What you need to know about carb cycling

carb cycling picHey everybody!

I have some informations for you today, about a diet plan called carb cycling, which is one of the most effective diets used by body builders and fitness personalities. This article may be a little longer than other articles I used to write, but trust me it worth your time.

Carb Cycling is a low/no-carbohydrate diet with intermittent periods of high or moderate carbohydrate consumption.

Most people have the misconception that consuming low carbs on a daily basis for long periods of time is good for them. You cannot eat that way forever. Your body needs carbs for its daily functions. They deplete your energy and strength and are not the best method when attempting to lose body fat and retain muscle.

There are also those individuals who preach high carb diets. While high carb diets help to speed your metabolism, they are not ideal for weight-loss or reduction of body fat as we know, for weight loss the body needs to be in a  calorie deficit.

This is where carb-cycling comes in. Carb cycling is an in between type method that will give you the benefits of both a low and high carb diet which allows you to hold on to the muscle you already have and shed body fat.

This type of diet will also help you maintain your sanity, strength, and energy.

So let’s see how this diet works

Carb cycling works by giving your body the fuel it needs to increase your metabolism and create a calorie deficit to increase fat loss.

There are typically three types of days when carb cycling:
high-carb days
low-carb days
no-carb days.

These days are rotating between them.

Generally the most common carb cycling approach used is where you will place higher carbohydrate days on your heaviest training days and then lower carb days on off/low-intensity training days. This plan is usually based on eating 5 smaller meals per day, 3 meals and 2 snacks (healthy ones)

In order to lose weight, our bodies need the right combination of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

Here’s why:

  • Protein builds and maintains muscles and these muscles burn calories like. Protein also breaks down more slowly than carbs and fat, which burns even more calories and helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs, and they come in healthy versions (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and not-so-healthy versions (cakes, cookies, soda, doughnuts, candy, and many processed foods).  Healthy carbs are also very important for burning calories, and since they break down more slowly than those not-so-healthy carbs, they keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady
  • Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) eaten in moderation help the development and function of your eyes and brain and help prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and arthritis. Healthy fats also help keep your energy levels steady and keep you from feeling hungry.

So why do we alternate high-carb and low-carb days in carb cycling?

On high-carb days you’re stocking your calorie-burning furnace so that on low-carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! So it tricks your metabolism into burning a lot of calories, even on those low-carb days. It’s an amazing and well-proven process.

Occasionally, you may feel hungry on your Low Carb days. This is because you’re avoiding starchy carbohydrates which fill you up fast and contain a lot of calories.

In these cases you can add more protein and vegetables to your meal. There’s no harm in eating an extra chicken breast or more salad.

Here is the list of the approved carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Oats (Slow Cooked Preferred)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spelt whole grain
  • Starchy Veggies (corn, peas, etc.)
  • Beans/Legumes

Approved Yet Limited Carbohydrates

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Whole grain breads, pitas, etc.

Approved Lean Protein Sources (A)

  • Chicken (white meat)
  • Turkey (white meat)
  • Tuna Fish (can), natural, no oil
  • Fish (flounder, tuna, salmon, shark)
  • Shellfish (all types)
  • Protein (preferably whey post workout, and casein before bed; must be low-carb)
  • Lean beef (including lean cuts of steak)
  • Cottage Cheese (0 or 1% fat)
  • Egg whites (egg beaters)

Approved Higher-Fat Protein Sources (B)

  • Chicken (dark meat)
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Eggs (half whites, half whole eggs)
  • Steak and other meats
  • Cottage Cheese (Whole Milk)

Fat Sources

  • Almonds, wallnuts, nuts, peanuts (or nuts natural butter)
  • Flax Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Olive Oil

Water Consumption
In short, you can never have enough. The ten 8-ounce glasses per day recommendation is the minimum. You should drink at least a gallon (3.5-4 liter) per day

Here is a weekly cycle that should work nicely for most:

Monday = No Carb
Tuesday = Low Carb
Wednesday = High Carb
Thursday = No Carb
Friday = Low carb
Saturday = High Carb
Sunday = Low Carb

The carb cycling diet is easy to maintain, and because you cycle on and off carbs, the body does not plateau like it would on a prolonged low carbohydrate diet.

Carb cycling speeds up metabolism and gets your body to efficiently use up fuel while sustaining muscle and burning off body fat! Use a carb cycling diet along with a consistent workout plan!

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a beutiful day! 🙂

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7 things that slow down your metabolism

sittingAccording to the dictionary, metabolism is a chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that is necessary for the maintenance of life.

We all know people who can eat all day and not gain a single pound. These people have good — or fast — metabolisms. Then there are the people that have one unhealthy meal and have to run for a week straight to burn it all off. These are people that tend to have a slower metabolic rate.

The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. And just like there are ways to speed it up—by working out, for instance—certain habits can also slow it down.

Metabolic rate is also affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics.

If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes:

1. Eating too late in the morning

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don’t eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you’re trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermo genesis that turns the food you eat into energy. So choose a high-protein breakfast. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.

2. Not eating enough

It is important to snack often and never miss a main meal. As stated before, getting your body in a proper eating schedule is critical for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Also, when you skip out on meals, your body puts itself into “starvation mode”, which slows your metabolic rate to conserve any of the energy it has. This is why people who try to lose weight by not eating don’t have very much success.

3. Not exercising

Research shows that you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who work out during other times of the day. If you’re planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals

4. Sitting Too Long

It takes only 20 minutes in any fixed position to inhibit your metabolism, according to Carrie Schmitz, an ergonomic research manager. A new study has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death regardless of physical activity.

5. Dehydration

All of your body’s cellular processes, including metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated, you could burn up to 2 percent fewer calories, according to researchers.

6. A Weird Eating Schedule

Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals. So eat frequent, consistently sized meals.

7. Not getting enough sleep

People who sleep less move less the next day, which means they burn fewer calories. Sleep deprivation actually reduces the amount of energy your body uses at rest. Stay away from alcohol, fatty foods, coffee and chocolate at least 2 hours before bedtime.

So here are 7 things that you should avoid, if you want to loose weight, or if you just want to maintain your healthy weight.

Everybody can fall out of the wagon once or twice, by not sleeping enough or, sitting to much at the office because of work. So just try to compensate it, if you are sitting all day, you really need to work out after the office hours. I really think I am blessed with a great metabolism, I can eat a lot 🙂 BUT I also work out 5 times a week, and I try to eat healthy!

 Have a nice day my dears! :*

15 Simple, Effective Tips for Losing Weight

IMG_9409-bwHello everybody!

How are you today? For me this weekend is about relaxing and staying inside. Outside is starting to be cold, I think winter is officially here.

At this time of the year, with the holidays and vacations everybody is tempted to eat more, drink more.

So today I have for you a list of some simple and effective tips on how to lose weight or how not to gain weight 🙂

Here is the list:

  1. Low fat foods aren’t guaranteed to make you lose weight – you also have to look at the total number of calories you consume over the course of a day.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast. Eating a meal first thing means consuming 5% fewer calories throughout the day, American researchers have found.
  3. Eat goat’s cheese instead of regular cheese. It contains 40 per cent fewer calories than the cheese made from cow’s milk.
  4. Don’t confuse thirst and hunger. Drink a glass of water when you feel cravings.
  5. If you decide to eat nuts for a snack, then you should select nuts in their shells, including walnuts and peanuts. It will take a longer time to peel off the shells, this will lead to less food consumption.
  6.  Eat muesli two hours before working out to boost fat burning while you train. Slow to digest, muesli takes longer to get through your system, so is less likely to be turned into fat and still gives you a good energy boost.
  7. Chew gum. Sometimes just chewing something with negligible calories in it is all it takes. If you can handle it, chew a piece of gum for one hour. Remember to opt for the sugar-free variety.
  8. On nutritional labels, look for words such as fruit juice concentrate, honey, golden syrup, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, palm sugar, maltose and corn syrup. Why? They’re all forms of sugar.
  9. Find exercise that you enjoy doing. If you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it.
  10. Do not eat three large meals every day. You can easily take in too many calories, resulting in more difficult weight loss. Eat five or six small meals instead
  11. Chewing your food thoroughly will not only make digestion easier, but will allow your body time to recognize when it is actually full, this preventing overeating.
  12. Getting up and away from your desk at work for five minutes every hour will burn 200 calories a day!
  13. Do not skip meals. Your body will revert to starvation mode and store even the tiniest amount of fat content in what you subsequently eat, causing you to slow down your metabolism and put on weight
  14. Start eating chili pepper sauce. These spicy peppers are highly flavourful, and they also give your metabolism a jump-start. As a result, your body will be able to burn more calories. Chili pepper can be used on many foods, including poultry dishes and eggs.
  15. Workout while you are on the phone. Do not sit down when you are having a phone conversation; walk around when doing it. Just get your body moving, and you’d be surprised at how much those calories will add up.

What do you think of these tips? are they helping you? I think yes 🙂

Comment down below.

Have a great day! :*

I was nominated for the Sunshine Award

sunshine-award1Hello my dear readers!

 I am so happy, because last week I was nominated for the Sunshine award by the sweet Abby Carson from Tohealthblog: Welcome to Abby’s Kitchen.  Check out her blog, she is such a sweet girl, she has amazing recipes and very nice photos.

I feel so honoured and grateful and I thank you  Abby, you are too kind.

The fun part about these awards is that you can discover other interesting blogs and bloggers. Everybody who receives an award like this has to nominate other 10 blogs that she/ he appreciates and loves.

Speaking about nominations I would like to pass this award to the following 10 amazing, inspiring and wonderful bloggers, I love all of your blogs and this award just shows my appreciation! Congrats to you all!

For the nominees: Here are the rules for the Sunshine Award, but as always, participation is of course voluntary  🙂

1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Answer the same 10 questions given.
4 Nominate up to 10 blogs for the award, a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

My response to the 10 questions:

  • ·         Where would you most likely travel to?

I really love to travel, every year I visit 2-3 places where I have never been before. I adore the beach so for me the sea/ ocean is a priority. I really would like to visit The Maldives, I have seen so many beautiful pictures and documentaries about this place, I really can imagine myself there right now. The second one on my list would be the Hidden Beach in the Marieta Islands near Porto Vallarta , Mexico. If you did not hear about this magical place ( but I’m sure you did) just google it, you will be fascinated for sure. I would love to visit also the amazing beach on the Phi Phi Island in Thailand and my list could go on and on and on…so I better stop right here.

  • ·         Do you have a sweet tooth?

Yes I have, I adore to eat sweet things. Lately I discovered lots of healthy raw cake recipes, so stay tuned, cause I will make some myself.

  • ·         What motivates you to keep blogging?

Definitely my readers. When I see that I inspire someone with my recipes or workouts or health tips, it makes me so happy and motivated. I am so happy that I can help/motivate someone to have a better life, so if you want to make me happy, just send me your feedback, it’s that easy 🙂

  • ·         Who is your favourite comedian?

 I love to laugh, I like funny movies and comedies. I also like stand up comedies (the good ones) but I can’t really name anybody in a special way.

  • ·         What is your favourite outdoor activity?

As you know I’m a sporty girl, so I like everything that involves moving. Like hiking, bike riding, snowboarding, sand volleyball, quad driving, roller skating and last but not least I love roller coasters and amusement parks.

  • ·         Who was your favourite teacher and why?

In high school I loved the world literature teacher, I liked her style of teaching, her personality and her explanations. In University I did not have any special teachers.

  • ·         Do you own any pets? 

Yes I do. I have a 13 year old cocker spaniel, his name is Jimmy. I adore him, he is a real alpha male dog, beautiful and with a strong personality. I will make a post about him some day 🙂

  • ·         Most embarrassing moment in your life?

Well….I have some of those, but I will tell you about the funniest one. Sometimes I can be very clumsy, so once I entered in a very very expensive shop, I slipped and fell down right in the middle of the store, of course everybody was looking…. embarrassing enough? I think so!

  • ·         Where are you from?

I am from eastern Europe, Romania, specifically from Transylvania….yeah I know what you are thinking now, Yes this is the country of Dracula :)))

So that’s it, this was really fun! Now you know me a little bit better. 

Have a great day everybody and don’t forget to check out all these wonderful bloggers I mentioned. 

See you soon! :*

 

How to stay positive, happy and motivated

PhotoGrid_1383826468256Hello my dear readers!

Today I’m going to write about positivity and some little tips on how to stay motivated in your everyday life!

These tips can help you to become more organized, to achieve your goals easier and to be a happy person!

  1. My first tip is to set goals for yourself. Try to vision how you want your life to be. You can write down your goals on a paper, you can create a vision board with your goals and pictures on it, like places where you want to travel, persons who you like or who would love to meet, things that you want to own, or anything you really really want to achieve. Put this board where you can see it and try to do something, every single day that helps you to get closer to these dreams and goals. This is a great way to keep yourself focused. Another thing is to appreciate all the things you have, and to be thankful for those.
  2.  The next tip is to surround yourself with positivity. Don’t let negative thoughts get in your head and stay there. What I really like to do is read inspirational, motivational quotes. You can make a board with your favorite quotes and every time you see it, you will be inspired. Have your favorite things around you, everything that makes you happy, if you have negative people around you, try to stay away from them. Try to be positive, because as “they” say positivity attracts more positivity, so this may be true 🙂
  3. Try to spend more time doing the things you are passionate about. This could be cooking, photography, hiking, architecture or any kind of sport, whatever it is try to spend more time doing those things. Take a class, learn new things, practice your hobby. You will feel happier more content and this will have a positive affect on you and the people around you.
  4. Tip number four is to be organized, list the things you look forward to the next day, month or next year. Plan your future. Plan a movie night; plan a trip, an appointment to a massage, a dinner party with your friends, a weekend spa. These things are really good in keeping you happy. In life you want to be able to look forward to things. Like you are planning a trip, you are so excited about those things, so when you achieve those things you feel so content because you did that.
  5. My fifth tip is to exercise, yes I know it sounds like a cliché, but exercise is so vital. It keeps your body and mind healthy, it helps you to get rid of the toxins, to have a clear mind, it makes you think better. Exercising does not mean you have to spend hours in a gym on a treadmill, you can go for a jog in a park, you can walk your dog, stay active, play tennis, go to a yoga class or meditate. If you are not active you feel tired and lazy and lifeless, so please be active on a daily basis!
  6. My sixth tip for a healthy happy life is meditation. Just lie down, close your eyes and meditate. For the beginning try just 10-20 or 30 minutes, to clear your mind of everything. You can meditate to the music you like, I actually have a great tip for you, I really like to meditate on Kelly Howell guided meditation – it is so calming and relaxing, you really should try it. You will feel like a new born person.
  7. Tip nr. 7 is to nourish yourself well. Nutrition is so important. Put a little effort and attention on what you are eating and drinking. You have to feel good inside to glow outside too. If you eat clean, without processed foods and chemicals and sugars, drink lots of water, you feel good, your skin is better, your hair is better and your mood is better. It is so important to feel good in your own skin, to love your body. It gives you confidence and a happier you 🙂

These are my 7 most important things at the moment, I could go on and on and have a list of 100 things that makes your life better, but I will stop right here 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed this little article and I also hope that when you will feel the need for a little motivation, you will try these tips.

Have a great day, and don’t forget “Dreams don’t work unless you do” 🙂

See you soon! :*