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!

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.

The holidays have this sneaky way of adding excess adipose tissue to the belly region. All of the various seductive sweets really start stacking up after heavy, regular indulgence. That’s why it is incredibly important to stick to structure and pledge to discipline. Sure, this is the time of the year to be merry – to party, to indulge, and to unwind. Yet, you don’t have to completely lose yourself and stall (even backslide) on your fitness progress. If you want to maintain your current core strength and continue advancing, you must hit up the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym regularly and vigorously.

There are several yoga poses that, if practiced regularly, will keep your core strong, solid and toned. These poses are highly accessible and work all muscles of the core. Most core exercises only target the superficial muscles of the stomach (the 6-pack abs). These exercises, rather, target all layers – even the deepest layer – of your core. These deeper muscles are very important for balance.

Incorporate the following core yoga poses into your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym routine at least 3 times per week for results.

Plank Pose

  1. Plank Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  2. Down Dog (Hold 2 minutes)
  3. Dolphin Plank Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  4. Dolphin Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  5. Boat Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  6. Half Boat Pose (Hold 1 to 2 minutes)
  7. Side Plank (Hold 1 to 2 minutes each side)
  8. Forearm Side Plank (Hold 1 to 2 minutes each side)
  9. Chaturanga (4-limbed Pose) Push Ups (5 to 10 repeats)
  10. Cat/Cow Exercises – Massage the internal organs of the belly and experience a sweet release in your spine. Do as many as you wish!

A fit core will support you in many ways. Yes, you’ll look good in a bikini. That’s not the only bonus, though. A fit core prevents lower pack pain and injury. A powerful core supports balance and allows you to exercise with less effort and more ease. A strong core cultivates stronger and more confident posture. Knowing this should definitely inspire you to give your center of gravity some extra attention.

A strong core is very empowering, creating outer and inner strength. To sculpt and strengthen your center, mix in a bit of yoga in your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym routine.

Photo Credit: Image via Denice Lindell

Happy December all you Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym enthusiasts and heath nuts! Holy moly does time fly! 2012 is coming to a close. How it closes is up to you. Will it close on a note of health and wellness? That’s the hope!

The months of November and December are tricky months to navigate. Stress soars. Craziness increases. Diets plummet. Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym sessions fade into distant memories. It’s easy to lose your cool and fall victim to the holiday stress and its accompanying not-so-healthy temptations. Don’t fall into the trap. Stick to structure. Start 2013 off right!

So, the Thanksgiving Day feast recently hit. It probably hit harder for some. Post Turkey Day, the detox, damage control stage starts to kick in. Healthy, clean eating resumes for awhile. The gym is hit hard to sweat out all that turkey and its tryptophan inducing lethargy. Then, December hits – the month of candy canes, gingerbread men, fruitcake, excess, and indulgences. Uh oh.

Yes, December definitely has potential to put a dent in your diet. It’s so tempting to indulge in those traditional holiday treats. I mean everyone else is doing it. So, why not? Well, you know why. Like I said, we want to end 2012 feeling healthy and empowered. Not sluggish and stuffed.

Yet, rather than distance yourself from all temptation, why not create new satisfying and health-conscious indulgences? Do those even exist? Why, yes. They do.

Here are some protein-packed treats you can put back post-workout created by

Sweet Potato & Oat Protein Cupcakes with Creamy Cinnamon Protein Icing

**Protein-Packed Cupcakes by FitMenCook via Instagram :: Whip these babies up for holiday party. Treat your friends to clean eating.**

Um…yes please. These protein packed delights are only 210 calories a piece. Not too bad, eh? They are made using Team Betancourt Big Blend French Vanilla Protein and they are good.

Icing Ingredients

8 oz. Fat Free cream cheese
2 scoops Big Blend protein
2 cups fat free cool whip
2 heaping tbsp cinnamon
1.5 tbsp coconut oil

Batter Ingredients

1 scoop Team Betancourt Big Blend French Vanilla Protein
1/3 cup oat flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 packets raw Stevia
170 g sweet potato
1/3 cup Almond
1 egg & 1 egg white

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Macros for 1 cupcake of the 6: 18 g protein, 17g carbs, 7.5g fat).

Brown Rice Flour & Almond Flour Banana Spiced Protein Pancakes

**Protein-Packed Cupcakes by FitMenCook via Instagram**

Here’s how to make muscle building pancakes! These pancakes, rich in complex carbs and healthy fats, are a wonderful post-workout indulgence! Bring on the batter and the lean bulking.

Batter Ingredients

1 scoop Team Betancourt Big Blend French Vanilla Protein
1 egg, & 1 egg white
1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/4 cup Almond flour
1/3 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 ripe banana
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 packet Stevia (optional)

(1) First, mix all DRY ingredients in a bowl, including protein powder, brown rice flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda/powder, and Stevia. (2) Mash 1 ripe banana in a bowl. (3) Add in all wet ingredients to the batter and mix, including eggs, banana, and Almond Milk using a hand blender. (4) To ensure each pancake is the same size, use a measuring cup to dip batter out. Use a 1/4 measuring cup. (5) Set a small skillet on medium-low heat, lightly sprayed with organic olive oil and slowly add batter. (6) Let it cook. When the sides of the pancake look hard/firm, use a wide spatula to scoop the pancake up and flip it over. Each pancake usually takes about 3 minutes to cook. Be careful not to over or under cook!

Next, add your fruit topping of choice. Suggestion: Use Sugar Free Maple Syrup and fresh, seasonal fruits. (Approx. Pancake batter macros: 42g protein, 56g carbs, 22g fat).

There you have it! Two easy and scrumptious sweets to satisfy those cravings and support your workouts and fitness goals at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Enjoy!

Maybe your self-transformation progress feels like it has reached a standstill. Maybe you need an extra push to motivate and move you upward to finally achieve your fitness goals and create your best you. Maybe what you are doing right now is not enough. Maybe you need to rework your focus – to place your energies on a new exercise routine or a new meal plan. Maybe you just desire some new information – a fresh perspective on fitness, health, and healing.

The following 3 resources have helped to transform my life, fitness, overall health, and perspective. They steered me in the right direction, effectively and quickly enhanced my progress, and supported (and continue to support) my health.

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

Get thinner, bigger, faster, and stronger! Learn the ins and outs of the slow-carb lifestyle in this comprehensive book. Also, read up on how to improve sexual prowess, how to slim down, how to build 30 pounds of muscle in 30 days, and how to eat whatever you want in excess one day per week and still loose weight. That’s not all. You’ll gain additional weight loss and strength enhancement tips and tricks.

This book is accessible, informative, and self-supporting. You will gain plenty of tested tools to create your best you, including various exercises to perform while working it at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

Not sure you want to plunge into this massive text. Enjoy the first chapter FREE. I bet you’ll become convinced of its incredible value.

The Slow-Carb Cookbook (Online)

Enjoy lots of healthy, creative, and easy to whip up slow-carb eats in this handy-dandy online cookbook. These slow-carb meals will definitely enhance weight-loss and promote the buildup of muscle. Eat a slow-carb diet for 20 days, and you’ll surely realize inches lost, pounds lost, and definition gained. This diet will definitely support your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym by boosting your energy and creating a leaner, lighter, and stronger you. 

Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living

Learn about the healing science of Ayurveda – the most ancient system of healthy living and medicine. Create harmony within by eating foods appropriate for your mind and body and by involving yourself in healthy lifestyle practices, such as yoga and meditation. Learn to eat right for your unique make-up and design. Learn to personalize your health and healing and cater to your own specific needs. Completely restore and transform your health! Plus, experiment with new, healthy recipes and foods!

Use of these 3 resources will definitely complement what you’re already achieving at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club and may even get you to where you want to be faster and more effectively. So, add these fitness gems to your list of things to read and implement!

Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym advises that you never go into battle unprepared. That’s why you should make it a habit to restock on your key supplements and meal prep for the week.

We all know the week ahead gets busy and hectic. There is always room for unforeseen obstacles. To avoid falling off the health kick, you must establish and prepare your meals. That way, you can rest easy knowing that all of your food and fuel is taken care of and ready for your enjoyment. You will have everything set in place, giving you the ability to resist the urge to slip into unhealthy eating patterns during the week.

The early stages of massive meal prep conveniently happens for most people on Sunday evenings. If you prefer another night to slice, bake, grill, bag, puree, and steam away, by all means, use that day for your meal prepping extravaganza.

Here’s a sampling of good foods to get all stocked up on for your prepping and week. (To get hooked up with a meal plan that uniquely suites you, seek the nutritional guidance and expertise of those at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club.)

Go to town with your protein purchases. Get stocked up on chicken, fish, cage free organic eggs, lean ground beef, cottage cheese, and bacon. Purchase lots of low sugar fruits (lemons, limes, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) for green smoothies. Throw in some tomatoes, avocados, and sweet potatoes into your cart for additional carb sources. Don’t go easy on the veggies and legumes. Buy lentils (red, beluga, etc.), beans (black, kidney, etc.), and plenty of greens. Avoid snack foods. (If you must, delight in some almond butter if you know you won’t be tempted to consume more than 1 spoon full per day.)

As a general rule, stick to buying lean and organic meats, legumes, and greens. Steer clear of all snacks. Stay away from high carb foods. Purchase fruit mindfully. Fruit is a nature’s dessert, so there’s no need to buy/consume lots of it.  

Once you get all of your food transported home, get crackin’. Steam up your veggies. Cook up enough lentils or beans for the week. Freeze your fruit for green smoothies. Cook up your meat. Store it all safely in your fridge for your return.

Set yourself up for a week of healthy eating to support your workouts and fitness goals at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

Let the prepping commence!

Fall is flourishing. If you haven’t already, it’s time to support the season with a sampling of some favorite fall foods. The featured food of this week is the oh-so-amazing sweet potato. Get on board with fall and incorporate some healthy, simple sweet potato options into your meal plan. Support your fitness goals, savor some deliciousness, and fuel up for your next workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

Not only are sweet potatoes one of fall’s seasonal staple foods, but they are also jammed with some pretty sweet benefits:

  • Fat free
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in Vitamin A and C
  • A healthy carb source
  • An amazing source of beta-carotene
  • Packed with anti-oxidant nutrients
  • Chock-full of anti-inflammatory agents
  • Shown to improve blood sugar regulation

It’s no lie: Sweet potatoes are an incredibly sweet, self-supporting nutritional addition.

So, what’s on the menu?

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Work with one medium-sized sweet potato, two cage free organic eggs, and about ¼ cup coconut flour. Mix it all together to create the consistency of pancake batter. Cook it up like a pancake. Sprinkle on some cinnamon. Voila! Have yourself some sweet potato pancakes prepared to perfection.

Greenville Gym Super Foods

Inspired by Krissy Mae Cags via

Three-Minute Sweet Potato Fuel

Boost your energy and fuel up with two delicious power foods. Pop one sweet potato in the microwave for two minutes. Slice it in half, then nuke it for another minute. Next, slice it up a few times and top it with some sliced avocado. Sprinkle some fresh cracked pepper on the sweet potato/avocado creation and BOOM: Instant, savory, and nutritious fuel.

Greenville Gym Super Foods

Inspired by Krissy Mae Cags via

Sweet Potato Fries

Chop these suckers up like fries, spray them with some coconut oil spray, and top them with some Vietnamese Saigon Cassia Cinnamon by Betty Crocker. If you don’t have or want to purchase the fancy spice mix, sprinkle on some typical fall spices: cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. Get creative in the kitchen!

Greenville Gym Super Foods

Inspired by Krissy Mae Cags via

Oh, how sweet it is!

Carb up for your next workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym with some yummy, nourishing sweet potato fuel.

Happy, healthy eating!

* If you are seeking additional nutritional guidance, the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club has nutritional and weight loss programs designed to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

A study published two weeks ago revealed something startling about how kids think about food: They react more to the appearances and reactions of the person eating it than they do the taste, smell or look of an edible item.

To be more specific, if they already enjoyed a food they would want it no matter what. If they were neutral, a person’s expressions and emotions while dining were very likely to sway their interested in the food. If they already didn’t like a food, an overweight or unhappy person eating it made them want it even less.

This is nearly a direct contrast to the way that adults in the same study viewed and then thought about the appeal of food. Adults are least likely to see the appeal of an edible that they have seen being eaten and enjoyed by an obese person. Therefore, the sight of someone joyously kicking off a much-needed diet won’t be taken as encouragement, but rather as a detriment.

How is this relevant to your family? If you’ve got fussy eaters in the house, try introducing them to new foods that are good for them with a smile on your face. It especially helps if your children see you regularly eating and enjoying nutritious foods. Meanwhile, staying fit and healthy contributes as well, since your young ones will be less likely to want foods that they relate to people who are overweight or out of shape.

By visiting the Greenville gym and eating healthy yourself, you’re setting a provable good demonstration for your children. In turn, this will allow them to lead longer, healthier and happier lives—based on mommy’s and daddy’s good examples.

Trim the turkey. Trim the tree. Trim your gift list. Trim your budget. There’s a lot of trimming involved during the holiday season. But one area that’s often overlooked is keeping your figure trim while feasting at various parties and dinners.

Some people use the holidays as an excuse to eat whatever they want and skip trips to the gym under the guise of celebration—but ‘feast or famine’ is never a healthy mindset, whether you’re thinking about food or drink or exercise or anything else. Moderation is the key to your healthiest mind and body. So even though you’re busy balancing work, fun and extra holiday errands, it’s still important that you continue to make time for going to your local Greenville gym. Plus, you’ll feel so much better about yourself when it’s January 1 and you look just as great as you did before Thanksgiving.

One way to stay on track even when you’re very busy is to print out one of our updated Pivotal Fitness Greenville group exercise schedules to stay on top of special events and opportunities. Plus, just seeing this on your fridge every day will surely make you think twice about reaching for seconds of dessert!

Another idea is to pick up some appointments with a Greenville personal trainer if you don’t already have one. Your personal trainer doesn’t just help you target your goals and perform exercise the right way—he or she also motivates you to stay on task and visit regularly.

Last but not least, you can visit our blog each week to learn about what’s going on at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville health club and hear our thoughts on nutrition and exercise topics. Coming back to our website on a regular basis will keep your gym visits at the top of your mind, even during these crazed, festive weeks–and on into the New Year.