Tall Tale: Low-Carb /Slow-Carb diets are dangerous and bad for you.

Slow-carb and low-carb diets are totally criticized by (uneducated) nutritionists and the media. As a slow-carb enthusiast myself, I am constantly being challenged by friends and family as to whether or not my way of eating is healthy. They consider me an extremist or some sort of obsessed health nut. I assure you, I’m not.

Truth is, low-carb or slow-carb eating is not extreme or obsessive at all. It is merely a basic, clean, and conscious way of eating. In fact, it’s the same way primitive humans ate. Evolutionary speaking, humans are designed to eat a low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein diet. Yes, it’s true. Unfortunately, the opposite is usually recommended: high-carb and low-fat. That combo is no good. In fact, this carb craze is the reason for obesity and other western world health epidemics.

If evolution is not enough to convince you, let’s turn to science. Science has consistently shown that low-carb/slow-carb diets have the potential to cure most of the Western world’s major health concerns and reduce fat.

Low-carb/slow-carb diets have been shown to…

  • Reduce body fat way more than calorie restricted diets (you know, the ones that never work out anyways). Low-carb eaters can eat as much as they want of low-carb foods and still cut fat. No restriction? Sounds good to me.
  • Decrease blood pressure significantly
  • Decrease blood sugar levels and alleviate symptoms of diabetes
  • Increase good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Decrease triglycerides (way more than a low-fat diet!)

What’s more, low-carb/slow-carb lifestyles are easier to stick to because they don’t involve calorie restriction. Plus, they provide adequate and substantial nutrients. It’s a scientific fact that low-carb or slow-carb diets have the greatest potential to ward off common health concerns, promote fat loss, and reverse metabolic disease.

So, the low-fat, high-carb dogma that is circulating around is complete nonsense. It’s not fat that’s going to make you fat. Science has shown that high carb diets are the diets that promote fat gain. Sugar is the fat-inducing culprit. Not fat. So, if you really want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, low-carb or slow-carb is the way to go.

If you want to boost your fat loss and fitness goals you must pair your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym workouts with a balanced, clean, and effective diet. Low-carb or slow-carb will not only promote fat loss. Being high in protein, it will also boost your workout performance at Pivotal fitness Greenville gym. Yet another reason to cut the carbs, up the fat, and up the protein!

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.

Diet is just as important (even more important) as the time and sweat you put in at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. For increased and sustained fat loss, diet is key. Fortunately, there are some simple dietary (and lifestyle) changes that you can implement to engender impressive, fat loss results. These tips, combined with an effective workout routine at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, will score you major fat loss wins.

  1. Eat Breakfast – Within 30 minutes of rising, consume 30g of protein. My 30g breakfast of choice consists of 2 eggs, 2-4 pieces of bacon, ½ cup of legumes (usually red lentils or black beans), and sautéed spinach. If you’re in hurry, whip up a protein shake. This is an awesome way to kick-start your day and ward off potential cravings.
  2. Drink More Water – Keep your liver happy. When your liver is dehydrated, it does not metabolize fat as effectively. So, keep hydrating!
  3. Eat More Protein – I can’t stress this enough. Get at least 20g of protein per meal. At breakfast, this is especially important.
  4. Drink Green Tea – Green tea has fat burning properties as well as caffeine for energy. Studies also indicate that it is a good post-workout beverage.
  5. Don’t Drink Your Calories – Just stick to water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee. 1-2 glass of red wine per day, you may be happy to learn, is also allowed. No juice. No soda. No cocktails. No beer. If you have to ask, it probably isn’t allowed (unless it’s your cheat day, of course!).
  6. Walk There – I’ve made a habit of walking places even when it is more convenient to drive or rely on public transportation. Walking is good, low impact cardio and, also, very meditative. It’s an awesome way to clear the cobwebs!
  7. Choose High Protein Snacks – If snacking is just something you can’t rule out, turn to snacks high in protein: Raw, organic nut butters, nuts, cottage cheese, etc.

Sure, there’s a bunch of additional techniques and life changes you can explore further to promote rapid and sustained fat loss. These tips, however, are among the simple.

These changes, though simple, are not easy. It may be hard for you to forgo on soda or give up your sugary snacks. These tips, though simple, require discipline just like your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym workouts require discipline. It’s amazing, however, how a few simple changes can create meaningful and lasting results.

For more fat loss tips and nutritional guidance, consult the team of personal trainers at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club.

Countless myths are constantly circulating with regards to fitness, health, and weight loss. There’s one in particular that I would like to debunk…

Myth: Weight training makes women look bulky.

Many women shy away from weight training because they are under the impression that they’ll end up expanding instead of leaning down.

Sure, if you’re a woman abusing steroids.

The truth is, to be bulky and appear manly you have to be producing lots of testosterone. The average man produces 10 times more testosterone than the average female. So, unless you are popping steroids, fear not morphing into a man. You will retain your womanly physique if you lift weights, all the while gaining muscle and loosing fat.

Lots of women also believe that the key to weight loss is loads of cardio. Wrong. While cardio is beneficial to your health, you have to be careful because lots of cardio will result in loss of muscle. Loss of muscle makes it that much harder to stay fit and keep the weight off. As you shed fat and muscle simultaneously, you weaken your digestive fire. Less muscle, then, correlates to a lower metabolism. No good.

So, what’s the best weight loss solution?

You may not want to hear this: Diet is first and foremost the most important component in cutting fat. Second to diet is a solid weight training program. Cardio comes in last. In fact, it’s not even necessary to kill yourself with cardio. Clean eating combined with weight (or strength) training creates a highly effective fat loss package all on its own, sans cardio.

So, it’s always odd to me to see so many people (especially women) killing themselves with cardio and avoiding lifting. While a cardio craze may yield temporary weight loss results, it’s not effective for sustained weight loss. To sustain, you must watch what you put in your body and boost your strength.

Next time you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym opt for a weight training routine over cardio. Maybe even consult a Greenville gym personal trainer to help you design a customized diet plan and weight training program.

Shift your perspective and make strength and diet a priority to realize true, lasting weight loss results.

Sugar is the real fat-producing culprit. If you want to lose weight or maintain your current physical state, you must be mindful of all the sugars (even sugar from fruits) that you consume. Here are 5 ways to help you ward off sugar cravings:

  1. Eat a High Protein Breakfast: A high protein breakfast will greatly enhance your energy and support your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Consume a good dose of protein within 30 minutes of rising. Good sources include eggs, beans, lentils, spinach and other leafy greens, and breakfast meat. A high protein breakfast will satisfy your hunger and ensure that you feel fuller longer. Fueling up on protein will also help you to steer clear of unhealthy morning or mid-day snacks loaded with sugar.
  2. Eat Lots of Beans & Lentils: Beans and lentils are an awesome source of carbohydrates. Whenever you are feeling the urge to splurge on something chock full of sugar, consider eating a cup of beans or lentils instead. Beans and lentils are low on the glycemic index, very filling, full of protein, and provide a sugar fix without inducing a huge spike in blood sugar. Include a hefty serving of beans or lentils at each meal.
  3. Seek Comfort Elsewhere: Sugary treats provide temporary comfort. Dopamine is released, which creates a sense of happiness or elation. That elation is short-lived, however. So, rather than reach for a Milky Way, seek comfort elsewhere. Create a list of healthy, comforting things that don’t induce a sugar coma. For example, drink your favorite tea. Enjoy a yoga class at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Relax in the tub. Seek out both comforting and self-supporting activities.
  4. Don’t Restrict All the Time: Allow yourself to indulge every once in awhile. In fact, schedule in your indulgences. Choose one day per week where you allow yourself to enjoy all the sinful pleasures. Restrictions are psychologically impairing. When you cut something out, you usually find that you desire it even more. So, allow yourself it. Just do so mindfully and strategically so the sugar doesn’t impair your fitness goals at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym and your state of physical health and well-being.
  5. Don’t Snack: If you have enough protein in your diet, you should not feel the need to snack throughout your day. If you feel this need, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re eating and add more protein to your meals. Consult the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club to see how you can craft a meal plan that works for you. If you must snack, choose snacks high in protein. Nuts and seeds are a good option. You can also enjoy a tablespoon of an organic nut butter once per day. Think protein!

Remember: Food is fuel. You want to select food options that fuel and sustain you. Protein will go a long way. Sugar, however, will only provide temporary bouts of energy. That’s not to say all sugar is bad. You do absolutely need carbs (healthy carbs such as beans, avocados, berries, etc.). You just probably don’t need as much carbs as you think. So, place emphasis on protein and healthy fats. Stay away from the sweetness.

People often ask us how they can go about giving Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym membership to a loved one during the holidays. You don’t want to insult anyone by suggesting that they need to improve themselves, but you do want to make the gesture.

Here are a few things to consider that might help:

Yes, you can purchase a gym membership for someone other than yourself. But you may want to make sure that it’s something they’ll definitely enjoy and use before you do.

One way to help your loved one enjoy the gift of membership is to make it an activity you can do together. If you’re already a member, you can start by inviting your friend to visit the gym as your guest, so they can check it out for themselves. They can then sign up for their free 30-day trial gym membership. This allows both of you to see how that person will actually like the gift, and no purchase is necessary. Then, your friend will feel like the decision to join was something you helped with – but they ultimately chose for themselves.

When they’re ready to become a member, you can step in and help your friend buy the gift. Right now, he or she can currently take advantage of a complimentary personal training session, too. And if your loved one is a spouse, relation or co-worker, you might be able to take advantage of couples, family or corporate gym membership rates. We’re here to help you find the best options whenever you’re ready.

Because membership isn’t just something you can hand over in a bow-tied box, it requires some conversation between you and your friend. You definitely want to avoid suggesting that it’s something the other person “needs.” You can frame the membership as something you would enjoy giving to them or doing with them. Words like “fitness” and “well being” are optimal, while you may want to avoid suggesting someone isn’t healthy or needs to lose weight. We’re happy to talk to them about all the benefits if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

Joining Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym has many perks. There are obvious ones, like toning up or slimming down. Working out can alleviate symptoms from a wide number of ailments – and even potentially lengthen a person’s lifespan. People often come just to relieve stress and gain self-confidence. It’s also a great place to make new friends and establish a sense of community. Any one of these is a great reason to make gym membership a gift this holiday season.

Last week, we talked about what to eat before you work out. Continuing on the theme of nutrition and diet, this week we’re focusing on one of the most popular gym staples, the smoothie. Smoothies can be a refreshing snack that’s used either in place of a meal or as a between-meals energy booster than can also help curb your appetite.

Suggestive of ice cream or milkshakes, smoothies can trick you into feeling like you’re being much more decadent than you actually are, which is one reason they’re such a popular treat. Plus, it’s easy and fast to toss ingredients into a blender. There are so many combinations and flavors available, it’s a type of food you can east every day without getting bored. But there are better and worse smoothies you can order or make in your home. Knowing what to avoid and which ingredients are key makes all of the difference.

What to avoid:

  • Artificial sweeteners (like chocolate syrup or concentrate juices)
  • Excess sugar (try sweeter fruits or coconut juice or natural sugar cane crystals)
  • Ice cream or heavy cream (try fat-free yogurt or low-fat milk with ice)

What to add:

  • Fiber powders (such as wheat germ)
  • Vitamins (especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E)
  • Protein (try soy milk or even silky tofu)
  • Fresh fruits

Pivotal Fitness’ Greenville gym offers complete nutrition planning to complement your gym experience. We also offer a range of supplements that can target your specific dietary needs, so please ask us how you can enrich your meals to help you lose weight, maintain a healthy digestive balance and improve your overall health.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to losing weight in a safe and healthy way. But there are a few tips and techniques that can help you shed a few pounds without crash dieting or depriving yourself of fulfilling treats that you love. Here are our top tricks:

1. Cut out sugary beverages. Try switching to soda water when you’re craving something carbonated. Even diet drinks can contribute to weight gain when you drink them in excess. Sweet drinks are one of the top causes for weight gain or an inability to lose weight. Which is why we also advise that you…

2. Eliminate alcohol. Many calories are hidden in what you might consider fairly safe beverages that you only have once in awhile—especially wine with dinner or any cocktails that include soda or sweet mixers. Some drinks are better than others, such as choosing a low-carb beer instead of something full-bodied. But remember, it’s called “beer belly” for a reason!

3. Carry a healthy snack with you at all times. Some items, such as cereal bars, are great to keep in your purse or in the car. This way, when you’re on the go and get hit with hunger, instead of hitting the drive-through you have a healthy alternative on hand. This can also save you money! Double points.

4. Break up your meals. Start with a big breakfast and then slowly ebb off eating every few hours with smaller bites throughout the day. An apple, a handful of nuts or a cereal bar between meals will help you eat less, and you won’t have to think about eating as much, either. Keep yourself from ever getting really, really hungry, which is when you can cave to cravings and make poor eating choices.

5. Drink lots of water. This simple point cannot be emphasized enough! Most adults don’t drink enough H2O. The recommended amount is about eight glasses a day. Drinking water all day will stave off hunger and is exceptionally good for your health. This is of utmost importance before, during and after your workout routine at the gym.