A Call to Canadians to Save Our Supplements before it’s too late

A Call to Canadians to Save Our Supplements before it’s too late

Note from Coach Moose:

Health Canada is proposing changes the existing Natural Health Product Regulations, which seem to be based on a single public opinion poll and six weeks of consultation taking place right now. The proposed changes could impact how NHPs are approved, the cost and number of products available for sale in Canada, and may not respect the cultural and traditional uses of these products. Read on and find out more, and what you can do to help…

How do you know your supplements are safe?

nhps-are-not-drugsWhen you walk into your local health food store, you can find all kinds of safe, effective and high-quality supplements, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal products and traditional medicines. All these products make up the category of natural health products (NHPs) that you and 77 per cent of Canadians use for the maintenance of good health.

These NHPs could include vitamin C to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Or a probiotic to keep your immune system primed and ready to combat those winter bugs. Or vitamin D, since there are few natural dietary sources and because supplementing with vitamin D is almost universally recommended, particularly for those in greatest need, such as infants and the elderly.

Whatever NHPs you choose, it is important to know Canada is a global leader in the regulation of these products. The Canadian approach to regulation is often referred to as a “pre-approval” system, which means that all NHPs must be licensed by Health Canada before they are allowed to be legally sold to Canadians.

Health Canada is proposing changes that could:
  • Cause many of the supplements that you use to disappear forever.
  • Increase the cost of the products that are left.
  • Reduce the amount of information available to you about the natural health products you rely on.

Help us stop this by sending a message to your Member of Parliament, letting him or her know this is not OK. You can do this in just three easy steps — it takes less than a minute.

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Want to find out more?

Click here to find out more about these proposed changes and how they will impact you.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions (F.A.Q.s) about Health Canada's proposal.

Click here to read our latest blog detailing these recent developments.

Click here to learn more about the existing NHP Regulations.

How do you know your supplements are going to work?

Currently, when you buy an NHP at your local health food store, you can be confident knowing that the company selling that product has provided evidence to support any health claims made.

The level of evidence required depends on the claim being made, the overall risk of the product, and the condition it is being used for. A product such as a multivitamin that makes a claim, “helps with the maintenance of good health,” will have to provide different evidence than an omega-3 supplement that makes the claim, “helps to reduce serum triglycerides and support brain function.”

No NHP can be licensed for sale in Canada without providing evidence to support the claims being made. Evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as modern studies and traditional sources, including pharmacopoeias (books published by a government, medical or pharmaceutical society) and references supporting the traditional use of products like Traditional Chinese Medicine or herbals.

Each product that is licensed receives a Natural Product Number (NPN), which is printed on the package. You can look up this NPN in Health Canada’s online database, which provides details, such as what is in the product, and what claims have been approved based on the evidence submitted and reviewed by Health Canada.

Alternative medicine tablets on a wooden spoon, green leaf.

So what’s the problem?

Health Canada is now proposing changes that could significantly alter the way NHPs are regulated based on, it appears, a single consumer survey and only six weeks of consultation.

This proposal is trying to fix a system that is not broken and will be a step backward instead of forward. Our current regulations take into account the unique properties and low-risk nature of these products, ensuring that you have access to NHPs that are safe, effective and high-quality while respecting your freedom of choice, and the philosophical and cultural diversity of our country.

What does this mean for you?

This proposal is suggesting that Health Canada will no longer review some of the products before they are sold, and would require a disclaimer on labels to the effect of, “Health Canada has not reviewed for safety and efficacy.” Additionally, current claims about the products’ use may no longer be allowed and would be removed from the label. This could limit the amount of information you receive about the products you use.

While reducing oversight on some products, the proposal is suggesting increased oversight on others. These products may require a level of evidence similar to what is needed for drugs. Requiring this level of evidence, necessary for products developed in a lab, is not reasonable for NHPs when considering their safe nature and a long history of use. This will result in the loss of some products from store shelves.

These proposed changes will require companies to begin investing in substantial research for ingredients we know work based on historical use and traditional sources. This means the cost of bringing these products to market will increase, resulting in increased costs for you.

What can you do?

We need your help.

Please visit chfa.ca right now to send a message to your Member of Parliament, letting them know these proposed changes are unacceptable. It will only take you one minute and will make a big difference in helping to ensure you continue to have access to the NHPs you know and love.

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Help get the word out on Social Media

“Supplements should be regulated based on their low risk & the fact they're derived from nature #SaveOurSupplements” – click here to Tweet

“Canada is a global leader in the regulation of supplements. Let's move forward instead of back #SaveOurSupplements” – click here to Tweet

“Don’t take away my freedom to choose safe and effective products #SaveOurSupplements” – click here to Tweet

“I’m one of the 77% of Canadians that use supplements #SaveOurSupplements” – click here to Tweet

“Supplements are not drugs. Click to help #SaveOurSupplements” – click here to Tweet

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How to create a Habit of Fitness and Nutrition – it’s easier than you think

How to create a Habit of Fitness and Nutrition – it’s easier than you think

What is your overall fitness goal?

Like any journey you take in life, you need to know what your overall destination is, and your fitness goals are no exception. It is best if you think about what it is that you ultimately want to achieve. Is it to run a marathon, is it to get shredded like a Spartan warrior, or is it to lose 20Kg of the wobbly stuff? Whatever your aim is, setting the goal will give you much more focus and allow you to break it down into smaller steps and create habits around those steps. Consistency will be a one of the keys to long-lasting success.

victory-of-success-quote

When you set your goal, be sure to be as specific as you can. For example, if you are starting a fitness regime to lose weight, write your goal down in as much detail as possible such as “In the next 6 months I will lose 10 kg of body-fat, reducing my body-fat percentage to 15%”. With specifics in your goal, you will know exactly what you will need to check and test regularly to stay on track. If you state that your goal is to “get into shape before the summer”, there is nothing in it to watch, nothing to hold you accountable for any success and nothing at all specific. With this type of goal, I would expect you to stick to it for 2 week’s maximum!

What are the small steps to achieving your goal?

Once you have your overall, specific main goal, the best way to create successful habits is by breaking it down into smaller, easier goals that can be done consistently. By doing this, you will know exactly what you need to do to succeed.

For example, if you have a weight loss goal, you could break it down into daily steps such as making sure you eat cleanly and that you are in a calorie deficit, complete 15-45 mins activity daily (The lower the time, the higher the intensity is needed), or finding alternative meals or snacks that are lower in calories.

you-should-always-have-a-goal-quote-f-l-smith

If your goal is to run a marathon, your small steps will mostly be aimed towards the distances you are completing, maybe starting with 3-5 km depending on your current fitness level and increasing this steadily. You will also need to include steps on stretching to avoid injury and nutrition to make sure you have the energy to sustain running long distances.

The daily things that you know you need to undertake will be beneficial when it comes to making the decision to actually carry out the actions needed to meet your overall aim.

What are you ready to give to make your goal?

When most people set goals of any kind, this question is often one that is neglected, but I feel it is an important one. Most people seem to expect that because they want to do something, it will magically happen with little or no adjustment to their life. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that.

When I think about what I will need to give to achieve a fitness goal, I have to think about what I know is not going to be at all beneficial. For example, if I want to lose weight, I know I will need to seriously cut back on the chocolate, biscuits and pizza. As much as enjoy these things, I need to be realistic about how much they are going to hinder any attempt at losing weight.

If I want to train for an endurance event, the main thing I will have to give is going to be time related. Depending on the distances for the event, you may need to give 1-2 hours, 4 times per week or more. That is a lot of time to give, so your dedication and focus will play a major part.

How to Apply a Risk and a Reward

Applying a risk or reward to your fitness goal can be a bit of fun, as well as a major motivator. This can come in the form of a bet with your mates or your significant other, or something more accountable such as staking a bet for a weight loss aim on dietbet.com.

doesnt-challenge-you-it-wont-change-you-quote

There are many examples of adding a risk and reward. Some people choose to start a small web page that holds them accountable for what they are hoping to achieve. If they achieve their aim, they get the bragging rights that they can share across their page, since failure could mean having to admit defeat publicly. If you make a wager with your significant other, your risk of not achieving could mean washing up for the next months, but the reward could mean trying something you have always wanted to!

How to Stay motivated, even at the worst of times

We all get days when we don’t want to give anything extra, so being able to push through these boundaries will definitely make a big difference when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. What is going to keep you motivated is having the goal that you thought about earlier, in mind.

find-time-for-illness-if-you-have-no-time-for-fitness

Visualizing what you want to do and seeing the end goal will make it a bit easier to pass on the sausage roll at lunch time, or the cakes that have been brought in to the office for a colleagues’ birthday. Knowing that every small detractor you avoid is a massive step closer to smashing your goal and achieving exactly what you set out to do.

To be honest, getting out there and doing something when you really don’t want to is one of the best motivators of all. If you can do it when you would rather not, you will feel unstoppable!

How to Play the long game and set new goals

One of the main things that I cannot stress enough is not to expect things to happen overnight or with smallest effort. Having trained people from all walks of life and for very different reasons spanning from the usual weight loss and muscle gain, to such things as improvement of balance and easing the effects of ME, it is surprising how many people expect a big result from little effort. It takes discipline, focus and long-term regular activity to get and keep up fitness goals.

wellness-is-a-state-of-being-quote

Once you have achieved your fitness goal, do not rest on your laurels and think that because you have it, you will keep it. Setting new goals and continuing with your training is hugely important, so that all your efforts are not in vain. The good news here is that maintenance is easier than achievement. It still takes effort, but you will already have the habits in place to keep you rolling on.

The other exciting part is that you can set yourself grander goals. If your main goal was to get to 15% body-fat, why not aim for 10% (for men) and get a six-pack? If your goal was to complete a triathlon, why not up it and set a goal to complete a half iron-man?

Remember the famous quote by Napoleon Hill:

If you believe it, you can achieve it. It just takes a little more effort than those that are happy to be ordinary. Believe in yourself and be extra-ordinary! Best of luck in achieving your goals!

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stuart-carter-headshotAuthor Bio: Stuart Carter

Having been an overweight teenager, I got into regular activity at the age of 18 and after a few years decided to make a living from it. I qualified as a Personal trainer in 2001 and since then have worked with all types of people across almost every job in the fitness industry. I am the author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide’ which I launched through Amazon Kindle publishing in February 2016, and run 2 websites. www.theeasyfitnessguide.com aims to show how good fitness can be achieved by being more active and making slight changes to your nutrition. Also www.3sdsportswear.com that offers advice on training, nutrition and techniques to people like me that are serial beginners in many sports. I am active on Twitter at the handle @3sdsportswear

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The Scale is Broken: Forget Obesity, ‘Skinny Fat’ is just as bad

The Scale is Broken: Forget Obesity, ‘Skinny Fat’ is just as bad

Today, media is littered with ‘weight loss‘ messaging.

Don't believe me? Check out the magazine rack next time you're out shopping and you'll be flooded by article titles claiming “how to lose weight FAST” and guaranteed “dieting tips” promising to “drop a dress or pant size overnight“.

Are we surprised by media's portrayal of the ‘Weight Loss' industry?

Not a bit if you consider that in 2014, the U.S. ‘weight loss' industry revenues surpassed $60.5 Billion dollars. When we consider numbers like this, it's easy to understand why media perpetuates our obsession with body weight, leaving it to us to rely on body-weight scales as the sole metric for our success while on the journey to attain a healthier, fitter body.

Shock and disbelief on the faces of trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels when Rachel Frederickson takes the stage.

Shock and disbelief on the faces of trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels when Rachel Frederickson takes the stage.

TV Shows such as NBC's ‘The Biggest Loser‘, an American competition reality show that debuted on October 19, 2004, takes weight-loss to an extreme. The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their first starting weight.

In the 15th season, we saw the negative effect of what happens when we make our focus ‘losing pounds'. When Rachel Fredrickson was titled the season's ‘Biggest Loser' and awarded the $250,000 grand prize by losing 60% of her body weight, controversy littered the media. (see ABC News story below)

Rachel's weight loss was so extreme, it left the show's trainers, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels in utter shock and disbelief. Of the 155lbs weight loss, a good percentage was muscle mass – and no matter who you are, this is NOT a good thing.

Rachel Frederickson's 155 pound weight loss takes 'extreme' weight loss to a whole new level on the Biggest Loser.

Rachel Frederickson's 155 pound weight loss takes ‘extreme' weight loss to a whole new level on the Biggest Loser.

However, this obsession with weight is common in North Western cultures, and fuels the success of TV franchises like The Biggest Loser. Have you checked out the “diet” book section on Amazon lately?

The most popular diets include Atkins, the Zone, Vegetarian Diet, Vegan Diet, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Raw Food, Paleo and the Mediterranean Diet… oh ba di, oh ba da, the list goes on and on…

And it doesn't stop there! They keep on coming… and we keep on buying them.

From Biggest Loser to Biggest Gainer

Ping ponging from diet to diet can result in a fluctuation of weight loss and gain. Once you’ve shed those spare pounds, it’s pretty difficult to keep them off. It takes strict dietary measures and stern discipline to stay lean and in shape. If you’re not strict, then “I’ll just have a taste of that organic chocolate” turns into “a tub of condensed milk can’t be that bad?”

Thanks to new scientific studies… and reality TV, Dr. Kevin Hall of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has made breakthrough discoveries about the physiology of obesity and why people struggle to keep the weight off. And he did this all after following the season 8 contestants of the popular reality TV series the Biggest Loser.

Carbs vs Fat in the Diet with Dr. Kevin Hall

It was a long study, in fact, it was the longest in the field of immense weight loss, as it spanned 6 years. And as you might have guessed if you know about weight loss, the answer is all about metabolism. In this case, a specific type known as resting metabolism, or the calories that one burns while at rest.

How does extreme dieting affect metabolism?

When the contestants started the show, they were burning a normal amount of calories for their weight. But when the show ended, their metabolisms had actually slowed down quite drastically. This means that for their new size, they were not burning enough to support a skinnier frame. But this is nothing new. All dieters have slower metabolisms when they stop dieting.

Food, Energy and Obesity with Dr. Kevin Hall

The biggest and scariest issue was that years after the show ended, the contestants could not recover their metabolisms. In fact, they became slower, which means it was more difficult to keep their weight down, where anything that went in their mouths turned to fat. But it’s not such a grim picture – most of the contestants have improved their health.

Co-researcher on the same study, Dr. Michael Schwartz, says that “you can’t get away from a basic biological reality… As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.” So physiological make up, mixed with difficult accessibility to a personal trainer, psychologist and dietitian after the show resulted in all contestants gaining weight 6 years on. So if you are finding it difficult to keep a slim frame, don’t be too hard on yourself if it isn’t working out exactly how you planned it.

Is Leptin the key between weight “release” and weight maintenance?

We all have different weights that we can maintain easily depending on our genetics. And scientists are trying to figure out why this is so. They are asking whether there is perhaps a difference between weight maintenance and weight loss. One of the greatest keys to this study is leptin, the hormone that controls hunger.

What is Leptin?

When it comes to weight loss, once you start shedding fat, the leptin falls and you become hungry. So once you have lost weight, you’ll need to trick your brain so that your hunger and leptin levels match. The study showed that the Biggest Loser contestants had one thing in common 6 years later – constantly battling with hunger, which means a plunge in leptin. Data showed that at the end of the competition, their leptin was almost non-existent, which meant the need to satisfy their palates more often. Once they started gaining weight, the leptin increased. The only thing is that it did not rise to its original levels. It seems that the only way for them to stay lean is to constantly be hungry.

Do Drugs like Canagliflozin work? Study says…

In another study, Dr. Hall divided a group of people in two. Half took a placebo, and half took a diabetes drug called canagliflozin (which places 360 calories into one’s urine). The results were quite informative. The group that took the drug would eventually lose weight, but their hunger would also increase, which means they would eat more.

If you do magically fight the urge to eat when you’re hungry and slow your metabolism, you will most probably gain weight in the long run (because that would be crazy willpower to keep up forever!).

So while tests are still being conducted on obesity and metabolism, what we learned from the brave pioneers in the Biggest Loser is that we need to understand our physiology and biology and know that we have to calm ourselves when snacking and not blame ourselves for overindulging, as it is part of our genetic make up to eat when hungry. But remember, do not use genetics as an excuse either.

All this being said, as more and more research is being done on the subject, it's becoming more clear that our weight might not be the best or the only indicator of our health.

Forget Obesity, ‘Skinny Fat' is just as bad

A Time Magazine article entitled The Hidden Dangers of ‘Skinny Fat’ looked at the findings of one Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

Forget obesity skinny fat is just as unhealthy

“The scale is not a proxy for your health,” states Dr. Church, and this definitely holds a lot of credibility because research has shown that people considered to be a ‘normal’ weight may still suffer from many of the same medical issues as obese people if they are neglecting their diets and eating a lot of processed foods.

Skinny Fat MaleThe Limitations of BMI (the Body Mass Index)

It is also important to remember that the Body Mass Index or BMI does not take into consideration the difference between fat and muscle, so someone with a lot of muscle and a very low body fat level may still be labeled as overweight or obese according to this measurement standard.

The Time article goes on to mention that,

people with normal BMIs and high body fat are at a greater risk of metabolic issues and death than any other group.”

The Body Mass Index was concocted as far back as 1830; we can clearly see that the sciences of medicine and nutrition have advanced greatly since then, making the BMI a method that is outdated at best and borderline neglectful at worst.

So, Don’t Rely On the Scale

The human body is a complex machine with a multitude of different markers that can point to the condition of one’s health, and while it can be tempting to simplify matters by reducing them down to a single number; this may be a highly inaccurate method of determining your health.

The best thing that you can do to personally take responsibility of your well-being and make sure your long-term health is to visit your doctor every 6 – 12 months for a thorough medical examination. As well, if you can, ask your doctor for a full hormone profile as well, no matter who you are, hormones regulate everything in your body. If they're not working optimally, then no matter what you do may be a losing battle.

This periodic checkup will allow your doctor to easily find any negative indicators that may show up in blood, urine, and stool samples, while also giving you the peace of mind that you are free of disease and can look forward to a long and fulfilling life!

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Want to Boost Your Testosterone naturally? Here’s How

Want to Boost Your Testosterone naturally? Here’s How

Boosting low testosterone levels is a hot topic, but how can you do it safely and naturally?

There are millions of guys taking dangerous steroids and millions more buying junk testosterone supplements that claim to boost your testosterone levels naturally. Fortunately there are scientifically proven and healthy ways to naturally boost your production of testosterone without all this B.S.

benefits of optimal testosterone level - art of manliness

A few of the benefits of higher testosterone levels vs the symptoms of low testosterone Image Credit: Art of Manliness

Below are 6 healthy and simple ways to boost your body's natural production of testosterone. These are easy to blend into your daily routine, and will make a noticeable difference very quickly.

6 Healthy and Natural Ways to Increase and Boost your Testosterone Levels

#1. Eating Certain Vegetables

Scientific studies have demonstrated that vegetables that contain indole-3-carbinol can have a positive impact on estrogen metabolism in men. This will then help you to meet your ideal level of testosterone production. This nutrient is found naturally in many green and root vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnip, rutabaga, bok choy, and broccoli. Try to get 1 or 2 servings of vegetables from this group into your daily meal plan.

testosterone boosting tip 1 of 6

#2. Get More Protein

Meat proteins are especially useful when weightlifting. Research has shown that meat increases your testosterone levels and generates increased amounts of muscle mass. Meat also involves far more than just red meat. Chicken, fish, pork, buffalo, turkey, and many more options exist for getting your protein consumption in.

#3. Eat the Right Kinds of Fats

Fats happen to be the most dense source of energy for your body. Every gram of fat has more than twice the calories found in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. The healthy fats found in meat, olive oil, dairy, avocados, most nuts, flax-seed oil, and a number of other foods, are an important part of your overall health. Fats will help you absorb the nutrients that you feed it, maintain cell structures, feed your nervous system, regulate your hormone levels, and much more. Studies have demonstrated that men whose diets are full of healthy fats will have higher levels of testosterone than those whose diets are lacking these fats.

It is a common misconception that eating the saturated fats found in animal products is harmful to your health. However, this is untrue. Saturated fats may actually help to cut the risk of heart disease. The fat that should be avoided is trans fat, which is a modified type of saturated fat that has been designed to give food a longer shelf life. This is the type of fat found in packaged foods, and fried foods are usually cooked in trans fat. This is the type of fat you want to avoid altogether, as it has been associated with many serious health complications.

#4. Relax

The body reacts to stress by making more of a hormone called cortisol that leads to a reduction in fat and muscle tissue, and which can interfere with your production of testosterone. Cortisol is also associated with an increase in appetite and the accumulation of belly fat, which can easily turn into a vicious cycle if your stress levels of high regularly.

Try not to let the little things get to you as much, don't over-train, and set a bit of time aside each day for chilling out. You'll not only be a happier and better person for it, but you'll notice bigger gains in the gym as well.

#5. Sleep Enough

Most people work long hours and then sacrifice sleep to make time for themselves during the evening. This is perfectly natural, but not a good habit to get into. Studies have shown that lack of sleep will cut your testosterone levels. They have also shown that restricted sleep will make losing weight more difficult, and you will lose more muscle during caloric restriction. Try to aim for between 7 and 9 hours every night.

testosterone boosting tip 5 of 6

#6. Have a Lot of Sex

As expected, sex will increase your levels of testosterone, so you can tell your girl that it's not only important for love and passion, but for health benefits as well.

No more asking ‘how to increase testosterone'?

Instead of simply buying the next highly marketed supplement, try these methods for naturally boosting your testosterone levels. And remember, if all else fails, HIIT training is another great way to pump the HgH levels naturally.

Have fun and keep chasing awesomeness!

Additional reading:

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preston pilgrim headshot for bioAuthor Bio: Preston Pilgrim

Preston is a born Canadian who has a passion for MMA, delicious foods and fitness. He resides in Kelowna, BC where he runs his personal training studio, Krush Fitness. Social media, Facebook.

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Are you focused on your Fatness? Stop it now! Here’s why

Are you focused on your Fatness? Stop it now! Here’s why

I had a friend in high school who worked for KFC. She would tell me stories about the person who came in and ordered a large popcorn chicken with ranch dressing and a Doublicious Combo — with a Diet coke.

We would giggle at the preposterousness of the last-ditch attempt at caloric restraint and maybe you just had the same reaction.

every moment is another chance to change

But I wonder if this sounds more familiar: the person who goes to the latest fashionable restaurant and is careful to send the bread basket away, order the grass-fed organic beef and trade the potato for a salad with the dressing on the side … and then orders three artisan cocktails – double shots in each with simple syrup and etc.

Don't get me wrong — this makes a LOT of sense in a foodie/deliciousness kind of way.

But not really from a health perspective.

The truth is that people are more conscious and health focused than ever before. But they are focusing on the wrong things. Because the things you actually need to focus on are old news. Boring. They are like those posters they pin to the ceiling at the dentist's office that say ‘everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten'. Like, eat your vegetables.

But imagine trying to sell magazines with a big headline saying: “Vegetables! Still good for you after all these years!

Instead, it's much more profitable to headline some breaking news about:

Ice cream is low on the glycemic index! (this is true BTW – the fat balances out the sugar load).

exercise is simple just choose

But investing your health efforts in the relatively low glycemic index of ice cream would be the wrong thing to focus on. Have you ever hear of the 80/20 rule?

It states that we get 80% of our results from 20% of our effort.

The trick is to figure out what that 20% that delivers is and do more of that.

So here are the 5 things you REALLY need to focus on to get healthy and lean…

5 Must-Do's to be Healthy, Lean (and quite frankly, Awesome in life!)

1. Portion control and calories in/calories out

Straight up, if you have extra body fat you are probably eating too much.

Yup, you heard me.

portion control is key to weight management

It's not that your Macros are off or you are sensitive to gluten. It's just straight up more food than you need, my friend. Maybe you caught the news a few years ago that we are supposed to have 5 meals a day. What the news didn't cover is the kindergarten lesson of OMG don't eat if you are not genuinely hungry!

The portions these days are absurd. Here's what your ideal plate should look like:

  • half the plate should be covered in vegetables
  • your protein is the size of your palm (not your hand. Palm)
  • your fat portion is the size of your thumb (so – cheese, dressing? THUMB. Your tiny, insignificant little thumb)
  • your starch is the size of your fist.
  • If you are trying to lose weight and want to focus on that 20% of effort that really delivers when it comes to nutrition, focus on maintaining your portion sizes and forget all the rest.

2. OMG go to SLEEP

Guess what happens when we're tired?

First, we crave sugary, high calorie foods to give us energy.

get some sleep for your health

Then, our decision-making skills are compromised to the point that we might as well be drunk.

Then the body perceives that we are not sleeping because we must be in crisis, which releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which retains abdominal fat for when we need it.

Interestingly, most people who are chronically sleep deprived are in denial about how it affects them physiologically. If you think you function as well on five hours of sleep as you do on seven, you are being like that drunk guy at the party who is slurring and insisting that he’s OK to drive home. Don’t be that guy. Stop looking at Pinterest and go to bed.

Choosing low carb snacks to go with your late night Netflix binge is an example of the 80% that is getting you nowhere. Turning off the Netflix and going to bed is an example of the 20% effort that will give greatest rewards.

3. Don't drink so much booze

I wish I didn’t have to type that. I really do. There is nothing better than a glass (cough, cough…bowl) of wine to unwind after the kids have gone to bed.

exercise but then i would spill my wine

But the horrible, mean and stingy truth is that:

  • no amount of alcohol is really good for you
  • Many people – especially women – are drinking way more than is considered safe. Check it out: One 5oz glass of wine a night plus a cocktail or two on Saturday night = a ‘heavy drinker' as defined by medical guidelines.

WHOOPS.

And listen – I know that alcohol might help you unwind and fall asleep but it reduces the quality of your sleep and contributes to overall anxiety.

Fussing over the relative sugar content in your wine is an example of the 80% that doesn’t really matter. Straight up reducing your alcohol intake is the 20% that will deliver maximum rewards.

4. Move more during the day

If you are reading this blog, you probably pride yourself on being active. Maybe you go to fitness classes and you run in the mornings.

And that is AWESOME.

you dont get the butt you want my sitting on it

But if you are a member of the human race now, you are actually probably pretty sedentary.

And it’s not your fault – EVERYTHING we need to carry out is done in front of a computer. Most places we need to go are by car. You get the point.

We know we need to move our bodies so we are conscientious to take an hour out of our day to go to the gym. The unfortunate thing is that one hour doesn’t make up for the other 23.

If you want to see weight loss results, you need to stay moving. All day. Stressing about whether your Spin class will burn as many calories as CrossFit is an example of the 80% that doesn’t matter. Getting at least 10-15K steps is the 20% that will keep you lean and healthy.

5. You’ve got to chill

At the end of the day, you probably don’t want to be thin.

No, really. You don’t.

What you want is to feel happy about your body. To feel at peace.

dont sweat the small stuff capiche

The trouble is – that you think that feeling will happen when you’ve lost 10 pounds.

…and so you stress about losing 10 lbs and whether you blew your clean eating diet over the weekend and whether your muffin top is visible in that shirt, etc etc.

And all this stressing is leading to emotional eating and more cortisol being released and abdominal fat being retained which leads to more stress, etc – you see where I’m going with this.

And the truth is that feeling – being happy with your body, being at peace – is available NOW.

Not in 10lbs.

…but in 10 deep breaths.

So in conclusion, how's the 80/20 rule apply to your life?

Stressing about your body is an example of the 80% that will not deliver the results you are looking for. Managing your stress and maintaining a positive mindset is actually

Everything.

So don’t sweat the small stuff. That 80% of health-related news that is just click-bait and not really important. Manage your portions, go to sleep, ditch the drinks, get moving more and then….chill.

You’ve got this.

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Author Bio: Oonagh Duncan

oonagh duncan bio pictureOonagh Duncan is a fitness industry veteran famous for her sense of fun and was awarded Pro Trainer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals for the past two years in a row. She is an Associate Fitness Editor for Chatelaine Magazine and regular Expert on the Steven and Chris show. She is the founder and head trainer of Fit Feels Good Inc, where she leads the legendary online weight loss program, The 28 Day Transformation Challenge. When she’s not training, she’s playing Star Wars with her three year old and five year old sons.

Be sure to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @fitfeelsgoodto and Instagram.

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Why Krave Gourmet Jerky makes the Perfect Protein Power Snack

Why Krave Gourmet Jerky makes the Perfect Protein Power Snack

Protein – it comes all different shapes and sizes and can be consumed for various reasons.

At birth we need protein to build essential amino acids that are necessary for growth. And as we grow older, along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the three fundamental nutrients needed in large amounts for healthy muscle formation and a strong metabolism. These three food types are better known as macronutrients.

doesnt challenge you it doesnt change you

If you are an active person, protein should be one of your dearest, most frequently visited friends. It is vital for muscle regeneration and growth (or hypertrophy) and, when consumed in correct quantities, can help weight loss. There are so many sources of protein to choose from. You can get it synthesized in the form of whey or casein, naturally from foods such as meat, eggs and tuna, or in meal replacements like bars and shakes.

Why Jerky is a Great Source of Protein

So what about jerky as a source of good clean protein?

Jerky, when made correctly, checks most of the criteria for a healthy snack: it contains lean meat, is trimmed of bad fats, is high in protein, is able to be stored for convenience and an active lifestyle – and it’s tasty too! But most jerkies are highly processed and filled with preservatives and sodium and some companies scrimp on the quality of the meat to save a buck. Yet some gourmet jerky producers are going against the grain, selecting the finest quality meats for their health-savvy client base. KRAVE Gourmet Jerky is one of those companies.

Krave_chili_lime_nomnom

KRAVE Gourmet Jerky is gluten-free, and a healthier protein-based option that is an ideal candidate for those of us with dynamic routines. While some of us live close enough to the gym to have a freshly cooked home meal directly after our workout, many of us can’t afford such a luxury. This is why a quick snack post-workout is usually our best option for consuming the correct amount of protein. While good protein shakes can be great and particular meal replacements could get the job done, some of us are looking for a more substantial alternative.

How Much Protein Do We Need Each Day?

In our quest to eat a nutritious diet, we are searching for healthier substitutes than processed food and unhealthy quick fixes. Remember that while a sufficient amount of protein is important for our diet, muscle growth and building a lean body, protein in excess can be detrimental to our health. All we need is 5 to 10% of total calories from protein per day.

Here’s a quick lesson in muscle growth.

When you work out, your muscle fiber tears (we’re talking here about skeletal muscles of course, you wouldn’t want to tear your heart – a cardiac muscle). When you finish lifting those pounds, your body naturally starts to repair itself by replacing damaged muscle fibers. Muscle fibers are then fused together to form new muscle protein strands, also known as myofibrils. The need for our macronutrient here is essential, as protein is the key contributor for muscle hypertrophy.

If your body breaks down more protein than it synthesizes, muscle growth is unlikely. The best thing you can do for your muscles post-workout is therefore sufficient rest and providing adequate fuel for growth and regeneration. So, how can you consume enough fuel? Easy, eat enough macronutrients for your body type and fitness goals.

Why Krave Jerky is my preferred Jerky of Choice

KRAVE is naturally packed with protein. The jerky is also made with no artificial flavours and no added preservatives (other than those naturally occurring in the ingredients). Unlike other jerky, KRAVE Gourmet Jerky is carefully double marinated then baked to lock in moisture. As it isn’t dried or dehydrated, like the usual jerky method, what you get is a tender and soft texture. This is worlds apart from typical jerky that can be tasteless, hard, tough and chewy.

krave is my favorite jerky period

Another thing that sets KRAVE apart from other producers of jerky is its selection of meat. The meat used to produce KRAVE Jerky is lean, which means it is low in fat. It actually lies at under 90 calories per serving, as well as containing at least 30% less sodium than the leading beef jerky (per 28g serving).

Lean beef and pork is a great source of unprocessed, natural protein. When you select the right cut of beef or pork, it contains a high percent of protein and will also cut down the amount of bad fats and cholesterol. But let’s be honest, finding a good source for lean beef or pork is difficult and we’re not going out every night for a prime cut of wagyu sirloin just to get our protein fix for the day. We’re a mobile generation, on the move and living in the moment and while we strive for three balanced meals every day, sometimes we have to skip one (or all three) of them to succeed at our jobs and have fun in our very social lives.

Pre and Post-Workout Snack – try jerky 90 to 120 minutes before you train

Because KRAVE Gourmet Jerky is high in protein, it is also the smart choice for a pre or post workout snack. Chow some gourmet jerky before you hit the gym to get that extra kick of energy. Or even throughout the day to keep you fuller for longer. Remember that when you feel full, you eat less, which usually results in creating a leaner physique. Snacking on high protein lean meats after your workout will also help to increase muscle growth, particularly after some heavy lifting. It is a healthier option than most isolates and concentrates.

dont eat less eat smarter

The best thing about KRAVE is that it tastes like it belongs on a gourmet charcuterie board. You can enjoy KRAVE jerky as a quick snack or a break time treat, without worrying about your waist line. And there are multiple flavor profiles to try out ranging from sweet and tangy to savory and spicy, fulfilling even the most discerning palate. It’s also perfect for cheat days. It can be a great companion to a glass of your favorite beverage. Why not invite your friends over for a jerky and wine pairing?

Whether you're having a mid-morning energizer, powering up for an evening gym session, mellowing out after hitting the powder or just sitting quietly with a glass of Pinot, KRAVE Jerky will sort out your protein fix in the tastiest way.

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Dai Manuel - The Moose Is LooseThis post is sponsored by KRAVE. The opinions and views are wholly my own…

And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t  share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Coach Moose

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