Low-carb doesn’t have to be boring.

As mentioned in last week’s Greenville gym post, there are many creative low-carb substitutes for carb-heavy classics.

Rest assured, you don’t have to vow to ban bread from your diet for the rest of your existence. It’s all about balance. Flexible dieting is the most sustainable dieting route, meaning that you should structure in “bad” eating bouts to satisfy carb cravings. Suffice it to say, cheat day is a must!

Non-cheat days, however, stick to structured, mindful eating. This doesn’t mean Plain Jane eating. You can still enjoy your favorite, flavor-packed meals, but with a waistline-friendly twist!

  1. Swap cauliflower for mash potatoes.
    Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower. Add some butter or a butter substitute (ghee is highly recommended!). Add a little sea salt. Then, puree in a food processor or blender. To make it even better, try adding roasted garlic. Yum!
  2. Swap squash for hash browns.
    Breakfast isn’t breakfast without this classic side dish. Summer squash (the football-shaped yellow kind) mocks the taste of potatoes when cooked, but is light on the carbs. Grate the squash, mix in an egg as a binder, shape into patties, and fry them in olive oil.
  3. Swap oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix.
    Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whip up in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake. Bam!
  4. Swap mixed vegetables and/or black beans for pasta salad.
    Try black beans (or other legumes), diced tomatoes, and chunks of ham, tuna, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs for a protein rich, carb-light pasta salad rendition.
  5. Swap kale chips for ALL chips.
    There’s a plethora of kale chip recipes out there. Satisfy the craving for something crisp and crunchy with this healthy, nutrient-rich snack.

What are your favorite low-carb substitutes?

Need help finding a suitable, balanced diet plan? Greenville health club offers nutritional and weight loss counseling from certified experts that can help you create a complete nutrition program to complement your Greenville athletic club fitness and weight loss goals.

Most people don’t go low- or slow-carb because they don’t know how to go low- or slow-carb. People are unaware of the creative food options and alternatives, which are – better believe it – plentiful! Then, there’s the follow-up objection and it has to do with taste. People are scared that in giving up carb-heavy foods they’re giving up good tasting foods as well.

News flash: That’s so not the case. Just because you go low- or slow-carb doesn’t mean you have to give up on flavorful, substance-packed foods.

All that’s required of you is…one word: awareness.

If you want to shed excess fat and see the numbers on the scale take a meaningful drop, here’s the reality: carbs (not fats) are the mean, fat-producing culprits; specifically, high glycemic carbs. All those breaded, sweetened, and fried delights are the source of your health, fitness, and weight-maintaining demise. It doesn’t matter how much you workout at the Greenville athletic club. If you’re consuming these foods on the regular, you aren’t setting yourself up for the best results.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Start cutting these culprits from your diet, but in moderation of course. Going cold turkey is never the solution. Everyone is deserving of a cheat day. Saturday, otherwise known as Faturday, is a wonderful opportunity to take a rest day from the Greenville health center and enjoy your fill of these fatty foods.

On non-cheat days, however, it serves you to stick to a structured, balanced diet alongside your typical Greenville sports club routine. This means lots of protein, lots of good fats, lots of water (hydration is so, so vital), lots of leafy greens, and lots of low glycemic carbs (beans, berries, broccoli, etc.). But don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out some of your staple week-day meals. You can still enjoy your burgers, tacos, and french fries…but with a low-carb friendly twist!

Here’s how. Turn to these 5 low-carb substitutes to satisfy classic cravings.

  1. Swap leafy greens for taco shells. Just about any sandwich can be wrapped up in a lettuce wrap to cut out carb-laden bread or shells. It’s an easy alternative and way more nutrient dense!
  2. Swap portobello mushrooms for hamburger buns. Get your protein fix, plus a hefty dose of  potassium courtesy of the mushrooms.
  3. Swap sliced eggplant for crackers/bread. This is great for spreads, hummus – you name it!
  4. Swap butternut squash, carrots, and roasted turnips for french fries. Bet you haven’t heard of this awesome trick! Get your crunchy cravings satisfied without consequences to your waistline. Suggestion: Pair these with your portobello hamburger for a filling, low-carb meal.
  5. Swap zucchini or eggplant for pasta. Craving lasagna? Spaghetti? Use zucchini or eggplant for lasagna or spiralized zucchini for noodles.

Stay tuned for next week’s Greenville gym post where we’ll offer 5 additional creative, yummy alternatives to classic, carb-heavy foods.

Fats have been given an undeserved bad reputation. But the truth is, they aren’t all bad. In fact, some fats are not only health-promoting, but absolutely essential for your health and well-being. So, if the number on your scale is up, don’t blame fat. Blame the types of fat you’re consuming (and the all-too-tempting high-glycemic carbs).


  1. Myth: All fats are created equal.
    Fact: Not true. Trans fats and some saturated fats are bad for you because they increase cholesterol levels and heart disease risks. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, however, are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing heart disease risks.
  2. Myth: Lowering the amount of fat you eat = better health.
    Fact: The combination of fats that you eat, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what counts when it comes to your cholesterol levels and overall health. The key is simply this: eat more good fats and less bad fats.
  3. Myth: Fat-free foods = healthy foods.
    Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your scale’s reading. Many fat-free foods are incredibly high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories: the culprits of weight gain.
  4. Myth: Low-fat diet = weight loss.
    Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, paralleling the low-fat diet trend. Hmmm. That should tell you something. Cutting calories and steering clear of sugary, processed foods is the recipe for weight loss. Fats can even help the weight loss process, as they are more filling and substantial and thus, have the power to curb carb cravings and prevent overeating.
  5. Myth: All body fat is created equal.
    Fact: Where your fat accumulates matters. The health risks are greater if you tend to accumulate fat around your abdomen rather than the hips and thighs. This is because a lot of belly fat is stored deep below the skin surrounding the abdominal organs and liver, and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Don’t know your good fats from your bad fats? Greenville gym offers nutritional and weight loss counseling to help you develop healthy meal plans for fitness success. Connect with one of Greenville health center’s certified experts to create a nutrition program to complement your Greenville athletic club fitness and weight loss goals.

It’s not just a simple, soothing drink. Regularly sipping on warm water and lemon every morning boasts many health benefits that are just too good and plentiful to overlook.

Warm Lemon Water Benefits: 

  1. Immune System Booster.
    Lemons, being chock-full of Vitamin C and potassium, are great for beating colds and activating brain and nerve functions that assist in controlling blood pressure.
  2. pH Neutralizer.
    The body prefers to maintain a more alkaline (basic) environment. Contrary to what you might think, lemons create an alkaline environment once metabolized and inside of the body. Yes, they taste acidic, but once inside, they undergo a metabolic process rendering a more alkaline body – an essential component of good health.
  3. Appetite Suppressant.
    Are you trying to lose weight to support your goals at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club? Lemons, being high in pectin fiber, help to ward off cravings. Also, studies suggest that people who keep a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
  4. Digestive Aid/Cleanser.
    Lemon juice is a diuretic, meaning it increases the rate of urination in the body, thus flushing out unwanted materials and trapped toxins at a quicker rate. This keeps your urinary tract in good shape.
  5. Skin Booster.  
    Vitamin C helps reduce wrinkles and blemishes. Plus, lemon water releases toxins from the blood which helps keep your skin healthy and glowing.
  6. Hydrating.
    Lemon water (being mostly water) keeps dehydration and adrenal fatigue in check. When your body is dehydrated, or incredibly dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) things can get messy, including toxic buildup, stress, constipation, trouble sleeping, low energy, depression – you name it. Keep your adrenals happy and hydrated to better regulate your stress response. Stay energized and balanced so you can keep on keepin’ on at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville sports club.
  7. Natural Breath Freshener.
    Alongside lemony fresh breath, lemons have been known to help ease the symptoms of tooth pain and gingivitis!
  8. Healing.
    The abundance of vitamin C in lemons promotes wound healing. Vitamin C helps keep bones, connective tissue, and cartilage healthy. What’s more, vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, vitamin C is an essential component of good health and recovery from any stress and/or injury incurred in your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym workouts.

To create this lemon drink yourself, simply fill up a mug with hot water and squeeze ½ lemon into the water.

Put back this cup of goodness to support your day and your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club. Enjoy!

Pu-erh tea has been touted for many years as the ultimate diet tea. Also, it has been celebrated for its many potential health benefits:

  1. Cardiovascular protection. The tea is thought to protect the heart and blood vessels due to its high level of antioxidants. Pu-erh is believed to reduce arteriosclerosis, helping to prevent strokes.
  2. Enhanced immunity. Due to its high level of antioxidants, Pu-erh may help fight cancer and promote cell health.
  3. Lowers cholesterol. Pu-erh contains small amounts of a chemical called lovastatin. Lovastatin is a prescription medicine used for lowering cholesterol.
  4. Enhanced awareness. Pu-erh tea contains caffeine, which helps to sharpen concentration when consumed throughout the day.
  5. Lowers blood sugar levels significantly. For this reason, Pu-erh may help to prevent diabetes.
  6. Anti-inflammatory properties. Pu-erh contains the amino acid GABA, which may help to alleviate arthritis, asthma, and arteriosclerosis. The chemical theophylline, which is naturally occurring in tea leaves, is a key component in some asthma medications.
  7. Boosts digestion.
  8. Promotes weight loss.
  9. Opens the meridians (energy centers). In Chinese medicine, Pu-erh is said to “warm the middle burner” (the spleen and stomach) and promote “blood cleansing” and digestion. For these reasons, the tea is regularly consumed after heavy meals or used as a hangover curative/preventative.

To really reap the benefits of Pu-erh tea, it is believed that you should adhere to the following guidelines when it comes to your exercises at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym and beyond.

  1. Eat clean. Your diet should support your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club. Eat healthy foods that enhance your energy and make you strong. Eat three balanced meals per day. Follow up your meals with a cup of Pu-erh to soothe your stomach and boost digestion.
  2. No strenuous exercise post-meals. Wait a couple of hours before hitting the the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health center after you eat. Strenuous exercise after eating any food will get in the way of proper digestion. Also, the health benefits of Pu-erh will not be properly performed.
  3. Exercise properly. Don’t exhaust your energy by exercising to excess at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club. Excess exercise will drain your energy, and cause your body to secrete acid. Hence, you will feel tired. At this time, you can fortunately consume alkaline foods to balance your body’s pH, such as Pu-erh tea.



Herbs can be powerful weight-loss catalysts when incorporated into a regular, well-balanced diet. Many herbs serve as metabolism and energy boosters, detoxifying agents, and also provide enhanced flavor to your foods.

While herbs can definitely assist the weight-loss process, they only do so when combined with a healthy lifestyle complete with good dietary and exercise habits. Herbs alone will do you no good. You gotta keep up with your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym workouts and keep fueling your body with only the best to reap the benefits of these powerful supplements.

1. Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon stabilizes and regulates your blood sugar. It slows down the absorption of food so that you feel full for extended periods of time with the same amount of, or fewer, calories.
  • It adds a sweetness to foods, which can help you to ward off cravings.
  • It moves fat from the liver so that your body can use it for energy. This can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
  • It normalizes the burning and digestion of fat (mustard, black pepper, and cayenne also do this, so incorporate these into your cooking as well!)

2. Garcinia (Garcinia cambogia)

  • This berry serves as an appetite suppressant and prevents the body from producing and holding onto fat.

3. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

  • This is an adaptogen herb, meaning it helps the body adapt to the stress of change – both physically and mentally (perhaps a new job, or a new workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club).
  • Ginseng allows you greater access to stored energy, making you less tired and, thus, more likely to commit to a new activity, such as Greenville yoga classes, weightlifting, etc.

For more nutritional guidance, consult our knowledgeable personal trainers at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health center. As always, before you begin taking any herbal supplements, it’s best to consult your doctor.

These rules are simple, but not easy. Simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain is pretty straightforward, though it requires some serious lifestyle changes that aren’t always easy to implement. You really have to want to change. You really have to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle, following these parameters:

  1. Eat clean 90% of the time. Keep your carbohydrate consumption low. Only consume processed carbohydrates for your designated cheat days or cheat meals. On normal days, opt for lots of vegetables, lean meats, and legumes, preferably organic.
  2. Don’t shy again from strength training. Cardio is not the answer to gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously. So, get out of your cardio comfort zone if you’re in one at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Get into a solid strength-training regimen. Start getting into big, strength-enhancing movements like squatting or deadlifting, pull-ups, pushups, overhead presses, and a variety of core exercises. Let that be your focus combined with some occasional cardio workouts. For cardio, sprinkle in interval training instead of steady state cardio. For example, do some sprints, which will really get those glute muscles strong and sculpted.
  3. Be mindful of your carb intake. Your body can handle carbs more effectively post-workout. To stay lean or work towards a lean physique, get those carbs in after a powerful workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club.
  4. Discover and do away with intolerant foods. You know you are intolerant to particular foods when they induce symptoms like bloating, gas, stomach pains, etc. anywhere up to 24 hours post-consumption. Typical foods to avoid: wheat and milk. Other foods may not be so obvious. To figure it out, try an elimination diet. Cut certain things out of your diet for one to two weeks and review the results. If you feel better, that thing was probably causing some issues. If you feel no different, it’s likely something else.
  5. Try a pilates or Greenville yoga class. Pilates and yoga are practices that cultivate a lot of strength, especially deep core strength. Plus, these forms of exercise enhance body intelligence and awareness, which is especially important for weight lifting.

Sometimes it’s nice to give your body a little break…a break from food. I’m not talking fasting. I’m talking feasting: juice feasting.

Juice feasting, done mindfully, can be incredibly cleansing in mind and body. Feast on only the finest fresh, organic fruits and veggies to increase your supply of greens and their healing properties. By consuming fresh pressed juices you really boost your intake of nutrients, especially alkalizing minerals. Also, the lack of fiber in the juice slows your metabolism, allowing your body to use its energy to cleanse rather than digest.

How long you juice feast is up to you. A standard, manageable time-frame is usually about 4-6 days. Sure, you’ll be hungry. Yes, you’ll experience cravings. However, this shouldn’t be too painful or overwhelming if you are consuming enough juice. Also, it’s wise to start tapering off your caloric intake a few days prior to the feast so that the shock to your system isn’t too intense.

If you take on a juice feast to lose weight, you might be disappointed. You will shed some pounds, but it will mostly be water weight. Once you take on your regular diet, the pounds will surely return. So, weight loss isn’t necessarily a sustained result of a juice feasting protocol. Juicing could, however, be approached as a starting block or catalyst to a weight loss program.

Admittedly, there’s a lot of debate on juice fasting/feasting/cleansing. Some people swear by it. Some people deem it insane. It’s a popular, relentlessly discussed topic.

That being said, it’s important to do your own research and realize that what works for one juice feaster won’t necessarily work for you. Everyone is different. Your body may respond very differently to a juice feast than another body. So, keep that in mind. Proceed with caution. Don’t be an extremist. Don’t have too high of expectations. Just see how it goes.

What’s more, it’s very important to back off on physical exertion during a feast. Your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym workouts should be less intense. Light exercise, such as walking or a Greenville gym yoga class, is ideal during juice feasting periods.


There is a cardio craze going on out there (especially for women) and it needs to stop…or at least hugely subside. Excess gym cardio is not the answer to sustainable fat loss. Excess gym cardio is not the way to burn off all of those weekend delights and indulgences. Excess gym cardio is not the way to a slimmer, fitter, and healthier you.

Okay, I’m not dissing cardio altogether here. I’m just saying it’s over-emphasized as a fat loss dynamo, when in reality, it’s really not so. Cardio in moderation is just fine. Dedicating yourself to it likes it’s a part-time job is not.

Here’s why:

  1. Too much cardio can impair the production of the thyroid hormone T3 and its effectiveness and metabolism. This has been shown to lead to a potential hypothyroid condition. Yikes.
  2. Running on a regular basis tricks your body into survival mode. Your body views all of this consistent running as serious stress on the body. To preserve itself, it will change the way it releases fat cells overtime. In fact, it will stop releasing them altogether (its way of conserving energy). It will accumulate them making it incredibly difficult to burn fat. Where does the body take its energy from, then? Keep reading.
  3. Muscle. Too much steady-state cardio actually initiates the loss of muscle, which triggers a bone density decrease and the loss of strength. Not good.
  4. Another thing: Frequenting the treadmill is basically asking for a chronic injury to go down. Because the belt is propelled by itself, you don’t actively engage your posterior chain (hammies, glutes) that would normally be needed to “pull” the ground in front of you. Hence, you get over developed quads, which causes an imbalance in the body. Treadmills should be used in moderation.

Release yourself from the confines of excess gym cardio. Go lift some weights next time you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Go practice some Greenville yoga. Build strength. Eat a healthy, wholesome diet. Consider these health and fitness initiatives your main priorities. Cardio should be an infrequent, short side note.

Fitness, health, and nutrition experts and enthusiasts consistently claim that water boosts fat loss. But does it really? And if it does, how does this process work?

Let’s tackle the first question: Does water enhance fat loss?

The answer is YES. Okay…but why?

  1. Water serves as an appetite suppressant. If your water intake is sufficient, you are less likely to experience cravings. If you drink enough water, your hunger pains will be legitimate cries for food. If you don’t drink enough water, your hunger pains, more often than not, are probably cries for hydration.
  2. Your kidneys require an adequate supply of water. If they are leeched of water, they will not be happy and your body’s waste dumping process will be compromised. When the kidneys don’t get enough water, the liver ends up operating poorly. Your liver is responsible for receiving fat cells and converting them into energy (instead of letting them sit around and accumulate). With enough water, this conversion happens quickly and effectively, optimizing fat loss.
  3. When you start shedding fat, the body senses an emergency. Evolutionarily speaking, lack of fat suggests lack of food, which in turn, suggests lack of resources, including lack of water. Drinking an abundance of water helps to keep that biological panic and a potential binge at bay.
  4. Consuming lots of water increases urine output. Urinating is a process of thermogenesis – a mechanism by which the body produces heat. When your body produces heat, it’s using up energy i.e. burning calories. So, the more trips to the W.C. you take, the more calories your are burning.
  5. Drinking water boosts metabolism because the body has to warm the water up to body temperature. This increase in heat production burns more calories. It is recommended that you drink 1 liter of water first thing in the morning to really jump-start your metabolism.

Clearly, water appears to benefit the process of fat loss. However, I wouldn’t label it a fat loss dynamo. While it does offer mild support in aiding fat loss, it takes much more to burn fat and keep it off. It takes a clean, balanced diet combined with an active lifestyle. Drinking lots of water will not prevent weight gain and cut fat in the absence of the other healthy-living components. But if you have a healthy diet and keep up with your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, water holds promise to augment your fat loss.

If you do both strength training and cardio at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club, try to drink about 1 gallon of water per day to sufficiently augment fat loss.