3 Tips to Practice Radical Self Love

I want to talk to you about radical self-love. A lot of people don’t practice this very well, and I think it’s actually one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Just as crucial to your health as food and water. To help you show yourself some love, here are three of my favorite tips on how you can love yourself a little bit more.

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Practice Radical Self Love Everyday

When I talk to people about self-care, and taking care of themselves they’re like, “Oh I get a massage once a month.” I always say, “That’s awesome that you get a massage once a month! BUT… you should be doing something every. single. day. Not every 30 days!” I know that so many of you are very busy professionals and/or very busy moms. It’s really easy to let yourself just slide off the radar when it comes to doing special things for yourself. But set a goal to gift yourself 5 minutes a day, to start. This might mean hiding in the bathroom and playing a game on your phone for 5 minutes. Totally cool. That can be your gateway to taking care of YOU.

Practicing radical self-love can be something that’s super simple or small – like 5 minutes in the bathroom alone. Or it might be a scheduled event: getting a mani/pedi, grabbing coffee and a walk with a friend. Just little things that you can do so that you know you are doing something that you are enjoying that’s just for you, and not anyone else in your life. And yes, that something might even be a workout!

Be Aware of Who You Surround Yourself With

Practicing radical self-love also includes being conscious of our environment. Really be aware of who your influences are and the people you surround yourself with. Of course that’s going to be the physical people around you – at work, at home, and the people you see throughout your day. But it’s also going to be who you surround yourself with online? How do you feel after spending time on social media? How does it influence your internal dialogue? Are you seeing things on social media that put down women, or “fitspiration” that makes you feel more uncomfortable in your own skin? It’s really important to notice what you do and the types of things you surround yourself with. Are they things that lift you up and fuel you and light a fire in you? Or are these things tearing you down and making you feel bad? Or even worse, are they causing you to compare yourself to someone else in a negative way? Noticing these influences, and being aware of who you surround yourself with is a HUGE part of practicing and mastering radical self-love.

Do Things That Make You Feel Good!

You might not be surprised to hear me say that exercise will make you feel good. Yes, I’m telling you to exercise to feel good, rather than just to lose weight. You know that when you get in your workout, you’re going to feel amazing all day long. So by exercising, that’s another part of radical self-care. Same thing with choosing foods that fuel you, if you choose foods that give you energy, and have protein & fat that will sustain you, you’ll actually be more productive and creative member of society all day long. Excellent, right? So, start thinking about things that you can do throughout the day to improve your energy and mood. Maybe that means you take a break from work and step away from your computer during lunchtime, and sit and think about your food instead of your email.

There are all sorts of things you can do to take good care of yourself, and practice radical self-love, in tiny little bits throughout the day, so at the end of the day you’ve had a really fulfilling day. What are some of the ways you practice radical self love?

The Key to Building More Muscle Might Be Longer Rests Between Sets

When it comes to lifting weights, most people will tell you to rest one minute between sets if you’re aiming for muscle growth, and three minutes if you’re building strength. A recent study suggests, however, that three minute rests may be better all around.

This video from the PictureFit YouTube channel explains why longer rests could be better for everyone trying to build muscle mass and strength, using a study led by Brad J. Schoenfeld, Ph.D. The study, published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, had two groups of participants perform resistance training exercises three times a week for eight weeks total. The only difference between the two groups was one was told to rest between sets for one minute, while the other was told to rest for three minutes.

The researchers measured each group’s muscle growth, strength gains, and muscle endurance, and found that the group who took longer rests between sets improved the most overall. So why does resting more appear to be better than resting less? The researchers suggest that longer rests allow you to do more reps in each set, which means a higher total work volume and the development of better muscular training adaptation in the long run. Essentially, more rest means you can do more work, and more work means you get bigger and stronger.

The muscle-building power of milk vs. beef after a workout: Which is better?

jockology06lfAs a postdoctoral physiology researcher with years of training, Dr. Nicholas Burd was entrusted with a crucial task during a recent experiment in the Netherlands: Keep the cows happy.

“My job was to talk to them, brush them and basically keep them in a good mood,” recalls Burd, who now leads the University of Illinois Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group. “If the animal becomes stressed, milk production declines, so we treated them like princesses.”

Burd’s foray into animal husbandry was part of a remarkable research project in which cows received a 40-litre injection of amino acids labelled with a rare (and harmless) carbon isotope, in order to produce milk and beef whose fate inside the human body could be tracked after they were eaten.

The latest of these “glowing cow” studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Burd and his colleagues in Dr. Luc van Loon’s muscle research group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, compares the muscle-building power of milk and beef after a workout. The approach allows researchers to use real foods that people actually eat, rather than laboratory-created protein powders, and the results suggest that the specific protein source you consume matters less than once thought.

The study involved 12 young men who completed sets of leg press and knee extension exercises on two occasions.

After one of the workouts, they drank 350 millilitres of isotope-labelled skim milk, enriched with extra protein to bring the total to 30 grams; after the other workout, they ate 158 grams of ground beef, which contains the same amount of protein. A series of muscle biopsies and blood samples drawn in the hours before and after the workout allowed the researcher to track how quickly the protein was being incorporated into new muscle.

In previous studies comparing different types of protein for muscle growth, milk has emerged as the top performer. That advantage is thought to stem in part from its high levels of leucine, an amino acid that triggers the synthesis of new muscle, and from milk’s rapid digestion and absorption.

The initial data suggested that the same might be true in the milk-versus-beef comparison. In the first two hours after the workout, the rate of new protein synthesis was indeed higher for milk than for beef. But after five hours, the groups were statistically indistinguishable, suggesting that milk’s fast initial response didn’t produce any lasting advantage.

“From my perspective, the real take-home message is that both milk and beef are good choices,” Burd says. The subtle differences revealed in the experiment will help scientists understand how the body builds new muscle, but they don’t give any strong reason to choose one over the other.

Dr. Keith Baar, a Canadian-born muscle researcher at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study, draws similar conclusions: “The glowing cow experiments have been wonderful and have added a huge amount to our understanding of protein metabolism,” he says. But in practice, “if you are not competing at a high level, protein type – as long as it is high-quality protein – is not too important.”

So what is “high-quality” protein? Nutritionists sometimes distinguish between animal proteins and plants proteins, since the latter are generally lower in key amino acids needed for protein synthesis. Studies at McMaster University, for example, have shown that milk reliably outperforms comparable amounts of soy protein for muscle-building.

But that view may be too narrow, Burd says, since people seldom consume a single isolated plant protein and nothing else. “Personally, I think plant-based proteins don’t get enough credit,” he says. “My guess is that when better comparisons are made [such as mixed plant-based protein blends], the disparity between animal and plant-based proteins will become narrower.”

There are some situations where protein type could become important. If you can’t exercise for a prolonged period of time, for example while ill or recovering from surgery, then your muscles become less sensitive to the muscle-building trigger of protein. In that case, making sure you get leucine-rich protein sources such as milk could help stave off muscle loss.

In most cases, though, the primary focus should be on getting enough, regardless of the source – and on distributing your protein intake throughout the day.

While most Canadians eat plenty of protein, they typically get more than half of it at dinner. Since your muscles can only make use of a limited amount of protein at a time (30 grams, the amount used in the cow study, is a rough estimate of the upper limit for most people), it’s more effective to distribute your daily protein in four or more doses throughout the day.

That suggests that starting the day with a couple of eggs might be a good idea. Or perhaps some chicken. With any luck, the scientists at Maastricht will run an isotope study to settle that age-old question too.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said isotope-labelled skim milk contains 30 grams of protein. This article has been corrected

Workout Nutrition: What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscle

Use this nutrition guide to get the best results from your workouts

Your body is a machine that constantly reinvents itself. Every minute of every day, it breaks down its own tissues and replaces them with new stuff it makes from a combination of the food you eat and recycled material it scavenges from other tissues.

No matter how old your Facebook profile says you are, your component parts are considerably younger. Even your bones replace themselves every 10 years. By that standard, your muscle cells, with an average age of 15 years old, are the adults at the party.

Your workouts will cause the protein in your muscles to break down and build up much faster than it does in ordinary circumstances. In fact, when you work out with the goal of becoming more awesome than you are now, the entire point is to get that protein to turn over. But it only helps if you end up with more than you had when you started.

There are two ways to do that. The first, and by far the easiest, is to eat more protein than you currently do. Protein, all by itself, is anabolic. It wants to be stored in your muscles. The second is to work out in a way that disrupts your muscles and forces them to respond by getting bigger and stronger.

The combination of a diet rich in high-quality protein (like this whey protein powder from the Men’s Health store) and a great strength-training program is the oldest, best, and only non-pharmaceutical way to reach that goal. This article will show you how much protein you need to eat, and when.

Part 1: How Much

A 2007 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that muscle size increases 0.2 percent per day during the first 20 days of a strength-training program. That growth is over and above the high rate of muscle-protein breakdown that’s occurring simultaneously.

This explains why the guy who’s just starting out, or returning from a layoff, needs more protein than the weight-room warrior who’s been training for years without a break, and who is at or near his genetic ceiling for strength and size. But it’s the beginner who’s least likely to worry about his diet, and most at risk of not getting as much protein as he needs.

How much is that? A good target is .73 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. For a guy who weighs 180 pounds, a day’s worth would be about 130 grams.

Part 2: How Often

Protein synthesis is the process that takes the protein from food and turns it into muscle tissue. As Men’s Health nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D., explains, protein synthesis is like a lamp. It’s either on or off. With 20 to 25 grams of high-quality protein, it’s on. More protein won’t improve the response, just as applying more force to a light switch can’t make the room brighter.

Here’s why it matters:

Most of us tend to backload our daily protein intake. We’ll have a low-protein, high-carb breakfast (a bowl of cereal with milk), a moderate-protein lunch (a turkey sandwich), and a high-protein dinner, featuring a large piece of meat or fish. But a 2014 study in the Journal of Nutritionshowed that you turn more of the protein from your meals into muscle tissue when you distribute protein evenly at each meal.

In the study, protein synthesis was 25 percent higher in subjects who ate 30 grams of protein in each of three daily meals, compared to those who ate the same total amount but had most of it at dinner.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that subjects who got at least 20 grams of protein six times a day lost body fat and increased lean mass, with or without training. They were given a protein supplement within an hour of waking up, no more than two hours before going to bed, and every three hours in between.

Six meals may be excessive. But you probably want at least three protein-rich meals a day, especially in the early stages of a new training program. Protein synthesis will peak about 16 hours post-workout, and will remain elevated for up to 48 hours. Protein breakdown will also be higher for 24 hours.

What this means for you is that every meal counts. If you’re working out three or four times a week, your body will in effect be in the process of building new muscle every hour of every day, and also breaking down muscle at a higher rate at least half the time.

Part 3: Pre- and Post-Workout

For consistent, long-term lifters, protein synthesis will peak much earlier—about four hours post-workout—and return to baseline levels faster. So the protein you eat immediately before and after your workout becomes more important.

In a 2012 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers compiled data from multiple studies looking at protein and strength training. They found that those who used protein supplements gained 2 extra pounds of muscle over 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t. For experienced lifters, they concluded that pre- and/or post-workout protein supplements are required to achieve maximum results.

The “window of opportunity,” when your muscles are most receptive to protein, appears to be about four to six hours, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Ideally, you want a protein-rich meal two to three hours before training, and another within an hour or two after you finish.

Those who work out in the morning before breakfast have a narrower window. Protein synthesis slows down by about 15 to 30 percent while you’re sleeping, according to Dietary Protein and Resistance Exercise, a textbook published in 2012. So if you work out before eating, you want a post-workout meal as soon as possible.

Part 4: Best Protein Sources

Different types of food contain different combinations of amino acids—the building blocks of protein. Leucine is by far the most important of the 20 amino acids for creating muscle. It takes an estimated 2 to 3 grams of leucine to get the maximum anabolic effect from a meal.

Just about any normal-size serving of meat or poultry will contain at least 2 grams of leucine. (A serving size is roughly the size of your palm.) Three eggs, two glasses of milk, a piece of fish, or a cup of yogurt will give you about 1.5 grams. A cup of cottage cheese or scoop of whey protein (25 grams) will give you close to 3 grams.

Among plant foods, soy has the most leucine. A cup of soybeans has 2.3 grams. Beans and lentils are the next-best sources, with 1.2 to 1.4 grams per cup. A quarter-cup serving of nuts or flaxseeds will have about 0.5 grams.

Part 5: Carbs and Fat

If you were reading this article 10 years ago, it would tell you to eat carbs but avoid fat in your pre- and post-workout meals. The idea is that carbs before training will provide an easily accessible source of energy, while carbs afterwards will not only help replenish that energy, but also help generate insulin, a hormone that pushes nutrients into storage—in this case, escorting protein to your muscle cells. Fat, on the other hand, would be slower to digest, and blunt the responses of key hormones.

This was all based on the assumption that your body is a remedial student who needs you to keep things as simple as possible. Your body thinks it’s cute that you’re so concerned. Here’s what we now know:

  • Those of us with desk jobs, who sit for long hours before and/or after training, don’t need pre-workout carbs for energy. We have more than enough in reserve.
  • Unless you’re doing more than one exhausting workout a day, you have plenty of time to rebuild your energy supply. Your regularly scheduled meals should work just fine.
  • That said, there does seem to be a benefit to combining protein with carbs in a post-workout meal or supplement. It should result in slightly higher protein synthesis, according to Dietary Protein and Resistance Exercise.
  • As for fat, there doesn’t seem to be a cause for concern either way.

When you’re eating and training with the goal of looking better than you do now, total calories matter more than the specific composition of those calories, or the specific way you eat them. You can be lean and muscular with a low-carb or low-fat diet, and with different combinations of meals and snacks.

Putting It All Together

1. Guys who train for strength and size will get the best results with .73 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That’s about 130 grams for a 180-pound lifter, and about 146 grams for a 200-pounder. This daily total will probably be the most significant factor in your quest to add muscle.

2. Protein synthesis is higher when you spread that protein among three or more meals, rather than having most of it in a single meal. Shoot for at least 20 grams of high-quality protein in each meal to active protein synthesis.

3.Strength workouts elevate protein synthesis for up to 48 hours in new lifters, or those returning after a layoff, and about 24 hours in those with more experience.

4. Since protein synthesis slows down during sleep, it’s a good idea to eat something soon after waking up.

5. The “window of opportunity” surrounding a workout is about four to six hours. If you have a protein-rich meal a couple of hours before a workout and another soon after, you’ll take full advantage.

6.Including carbs in your post-workout meal could improve your results.

Top 25 Fitness Tips and Strategies from the Experts

Are you tired of putting in the effort at the gym and not seeing results? Many people show the drive, determination, and consistent effort, but don’t reach their goals. If this sounds familiar, the next logical step is usually to find an educated personal trainer with proven experience. But, if you’re not ready to take that step, or if you’d prefer to go it alone, rest assured, we spoke to some of the nation’s finest personal trainers who gave us 25 insightful tips and strategies specifically designed to help you build strength, gain muscle mass, lose fat, enhance your endurance and maintain healthy eating habits.

Building muscles with hard work

Q How has your exercise regimen changed over the years?A I used to focus only on muscle groups that I thought would impress people, so I trained justmyupper body and focused heavily on my chest and arms. I did not train my legs and back until I picked up dragonboating in Republic Polytechnic.

I realised there wasmuchmore to training and incorporated different exercises into my workouts as I read online and watched videos.

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Since then, I have been training every muscle group– essential for bodybuilding where you need the “total package”.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A After I competed in the National Bodybuilding Championship in 2014, I had a slipped disc.

160315 Fitness routine_Brendan_reviseI had to stop training for some time, so all I did at home was play computer games and eat whatever I wanted.

I cut myself some slack as I was about to enlist in national service. My weight shot up to 89kg, which meant that I had gained close to 10kg in a month.

It was a low period for me– mentally and physically– so I told myself I needed to focus on my recovery and resume my usual lifestyle.

Q How has that injury affected you?A I went back to the gym after a month of rest, but avoided exercises that would stress my lower back

. I gradually added more exercises to my workout when I felt stronger. Even up till today, I cannot do certain exercises such as deadlifts or normal barbell squats.

When I do certain rowing movements for my back, I have to find the correct angle so as not risk re-injury and I cannot use heavier weights like I used to.

I’ve seen a specialist and was told that if I injure it badly again, surgery would be needed. I still go for weekly physiotherapy.

Q What is your typical diet like?

A My diet differs on training and non-training days. I always start my day with a protein shake and eggs. On training days, I consume up to 2,400 calories, comprising mainly carbohydrates and protein, and keeping fat low.

On these days, sweet potatoes, chicken fillets, rice cakes, vegetables and cereal would cover themajority ofmymeals.

On non-training days, I consume up to 1,900 calories. I lower my carbohydrates, maintainmyprotein intake but increase my fats. I would have salmon, almonds, peanut butter, vegetablesand eggs.

  • BRENDAN ONG

  • AGE: 21WEIGHT: 74kgHEIGHT: 1.7mMr Ong has his older brother Jonathan, 26, to thank for setting him on the road to fitness.

    It was Jonathan who encouraged him to work out in secondary school, who gave him his first scoop of protein powder and who taught him how to exercise in the gym.

    Two weeks before the National Bodybuilding Championship in 2014, Jonathan signed Brendan up without his knowledge. Brendan had wanted to take part, but did not feel confident enough about his own body. He did Jonathan proud by coming up tops in the Classic Bodybuilding category and taking third spot in the Juniors Under 75kg category.

    Last month, Brendan distinguished himself in two categories at the NABBA WFF Singapore Muscle War, placing second and third.

    At first, he thought it was “weird” to stand onstage posing in a tiny piece of underwear but, later, he found himself enjoying the chance to show off the body he had worked so hard to transform.

    He wants to continue with bodybuilding for as long as he can. The bachelor lives with his parents and brother in western Singapore.

    Joan Chew

10 All-Natural Ways to Stay Young

Hello, fountain of youth! Stay young with these amazing, completely natural age erasers that boost brain power, stop stress, and smooth skin.

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Stress Less

Getting older — without being doomed to wrinkle-dom and jiggly thighs — does not require a high-priced trainer and a bucket o’ Botox. We swear it. We know it. We asked top researchers to share their stay-young secrets for winding back time naturally. Their advice will help you stay young and have you looking and feeling everyday fabulous, by doing everyday smart things: exercise, eat healthy, de-stress — not so hard, right? Try it today.

The Workout That Helps You Lose Weight and Stay Young

Get the complete You on a Diet Workout, developed by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen, authors of the best-selling You on a Diet.

1. Give yourself a break

Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. These days, when our stressors seem unrelenting (a steady stream of job pressures, traffic jams, money problems), chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health. “Sixty to 90 percent of all doctors’ visits each year are related to anxiety, depression, obsessive anger and hostility, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks — all problems caused by stress,” says Herbert Benson, MD, author of the landmark book The Relaxation Responseand a founder and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston.

The most effective way to halt this destructive chain of events is to meditate, using what Dr. Benson calls “the relaxation response.” The technique involves repeating a mantra — a word, sound, phrase, or prayer — for as little as 10 minutes a day. A 2005 study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that meditation helped prevent age-related changes in the brain.

Try it! Once or twice daily, for 10 to 20 minutes (yes, you do have the time — you just have to make it), sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your muscles, roll your head, neck, and shoulders, and breathe deeply. On each exhale, repeat your mantra. If other thoughts try to invade, says Dr. Benson, tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and return to your word or phrase. When you’re done, keep your eyes closed for an extra minute; slowly allow everyday thoughts to flow back into your mind. Still not into the idea of meditation? Do yoga, or something active and repetitive, like running, instead. Focus on your breathing and how your feet land with each stride. Get your to-do list out of your head, says Dr. Benson.

2. Consume more fat

The healthy kind, that is. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and seeds) help stabilize your mood, maintain bone strength, and help prevent visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in the body, explains Nicholas Perricone, MD, a leading anti-aging expert and author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity. “Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy,” he says. “Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.”

Try it! “Virtually every expert agrees that you need two grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day,” says Michael Roizen, MD, chair of the division of anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and coauthor of You on a Diet. Eat plenty of fatty fish such as wild salmon (a 3-ounce serving has 6.9 grams), as well as walnuts (one-half ounce has 9.2 grams), says Dr. Roizen. If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s from your diet, consider taking fish-oil supplements.

3. Get off the couch

Not only does regular exercise help you lose weight, tone muscles, build healthier bones, and boost mood, it can also help you think clearly. Studies cited by the National Institute on Aging demonstrate a connection between physical exercise and better brain power. “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and coauthor of The Healthy Brain Kit. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”

Try it! Make time for three 20-minute workouts a week. Run, bike, swim, dance — do whatever you enjoy most.

4. Feel the love

Anyone who’s ever fallen head over heels or discovered an activity that makes them eager to jump out of bed in the morning knows that passion is a powerful drug. “It’s the central motivation of all human activity,” says Gail Sheehy in her new book, Sex and the Seasoned Woman. The ability to embrace life boosts self-esteem, fuels the immune system, and improves cardiovascular health. Passion in bed can be particularly beneficial: “Loving touches release hormones, including oxytocin, that reduce stress and anxiety,” says Mehmet Oz, MD, professor of surgery and vice chairman of cardiovascular services at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University, as well as the coauthor ofYou on a Diet. “If sex is a purely hedonistic process, it won’t have the same results.”

Try it! Banish boredom and isolation at all costs. Rekindle the flames with your partner. Or discover a new love in the form of a mental or physical pursuit: Take up painting, join a book club, start a running program (you’ll find motivation and tips and connect with other women like you through Team FITNESS, our personalized online exercise community, at fitnessmagazine.com/teamfitness). Do whatever it is that makes you feel energized and alive.

5. Drink red wine

Last fall, a groundbreaking study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes, had longer average lifespans than those not given the resveratrol. According to the study’s co-lead researcher Rafael de Cabo, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging, resveratrol clearly reduced the risk of diabetes and liver problems in mice, leading to a significant decline in obesity-related deaths. But here’s the catch: “You’d have to drink 180 bottles of red wine a day to get the same benefits,” says Dr. Roizen.

Researchers are working now to improve the potency of resveratrol in order to develop a pill that contains the optimum amount of the substance. In the meantime, there’s plenty of evidence that a little red wine can offset a host of health problems. A new animal study from Johns Hopkins University suggested that red wine can diminish brain damage caused by stroke by as much as 40 percent. And research released last year showed that grape-seed procyanidins, found in red wine, helps reduce arterial clogging, resulting in lower blood-cholesterol levels and a reduction in deaths from heart disease.

Try it! Until an optimally potent resveratrol pill is available, enjoy red wine, but it’s best to follow the latest alcohol guidelines from the American Medical Association and drink no more than one glass (5 ounces) a day for your health.

6. Do yoga

More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. “Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit,” says Cyndi Lee, founder of New York City’s Om Yoga and a FITNESS advisory board member. “Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body.” That translates into major anti-aging advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells, ridding them of toxins, helping prevent illness, and making skin radiant. Unlike other exercises, says Lee, yoga poses are designed to work the inside of your body as well as the outside, which helps rejuvenate the digestive system, the reproductive system, even the immune system. “Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth,” she says. “It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.”

Try it! Practice yoga or other mind-body activities at least twice a week, says Lee, to give yourself an energy boost, help build bone mass, and de-stress.

7. Bite into a superfruit

There’s a good reason we’re hearing so much about pomegranates these days. “Current studies show that they are more beneficial than other fruits,” says Dr. Oz. Pomegranate juice has been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly delay the onset of atherosclerosis, and potentially help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; researchers believe it may also help prevent some forms of cancer from starting or progressing. Pomegranates can also protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays, according to a study published last March.

Another promising anti-ager is the goji berry, a fruit native to Tibet that boasts 500 times more vitamin C by weight than an orange and is considered to be the most abundant source of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant, on earth. This little nutritional powerhouse — which tastes like a denser, sweeter cranberry — also contains more iron than spinach, 18 amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, according to Dr. Perricone. The goji berry stimulates the release of human growth hormone, a natural substance in the body that improves our ability to sleep, helps us look younger, reduces fat, improves memory, boosts libido, and enhances the immune system, he says.

Try it! Snack on a handful of dried goji berries (available at Whole Foods Market) throughout the day. Be sure to buy ones from Tibet, because they have high serum levels, advises Dr. Perricone. In addition, drink pomegranate juice. Not a fan of the flavor? Buy it in concentrate and add a tablespoonful daily to kefir (or plain yogurt), suggests Dr. Perricone. For dewy skin, try Rodial’s Wrinkle Smoother, a pomegranate-infused anti-aging serum with marine extracts and vitamin C created to plump wrinkles, block sun and give a youthful glow.

8. Sip green tea

The health buzz about this brew keeps getting stronger: Last year, green tea was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent remissions, and now it’s being tested as a way to help prevent bladder, colorectal, and lung cancer recurrence. “Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer,” says Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University and principal investigator of the cancer study. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism, says Dr. Roizen. Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.

Try it! Sip two or three cups daily for the ultimate health benefits, says Yee. We like Tazo China Green Tips tea.

9. Slather your skin with supplements

Retinol, a type of vitamin A (and a nonprescription, weaker-strength relative of Retin-A), is considered the most effective over-the-counter treatment to smooth the skin and prevent wrinkles, says David Colbert, MD, founder of the New York Dermatology Group and a member of the FITNESS advisory board, who practices in New York City. Retinols cause the skin to gently peel, revealing a silkier, rosier, and more supple layer. Dr. Perricone touts the benefits of alpha lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant that naturally occurs in the body. “Alpha lipoic acid is a wonderful anti-aging mechanism,” he says. It has been shown to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture, tighten pores, and give skin a general radiance.

Another powerful age-defying ingredient is madecassol, or madecassoside (found in La Roche-Posay’s Redermic, available at select CVS locations), an Asian plant extract that helps plump the skin, minimize fine lines, and restore a youthful glow, says Dr. Colbert. Madecassol has been used in France for decades to help heal scars and wounds. European studies have also found that it helps diminish wrinkles, restores firmness to skin, and hydrates skin cells.

Try it! Look for skin creams containing retinols, such as La Roche-Posay’s Biomedic Retinol Cream (available at dermatologists’ offices) or RoC’s Retinol Actif Pur Night (at drugstores). Use it only at night, since it doesn’t include an SPF. Or try products containing alpha lipoic acid.

Another good way to ensure cell turnover, protect your skin against free radicals, and stimulate collagen growth is to apply vitamin C serum under your moisturizer and makeup, says Dr. Colbert. Some expert-approved choices: IS Clinical C & E Serum (available at dermatologists’ and other specialists’ offices), SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic (at dermatologists’ offices), Noah’s Naturals Honest to Goodness Anti-Oxidant Serum Gel (at select Wal-Mart locations), and Pond’s Age defEYE Anti-Circle Anti-Puff Eye Therapy (at drugstores). Finally, be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunblock every day to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which cause aging and skin cancer. One we like: Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Mexoryl SX (available at select CVS locations).

10. Do mental aerobics

A study published in last December’s Journal of the American Medical Association shows that brain exercises can prevent cognitive decline, and the benefits can last for as many as five years. In his own research, Dr. Small has found that a two-week program of mental training can actually rewire the brain. “We’ve seen evidence on brain scans that memory improves,” he says.

Try it! Strengthen your mind every day by doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or Brain Games, a handheld electronic game developed by Dr. Small that uses numbers, sequences, and word play to condition the left and right spheres of the brain (available at Wal-Mart and Target stores).

The Workout That Helps You Lose Weight and Stay Young

Get the complete You on a Diet Workout, developed by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen, authors of the best-selling You on a Diet.

Top 10 Diet and Fitness Tips for Men

1 / 11

It’s no secret that obesity is widespread: Nearly three out of every four men are either overweight or obese, and 50 percent of men don’t engage in vigorous leisure-time physical activity for more than 10 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If these statistics haven’t convinced you to start making healthier lifestyle choices, then at least start adopting better habits for the sake of your kids. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that fathers have a major impact on kids’ food choices; namely, how often they eat fast food and other restaurant food, which can in turn affect their own risk for weight problems.

Ready to end your relationship with the pizza delivery guy and spend a little less time on the couch? Let these simple tips motivate you to fuel your body with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

2 / 11 Vary Your Fitness Routine

Alternate your exercise activities to stay motivated to work out — variety is good for both the mind and body, said Jim White, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, certified health fitness instructor, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, Va. “Your body can get used to the same thing if it’s done over and over again,” White said. To keep your body guessing, he suggested combining different types of fitness workouts: Mix up a cardio workout like running with strength training, yoga, and martial arts, or vary your tempo within any one activity through interval training.

3 / 11 Find a Fitness Buddy

Do you need extra motivation to stick with your fitness and diet plan? Don’t go it alone — enlist the help of a buddy. Not only does working out with a friend keep you both focused on fitness, it also adds an edge of competition, especially if you pick a workout buddy who’s a bit more advanced and will make you feel challenged. You’ll work harder to keep up and reach your fitness goals.

4 / 11 Read Nutrition Labels

Reading package labels is a must to keep from sabotaging a healthy diet with oversized portions and unhealthy ingredients in processed foods. “A lot of the time there are three to four servings per package,” said White — not just one. Avoid foods with trans fats and limit sugars; less than 7 grams per serving is a good idea. Look for high-fiber foods, which contain more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. And remember that the more fresh foods you add to your diet, rather than processed lunch meats or prepackaged meals, the easier it is to ensure that you’re getting essential daily nutrients.

5 / 11 Keep Cooking Simple

When you’re following a healthy diet and cooking at home, make sure your preparation methods are also healthy. Bake, grill, steam, or sauté foods rather than breading and deep-frying them, suggested White. Cook with healthy fats, such as olive or canola oil instead of butter, and season with fresh or dried herbs, not salt. Order food prepared in these healthful ways when you eat out, too.

6 / 11 Develop Strength-Training Exercises

Strength training is a key part of any fitness plan, both for variety and to build calorie-burning muscle. You don’t have to lift weights or spend hours at the gym — you can tone your muscles at home or at the office just a few minutes at a time. Push-ups are great for working the chest, triceps, and shoulders, said White, and you can do them anywhere. Squats and lunges are also effective because they work multiple muscles and are easy to add to any fitness routine.

7 / 11 Stick With Simple Cardio Workouts

Cardio exercise gets your heart rate up and burns off calories. Running provides a great cardio workout, said White. If you’re a beginner, start out slowly by alternating walking and running intervals. You can also burn calories throughout the day by taking a few simple “steps,” such as standing up more at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking your car farther away from the office. Walk at a brisk pace whenever possible.

8 / 11 Avoid Diet Boredom With New Foods

Adding new and unusual tastes to your meals helps you to stay interested in eating right and ensures that you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients. If you eat only a narrow range of foods, even foods that are good for you, you could become deficient in some vitamins and minerals, which can lower your energy level. In addition to lean protein and low-fat dairy staples, experiment with exotic fruits and vegetables and different types of whole grains. Try eating quinoa as a side dish or having oatmeal or shredded wheat for breakfast.

9 / 11 Pay Attention to Serving Sizes

A serving of meat isn’t that whopping one-pound steak you may like to grill up for dinner — an appropriate serving size for meat is actually only 4 ounces, said White. In addition to using measuring tools and possibly a food scale to weigh portions, be sure to carefully calculate the serving size of any packaged food by using the information on the nutrition label. At restaurants, White suggested safeguarding your diet by eating only half your portion and taking the rest home to enjoy the next day.

10 / 11 Stay Motivated for Fitness

As with diet, sticking with the same fitness plan day in and day out can lose its appeal over time. Taking up a new exercise activity or even a new sport can ramp up your enthusiasm. Always wanted to play golf? Reward your exercise dedication with a few lessons and walk the course to burn calories. Want a relaxing exercise option? Rent a rowboat and spend a few hours on a serene lake. Of course, if you’re already doing a fitness activity you truly enjoy, be sure to keep it in your exercise rotation.

11 / 11 Tweak Your Diet With More Fruits and Vegetables

A healthy diet can be a work in progress. Meat may have been your main staple, but as you improve your health, continually improve your nutrition as well. Find simple ways to fit in more fresh fruits and vegetables and eat less meat. White suggested snacking on celery sticks with peanut butter or carrots with fat-free ranch dip. Other easy ways to improve your diet include bulking up sandwiches with tomatoes and fresh greens, topping whole-wheat pasta with steamed seasonal vegetables, and slicing fruit into your morning cup of yogurt or bowl of cereal. Your food calories will leave you more satisfied as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.

7 of the Worst Mistakes You Can Make During Your Workout

Whether you’re focusing on muscle building or weight loss, when it comes to hitting the gym, you want to make your workouts count. You most likely already have a gym routine down, too you go in, warm up for a few minutes, do about thirty minutes worth of cardio and then you hit the free weights to get that six pack you’ve been aiming for or work on perfecting your bicep curls. You may vary your routine up a little bit to isolate different muscle groups daily, but overall, you’ve got a pretty good idea of how your hour at the gym is going to be spent.

Whether you go to the gym daily, weekly, or just every once in awhile, it may be time to take a look at seven of the most common training mistakes that men make while they’re working out. Getting the most out of your gym routine is essential to building muscle and avoiding injury, so here are a few missteps to avoid.

1. Isolating specific muscle groups only

While it may seem like a good idea to isolate small muscle groups and work them individually using weights, you probably won’t be building strength in areas of your body that will be useful to you in every day life. Outside describes this common training mistake as one that many heavy lifters seem to make. While it may seem like a good idea to work those small muscle groups just as hard as the bigger ones, you want to make sure you’re working them in a way that will benefit your body as a whole and help you build up your strength.

To build strength that you’ll employ in your life, you should aim to do exercises in the gym that work multiple muscle groups at once. Squatting is a great exercise for this reason — with proper form, you’ll be working multiple leg muscles, core muscles, and back muscles, and exercises that work a varied number of muscles are great for improved athleticism as a whole. Don’t just work on your hamstring curls — perform leg presses and leg extensions at a heavy weight with few reps for an all-over leg workout that includes the hamstrings.

2. Cardio: Doing too much or too little

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Many athletes make the mistake of either over-training or under-training with cardio — there is a sweet spot to how much or how little you should go for, and you have to strike a balance between cardio and weight lifting in order to continue building muscle. While lifting is the best way to build muscle and thus burn more calories throughout the day, you can’t discount the importance of cardio either, as it’s excellent for your cardiovascular health and jump-starting a weight loss program.

You’ll want to strike a balance between cardio and lifting. Muscle and Performance explains that in an attempt to burn fat more quickly, many men will overdo the cardio and subsequently also make it more difficult for them to build muscle. It’s difficult to put on more muscle if you’re creating a huge calorie deficit with your cardio, as your body needs those extra calories for muscle build, so you should aim to train for no more than 45 minutes of cardio per gym session. And, you should perform no more than two to three cardio sessions per week. If you’re really going for a difficult cardio session, keeping your run to or elliptical time to around 20 minutes should also do the trick.

The opposite of this problem is also a training mistake, as some men do too little cardio in comparison to their weight training routine. You’ll want to find the balance that works for you, but doing 30 minutes of interval cardio training is typically best.

3. Starting your workout tired

While one night of poor sleep may not make much of a difference when it comes to your gym routine, don’t make a habit of this. The average adult needs between seven and nine and a half hours of sleep a night, and this is vital for muscle build and repair and for keeping your energy levels up at the gym. Livestrong explains how your lack of sleep can impair your body’s ability to recover after a hard workout, and this is when your body is responsible for building muscle in the first place. While you’re putting in the time and effort at the gym to break down your muscles, the recovery process is what builds them and makes them stronger. Your sleepless nights may be negatively affecting this.

If you begin your workout already tired, it’ll be harder for you to perform your workout with the intensity and energy that you need, and this can also make you more prone to mistakes in form and possible injury. For you to safely and effectively complete a tough hour of lifting weights, you’ll need to be as alert and prepared as possible for your training session.

4. Skipping your warm-up and stretches

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You’ll have those days where your gym time is limited, and you may be tempted to rush right to the hard-hitting lifts and cardio once you get there to maximize the time you do have. However, skipping your warm-up is ill-advised; while you may not think it’s all that important to properly warm your muscles, you do need to take a solid five to ten minutes to prepare your muscles and joints for the work that’s to come.

Bodybuilding explains that warming up before your workout is vital, as it increases your body temperature, lubricates the joints, improves circulation of blood flow, and improves the capacity at which you’re able to move. Warming up, essentially, tells your body that you’re preparing it to lift, stretch, and move in ways that exceed your other daily activities, and warming up is one of the best ways to avoid injury. Stretching at the end of your workout is also very important — while cardio and weight lifting can cause your muscles to tense and tighten, stretching right after you’re finished is the best way to increase flexibility and also prevent injury post-workout.

5. Using improper form

If you’re a heavy lifter, you should ensure that your form is perfect before beginning your reps, as lifting improperly is sure to leave you with strained muscles and a higher likelihood of sustaining injury. Weight Loss for All describes how exercising with proper form allows you to push your muscles until they can no longer perform the exercise, but adding in that extra rep at the end with improper form can work muscles you aren’t meaning to work, thus causing possible strain. Proper form is particularly important when it involves chest, back, and some arm exercises as well, as any excess pressure on your spine can cause serious, irreparable damage.

Maintaining your form also helps work the muscles you’re targeting, thus giving you the workout you were aiming for all along. And, proper technique also allows you to breathe easier, and if you can bring more oxygen into your body while you’re lifting those heavy weights, this should also assist you in getting the most out of your weight training session.

6. Sticking with the same routine

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After you fall into the flow of your workout routine, be sure to gradually increase resistance or the number of reps in your set for a constant challenge. While some days may require an easier workout than others, you never want to stay too comfortable in your routine, as no challenge for you means no challenge for your muscles, either, and you won’t gain as much muscle or cardiovascular benefits.

Simply Shredded warns that if you find that through your week you need to lessen the intensity of your workout or use less weight, you may be overtraining. For your muscles to grow, you must take time to rest between exercises. A failure to rest means a failure for muscle growth and repair, so take the time to allow your muscles to relax. Then, come back to your workout with full force, and as you grow stronger, vary your routine by both weight and rep length. One day, try a higher weight with less reps, and the next time you work that muscle group, try a lower weight with more reps. For cardio, try interval training for a half hour — this will keep your muscles guessing and constantly adapting to the new activity.

7. Going into your workout without goals

Every time you get to the gym, you should go in thinking of both your short-term and long-term goals for that workout. What do you want to achieve that day? Are you looking to increase your run by a half-mile, or are you looking to increase the weight with your deadlifts and do a few more reps per set? Setting short-term goals is a great way to make each individual gym visit unique to your body and what you’re capable of.

With your small goals in mind per visit to the gym, you should also keep in mind what you want to get out of your workouts in the long run. What areas of your body are you looking to tone and shape? Or, are you looking for a healthier cardiovascular system overall with the aesthetic effects of working out being a secondary goal? It’s important to know why you’re going to the gym, and what you hope to accomplish within a given timeframe. If you’re having trouble coming up with your own fitness goals for yourself, Men’s Fitness gives a few ideas for some goals that you may want to aim for while you’re paying visits to the gym.

A bodybuilder’s diet

Eating well when you’re weight training is no small feat – this much is clear from our dietitian’s comments.

b5ed354c1a2346b0a0fb4350c35d7e1dHealth24 received the following from a regular user regarding what they eat to build muscle.

User’s comments:

I do bodybuilding, so I thought it would be interesting to share what I eat in a day.

Meal 1: Protein shake (40g protein)
Meal 2: 4 scrambled egg whites, 200g oats (dry before cooked), 10ml omega 3-6-9 oil, multi-vitamin, 500mg vitamin C
Meal 3: 150g chicken fillet, 100g potatoes
Meal 4: 300g chicken fillet, 500g stir-fry veggies
Meal 5: Protein shake (80g protein)
Meal 6: 30g of liquid carbs (dextrose), 6 egg whites
Meal 7: 300g chicken fillet, 250g mixed veggies, 150g brown rice
Meal 8: Protein shake (40g protein), 10ml omega 3-6-9 oil, 500mg vitamin C

I am 1.85m tall and I weigh 95kg. My body fat is currently at approximately 12%.

I only use ‘Spray ‘n Cook’ when I stir-fry my food, do my eggs and chicken. I steam my potatoes and veggies. I use very little salt and no sugar.

Our expert’s comments as follow:

1. You are currently consuming a very-high-protein, low-to-moderate-carbohydrate and very-low-fat diet. You should avoid excluding a particular food group completely as this will almost inevitably cause nutrient imbalances.

Current acceptable recommendations on protein requirements are 1-2.2 g/kg body weight or 15-25% of the total energy intake. Fat requirements may be as low as 20% of total intake with carbohydrates making up the balance. So you do need a small amount of healthy fat. Try to incorporate this into your diet (avocado pears, canola or olive oil, nuts and seeds, peanut butter).

2. In terms of protein intake and building muscle, we now know that your muscles are only able to use a limited amount of protein for growth, as long as there’s adequate carbohydrate to fuel the strength training required to build muscles. Any excess protein (amino acids) will be broken down and either stored as fat or later used as a source of energy.

Breaking down amino acids requires excretion of water, so excessive protein intakes contribute to a fluid imbalance in your body. In time, it may accelerate calcium losses, lead to kidney problems and gout.

Even after training, when you need the extra protein for anabolic/muscle building and recovery benefits, protein should always be consumed in combination with carbohydrate. Make sure you’re eating adequate amounts of carbs for the amount of protein that you’re eating. Too little carbohydrate will also result in low energy levels, making it difficult for you to train and perform at your best.

Portions of foods providing 10g protein (taken from ‘Eating for Sport’ by Shelley Meltzer & Cecily Fuller):

  • 50g grilled/ cooked fish
  • 50g tuna, salmon, pilchards
  • 35g lean beef, lamb, veal, game (cooked)
  • 40g chicken, turkey (skinless, cooked)
  • 50g ostrich (cooked)
  • 2 small or 1 large chicken egg
  • The whites of 3 large eggs
  • 70g cottage cheese (low fat/ fat free)
  • 30g low-fat cheese
  • 200ml (¾cup) low fat fruit yoghurt
  • 300ml (1¼cups) low fat milk
  • 30ml (2Tbsp) low fat or skim milk powder
  • 250ml (1 cup) liquid meal replacement (made with skim milk or water)
  • 160ml (? cup) cooked lentils
  • 125ml (½ cup) cooked soya beans
  • 200ml (¾ cup) baked beans
  • 40ml (31/2 Tbsp) nuts
  • 60ml (5 Tbsp) sesame seeds
  • 200ml (¾cup) cooked soya mince
  • 120g raw tofu
  • 125ml (½ cup) hummus

3. I am concerned that your overall fruit intake is low. You should aim for ‘5-a-day’ in terms of fruit and vegetables to ensure optimal intake of various vitamins and minerals. The vitamin supplements which you take should be just that – supplements to the food you eat to complement your overall intake.

4. With regards to body fat, we all have storage fat (in adipose tissue under the skin) and essential fat (in organs). Essential fat is needed for normal physiological functioning. Acceptable ranges of total body fat associated with optimal health are 8-24% in men and 21-35% in women.

A low body fat is a distinct advantage in weight-making sports because it improves your power-to-weight ratio and also helps increase an athlete’s rate of acceleration. Body fat levels below 3-5% for males and 12-14% for females, however, are considered dangerously low and associated with poor health and performance.

Your BMI is 27.7 kg/m2 which as you are probably aware would be classified as overweight in a ‘non-body building’ individual.

Calculate your BMI

Although I don’t know what you look like, you are by no means overweight with your current percentage body fat. Remember that BMI is only a screening tool to assess a person’s nutritional status.

It does not take your body’s composition into consideration and since muscle weighs more than fat, muscular individuals (bodybuilders) are likely to have a higher BMI measurement.

Read: Your guide to banned substances

5. It is unclear how much water you drink.

Dehydration of 3-5% of body weight decreases physical strength and performance, and is the primary cause of heat exhaustion. Estimating water or fluid intake requirements is not easy and individual requirements are highly variable depending on the person as well as factors such as activity, humidity, climate, body temperature and body composition, protein intake.

As a guide, the recommended Adequate Intake (AI) of fluid for sedentary men (aged 19-50 years) is 3.71 liters (12 glasses of 250ml) per day of which at least 6 glasses (250ml) should be water.

Different sports have specific fluid intake recommendations in order to ensure an adequate intake before, during and after a strenuous bout of exercise. You need to ensure that you always replace fluid after exercise.

During long periods of intense exercise, it is best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat, provide glucose to prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of developing hyponatraemia, which can be life-threatening when it occurs.

I have included some guidelines specific to weight-making sports below:

  • Recovery of fluids lost through dehydration may take 24-48 hours.
  • Drink with all foods taken before a training session.
  • Take sufficient drink bottles to training and keep them easily accessible (or use convenient drink containers that can be worn). If possible take drink breaks every 15-20 minutes – adopting a pattern of drinking small amounts of fluid at regular intervals during exercise is optimal.
  • Rehydrate fully after training, using your pre-training weight as a guide.
  • Sports drinks (5-7% concentrations) are good options as they are quickly emptied from the stomach and replace sodium losses, without causing gastric cramps (may occur with 10% concentrations). In your case, however, your choice of drink may depend on your weight goals, particularly if you are competing. If you wish to lose weight, dilute sports drinks. Sports water (need electrolytes, not calories) or plain water may be preferred with solid foods providing your carbohydrate.

6. Be aware of the amount of food that you are eating. This should also be practical and able to be implemented in other settings outside of home. I have included a guide for visualising various servings:

  • 90g red meat/ poultry/ fish = deck of playing cards
  • 30g cheese = 1 matchbox
  • 1 muffin/roll = a fist
  • 1 tsp butter = 1 thumb tip
  • 125ml (½ cup) pasta/ rice/ vegetables = tennis ball
  • 125ml (½ cup) ice cream = tennis ball
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) nuts/ sweets = one handful
  • 1 medium potato = computer mouse
  • 1 biscuit = a bath plug
  • 250ml (1 cup) cereal = a fist
  • A medium apple/ pear/ orange = tennis ball

Read: Building muscle: the skinny on how to bulk up

7. Visualise the following when dishing up your plate of food:

  • Carbohydrate-rich foods (bread, pasta, rice, mielies, fruit, vegetables) should make up approximately one third of your plate.
  • The rest should be reserved for protein-rich foods (egg, fish, lean meat/ chicken, legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, low fat dairy, soya and tofu).
  • There should be a minimal amount of fat (butter, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, peanut butter, cream, oil).

8. I would like to suggest that you include more fish in your diet – ideally 2-3 times a week. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is an essential fat, meaning our bodies are unable to produce it and therefore it needs to be obtained from external sources (food and supplements).

Omega-3 fats have received much attention recently and have been shown to protect against heart disease, maintain a healthy blood cholesterol profile and improve brain power and concentration. The fat has also been implicated in management of ADHD and potentially minimising the effects of eczema and food allergies.

Ask The Dietitians or our Biokineticist for more info on nutrition and sports.