrary to popular belief, Thanksgiving turkey isn’t what makes you tired, it’s all the carbohydrates!
The 14-day shock diet for weight loss is certainly extreme. There is very little fat, and even fewer carbohydrates to help fuel your body. These two weeks are not the time to push yourself to the extremes in the gym, and chances are, your brain will feel foggy and unable to focus. The purpose of this diet isn’t to be a long-term solution, it’s meant to kick-start your healthy lifestyle in the fastest way possible. It will help eliminate your addiction to carbohydrates, improve your insulin sensitivity, and most importantly, get you in the habit of consuming more vegetables (the true key to a sustained, healthy lifestyle).
Healthy foods to eat sounds simple enough at first glance: eat your vegetables, opt for lean meats, skip harmful vegetable oils; however, choosing what to cook for dinner every evening can be a challenge from time to time. Trying to cook nutritiously can add stress and difficulty. It can be all too easy to come home and throw pasta on the stove, or order a pizza. So how can we choose healthy foods to eat that don’t require a Michelin quality chef to be at our beckon call?
New Year Tip: Reduce Hunger Cravings
Diet and Training Coach Extraordinaire
New Years has come and gone, and you’re probably knee deep into your resolution to lose weight. What’s more, is you’re also starting to feel the effects of hunger cravings. Nighttime comes, and you’re suddenly struck with a craving for bread. Not just one slice, we’re talking about car battery sized loaves!
Is this a symptom of improper dieting? Possibly. But more than likely, you’re suffering from the hormone re-balancing associated with dieting. All this clean food is starting to reprogram your bodies ability to regulate two very important hormones:
Leptin and Ghrelin.
Leptin is a hormone released by the fat stored in your body. The more body fat you have, the higher your leptin levels. These higher levels signal your body to stop making the hunger cravings hormone, Ghrelin. But here’s the rub…
If you have been carrying excess amounts of body fat for too long, your body has desensitized to Leptin signals to reduce hunger cravings . This means that even though you are overweight, you still feel hunger. Now, as you begin to lose body fat, you lower the amount of leptin in your system. So not only are you decreasing the leptin in your system, but you are also still desensitized to it. This causes a two-front attack on your hunger. A perfect storm of insensitivity to leptin and increased ghrelin release from the lowered leptin amounts. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the sheer willpower to overcome these hunger hormones every time they pop up. What can we do?
We fight back with other tools!
Tools such as broccoli, salad, peppers, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers. Any type of low-calorie vegetable. BAM!
Thought there was a hidden secret didn’t you?? Well I have some bad news champ, there isn’t. Your mother always said to eat your vegetables, and now I’m telling you to as well.
Vegetables are your best weapon against the hunger battle. They’re low calorie, packed full of vitamins and minerals, and fiber…heaps of it. Fiber will keep you full, and help to quell the onslaught of Ghrelin coursing through your system. After a few weeks, your body will begin to normalize and become Leptin sensitive.
Not only will you feel less hungry, but your body will receive the nutrients vital to a proper digestive system. You’ll begin to process food more efficiently, which means the food that you ARE consuming, will help you train better, focus more, and live longer.
Don’t get me wrong, going from a diet of mostly processed foods like cereal, bread, and chicken fingers (you know who you are, don’t lie to yourself!) is difficult. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Be an adult, and do what you need to do to improve your standard of health. I promise, after it’s all said and done, you’ll never be able to go back to eating the junk food you used to!
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No, we’re not talking about that kind of weekend you don’t tell your S/O about when you’re out of town. Instead, we are talking about avoiding a weekend where you “break” and eat nothing but fried dough and Hostess ice cream. Ye,s Hostess now makes ice cream, but let’s stay on point. Follow the diet-friendly tips I have provided below, stay strong, keep your goals in sight and you just might make it through the holiday weekend without going bananas at the family cookout.
1) Avoid Starchy Carbs
My friends, it is time for you to know the truth, just because a food has “salad” in the name does not mean it is healthy for you. With that said, one would want to avoid potato salad and pasta salad if one would prefer to remain healthy. Another temptress waiting on the wings of that kitchen table is the always inviting casserole. Of course, casserole just means a mixture of ingredients baked together into a dish and scooped onto a plate, so it is not inherently bad for you. But the large majority of casserole recipes call for heavy cream, cheese, potatoes, etc. which are the waist line’s biggest enemy. Of course, you will also want to avoid the more commonly known bad guys like fries, chips, or really anything fried in general.
If you are still looking to fill your plate without stretching your pants you should instead look for the greener side, the veggie tray. Take advantage of this and stay light on the veggie dip. Another good replacement is complex carbs like rice. I can’t say I have ever seen rice at a cookout but I am sure you are always welcome to bring a dish, so think about planning your options.
Be sure to check out our Happy & Healthy guide for more info!
2) Avoid Sweets and Sugary Drinks
Almost always will there be that lazy couple who brings a box of cookies for the party and calls it a contribution. They would almost go unnoticed they were not so sharply contrasted by the overachiever's homemade cake pops placed just next to the circular disks of preservatives and sugar. My friends, you are stronger and smart than the manimals that will gorge themselves on these treats while they still have a mouth full of grandma’s mac n’cheese. Don’t take the bait.
Also be aware that others will likely not be as health conscious as you are. Thus, the drinks situation will likely be alcohol (to be addressed later) and soda. Soda is a no go. Even diet soda has been shown to cause fat cells to pool around the midsection for that spare tire we struggle to remove.
Some of the things we like to do instead is bring a fruit salad, berry melody, etc. to the shindig. This way you get your sweet fix without all the processed sugar and empty calories. As for drinks, unsweet tea is easy to make and keep in a tumbler. So is water with a lemon-lime, cucumber, or fruit cocktail floating in it. Lemon water is a personal favorite. It is cool, tastes great, and the taste it leaves is almost a sweet tooth killer.
3) Limit Sodium Intake
Salty snacks are usually filled with the 3 no-no’s: fried carbs in fatty oil and sprinkled with salt. These aromatic and salty treats reek havoc on our bodies. But they are undoubtedly a staple at most annual gatherings. Try to avoid them and replace that void with a sampling from the veggie tray or even consider bringing your own healthy trail mix to the party.
4) Avoid Processed Fatty Meats
If you are going to a grill/cookout the centerpiece is almost always fatty meats. It is the primal ego inside of us that loves tearing into a juicy burger, brawt, mett, hotdog, sausage, or whatever your uncle brought that looks he found it in the gutter but claims it won a competition “back in the day.” But you have to be smarter than that primal voice inside and realize this isn’t the right way to eat.
Never fear I am not here to say all meat is bad or that the grill isn’t your friend. So instead of these fatty meats look for a healthier option like chicken, turkey, or grilled fish. Tofu isn’t a bad way to go either if you have a healthy way to flavor that bad boy. Not to mention lean sirloin or for the fancier among us, filet.
Take a look at our Build Muscle guide for more protein tips for better gains!
I’ll keep this brief, no alcohol. Other than being riddled with sugars (brown liquors) and plenty of hidden carbs (clear liquors) alcohol can also chemically cause issues with your training and more importantly, your gains. It has also been known to process first sticking your other food in the back of the line, putting it at risk for additional fat storage. So, if you are so determined to take part in some libations that evening try a light beer or a single glass of red wine. Either way be safe and drive safe.
From everyone here at Uprise Nutrition, we would like the wish everyone a safe, healthy, and fun weekend. Be sure to use the promo code "Remember10" for $10 off when you spend $30 or more.
All in all, let's not forget what this holiday is really about, our fallen friends and family in the armed forces. From everyone at Uprise Nurition we would like to thank all the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we all the freedom to pursue what we love to do. Thank you.