Could coffee be the hidden ingredient that is making you fat?

Could coffee be the hidden ingredient that is making you fat?

A single cup of soluble coffee contains 2 calories – ridiculously little for a dietary ingredient you consume every day, right? Research shows that coffee packs antioxidants that can dampen the unpleasant side-effects of aging, and some sources say that caffeine can also promote weight loss, increase metabolic rate and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, there is more to coffee than the label says: contrary to what coffee producers want you to think, the caffeinated treat can in fact promote weight gain and fat buildup in more than one way.

 

  1. Too much caffeine triggers increased cortisol release

Coffee impacts the cortisol level in the human organism, boosting hormone secretion in the adrenal glands. Although the hormone has an important role in coping with increased stress and restoration of homeostasis, elevated cortisol is known to increase both blood sugar and blood pressure, and cause cravings for fatty and sugary foods. Studies show that obese people tend to have higher cortisol levels than slim folks, which means that instead of helping you lose weight, one too many coffee cups may in fact be your figure’s worst enemy.

 

  1. Ingredients found in high-calorie coffees contain empty calories

Few people take their coffee without cream and sugar – and these two ingredients pack a lot of empty calories, as simple carbs and fat account for most of their nutritional value. However delicious, coffees with whipped cream, chocolate and syrups are true calorie bombs, so if you are getting your caffeine streak from Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, or Starbucks, you may want to reconsider your habit and its health effects. Coffees with sugar, creamers and flavorings a have much more calories than espresso, caffè Americano and regular black coffee without the added ingredients, so if you need caffeine to set focus, energy and mental clarity on the right track, choose your morning beverage wisely.

 

  1. Artificial additives in coffee can cause food cravings

Even if you do not use sugar to sweeten your coffee, you may still be at risk of unwarranted weight gain. Certain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, Sweet N Low, Nutrasweet and Equal impact the appetite and can intensify food cravings, thus affecting weight maintenance over the long term. Some studies claim that the use of artificial sweeteners can in fact be doing more damage to your figure than plain sugar, as they stimulate fat storage in cells, inhibit the body’s ability to gauge calorie intake, and promote hunger for carbohydrate-packed foods and drinks.

 

  1. Coffee can boost fat retention in the liver

A recent study conducted on mice shows that chlorogenic acid found in coffee can increase lipid content in the liver and cause the impairment of fatty acid oxidation, especially if combined with a high-fat diet. The science is clear: even the fat that does not show in your ab flab, buttocks and thighs is still fat, so if you are addicted to caffeinated beverages, your liver may be fatter than you think.

 

  1. Wrong timing can ruin the effects of your tough gym sessions

Yes, consuming caffeine an hour before hitting the gym can enhance your gym performance by boosting your focus and energy, and make sure that your body burns higher quantities of fat during exercises. Nevertheless, coffee is no more efficient in this respect than other dietary ingredients which have a similar effect on stamina and concentration: certain gym supplements can help you build more and better quality muscle than coffee, while at the same time ensuring seamless metabolization and more sustainable energy levels than coffee-induced blood sugar spikes.

 

What is your poison? If your answer is ‘coffee’, do not be surprised if your skinny jeans begin to cramp as your coffee intake goes up. Caffeine that goes down easily may not necessarily go out without popping up in your curves and belly, so you should always be moderate with your diet, coffee included.

A 6 Step Plan to Hitting Your Weight Loss Goals

January is the month in which many of us try to shed the pounds. So, if you’re already feeling tempted to give up, here’s how to stick at it and hit your weight loss goals.

 

  1. Recognise Your Achievements

When people are trying to lose weight, they tend to be very harsh on themselves. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap because it can damage your morale and cause you to fail. When you lose some weight or you do well on a particular week, make sure you recognise what you’re doing well. Being harsh on yourself the whole time will not help you reach the goals that you’ve set for yourself.

 

  1. Assess Your Portion Sizes

Eating portions that are far bigger than they need to be is something many of us do without even realising. We tend to just pile the food on the plate until it looks about the right size to fend off the hunger. This is not the most scientific of approaches to portion control though. It’s better if you take the time to weigh out the food you are going to eat and be aware of how many calories it contains.

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  1. Find a Weight Loss Partner

Finding a partner is a great way to keep yourself going when times are tough. When you are alone on your weight loss journey, it is easy to give up. When you are on the journey with another person, there is some pressure on you to keep going for their sake. It also adds a degree of competition to the proceedings. You will be competing with one another to see who can hit their goals first.

 

  1. Remove Temptations

As Oscar Wilde put it, we can resist anything but temptation. This is a problem when you’re trying to improve your fitness and lose weight though! It could be the temptation to pick up a takeaway rather than cook a healthy meal or the temptation to snack on chocolate biscuits. These are the kinds of temptations that can completely derail your hopes of losing weight and getting fit. So, do everything you can to remove these temptations from your environment.

 

  1. Invest in Equipment

Getting fit is made a lot easier if you have the right equipment in place to make it happen. It could be a new pair of running shoes or you might be tempted by ones of those home treadmills. By investing in the right equipment, you will be more likely to stick to your weight loss plan. You’ll be able to exercise whenever you want without any excuses for not doing so. And because you’ve spent cash on these things, you’ll want to get your money’s worth.

 

  1. Motivate Yourself Daily

Motivation plays a huge role when it comes to losing weight. If you don’t have that motivation, you can easily lose interest and question why you’re even bothering to lose weight in the first place. We all know how easy it can be to give into the temptation to quit when we’re trying to do something that requires lots of effort. And there is definitely a lot of effort that has to go into losing weight and getting fit.

 

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Olympic Abs Are Crafted In The Kitchen – Guest post by Mathews McGarry

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Olympic Abs Are Crafted In The Kitchen

Most people think that the key to achieving the perfect look lies in constant gym workouts. This is an understatement which is most of the time taken for granted. Yes, the gym can help you develop strong and big muscles, but when it comes to muscle definition, it is not all about the gym. Instead, it is much more important to pay attention to the kitchen and the diet you are undergoing. To better understand this, the following explanations will teach you how to get the perfect abs that you have always craved for.

Diet is the number one priority

It all starts and ends in the kitchen. The key to burning fat efficiently lies in a proper diet. For starters, forget what everyone has told you about eating 3 times a day and start eating several times a day, but smaller amounts of food. By doing so, you will give your body the time it needs to digest food properly and not throw it all down in your stomach all at once. Having a nutritious meal or a snack every 2 to 3 hours will keep your sugar levels stable, will feed your body in the process and give it the necessary stream of required healthy nutrients. All of this will lead to healthier glycogen storage inside your liver, so your body won’t have to devour your muscle tissues during workouts. A great diet equals great abs.

Do not starve yourself

If your stomach starts growling, it is already too late and you are already deficient. This is due to the fact that all the healthy nutrients get dissolved and stored very fast, and if time passes by, your stomach is left with nothing in it. You need to think ahead, and always eat before the growling starts. That is why you need to establish an eating rhythm, and have 5 to 6 meals per day, to keep your stomach satisfied. If you do not have a prepared meal, consider eating anything that can pass as a proper substitution, from energy bars to bananas and coconuts. There are many supplements, such as those from Legion Athletics, which can help and motivate you in your struggle to achieve the perfect abs. It is all about knowing how to use them and to properly mix them with food. Again, abs are crafted inside of your kitchen and modified in the gym.

Abs require a lot of dedication

Working out on a daily basis is a must if you want to achieve the perfect abs, but the workout must be combined with proper food. Abs are very delicate muscles, and are very demanding and hard to breed. If you want a real deal six pack, prepare yourself for a long period of organised eating, workouts, and a constant diet. That means no processed sugars (only natural sugars from fruit and some veggies are allowed), no extra fats and no extra calories. Stomach fat is the first one to appear, since it is generated easily, and is the biggest enemy for your abs. Control what you eat, and how much of it you eat, work out every day and give it your maximum, and your abs will flourish and become an art.

Knowing your own limits will help you achieve your goals in body transformation faster. That is why you need to have a proper diet, keep eating healthy and necessary food, and stay fit and work out every day. As mentioned in the beginning, it all starts in the kitchen and most of the time, it ends in the kitchen.

 


 

Author: Mathews McGarry

ImageMathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter.

What Can You Eat If You Want To Stay Fit?

Working out exactly what you can and can’t eat when staying fit can prove pretty difficult at times. You’ve got your fitness regime down to a tee, but now you are struggling to work out exactly what you should be eating. Here is a guide as you what you can eat if you want to stay fit.

 

Vegan Foods

Because such an emphasis is put onto how much you need protein to stay fit, a lot of people are led to believe that you can’t lead a vegan lifestyle if you wish. However, you can! Just because you aren’t getting your protein from meat, doesn’t mean you can’t get it from elsewhere. Instead, you could take vegan protein powder. Or you could continue to get your protein from natural sources such as from lentils and nuts.

 

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All Three Meals A Day

Eating all three meals in the day is potentially more important than exactly what you are eating. If you are trying to get rid of fat, you should still have all three meals, even if they are smaller portions than usual. If you begin to have less than three meals, you aren’t eating regularly enough to keep up your fitness. People often think that skipping Breakfast is a good way to avoid a few calories. However, breakfast can provide you with the energy you need to stay active throughout the day.

 

Olive Oil

Yes, oil is very fatty, but you should still be getting some into your diet, around two teaspoons per day. Olive oil has monosaturated fat, which makes it good for your heart. Remember, if you cut out food with high calories altogether you will lose weight. This might be muscle weight you have gained as well as fat. Rather than frying your food with it, use it as a salad dressing, or put a small splash of it into your protein shake!

 

Carbs

Dieters tend to avoid carbohydrates, however if you are bulking and working out, they should be an essential part of your diet. Carbohydrates give you energy, so as long as you are working that energy off, you can definitely eat them. Potatoes are especially good for you in small doses, as they contain vitamin C and vitamin B-6. Just don’t cover them in sour cream or cheese! Some surveys have suggested that carbs actually promote weight loss, and help you target fat, so don’t write them off.

 

Eggs

The old wives tale goes that egg yolks will clog up your arteries and cause issues with your heart. This why many people take them out when they are making eggs. However, is isn’t necessarily true. Eggs promote good cholesterol and contain lots of vitamins, iron and protein. So don’t avoid eating eggs!

 

Working out exactly what you can eat is difficult, especially when there are so many sources telling us differently. You can eat many foods that you might think that you can’t, so be sure to do your research before cutting them out!

 

Your Fitness Resolution Needs Feeding

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Staying on top of your fitness goals is going to be a challenge. And that is exactly how you want it to be. A big part of your resolution is to face up to these. But if you had a choice making it hard or easy, which route would you take? Add in the fact that the hard route will become a real slog and lead to you quitting a few weeks down the line.

The easy choice is to make your new aspirations challenging but fun and become an essential part of the real you. Setting goals is great but unless you are eating the right foods, then all your efforts will be wasted.

 

Keeping Hydrated

It’s not news, but it is true. Are you drinking enough water? Ignore the odd story that drinking too much water is bad for you. It is accepted that most of us need to be drinking more. That is especially true when you start adding in runs and strenuous workouts.

It is a good idea to make your water bottle a constant companion. Water refreshes and flushes out the organs. It is vital to keep your fluid intake high. Conversely, you need to be cutting back on the cappuccino and lattes. Try and switch over to an Americano to still enjoy your caffeine fix.

A couple of days and you won’t even notice the difference. Avoid juices packed full of artificial sweeteners. Opt instead for smoothies made in your Nutribullet or liquidiser. Steer clear of energy drinks that are nothing more than sugar, caffeine and flavouring. Let natural highs be your new fix. Get out and exercise in the fresh air and feel good.

 

Supplements

It’s not just water and fluid you are using up when you are working out, or letting the sweat steam off in your power yoga class. You are losing valuable nutrients and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Given that some us may be getting nowhere near enough in our current diets, we should be taking supplements to make up for those deficiencies.

This is especially true when you start to increase your levels of activity. Choose a reputable supplier such as Isagenix to get a range of supplements that will help stay on top of your new regime. A supplement needs to be taken on a regular basis and not just now and again to be effective.

 

Diet

The magic word, so easy to say and so hard to do. There is little point in taking a hit and miss approach. Why wait until you feel tired and lousy? Processed junk food that has been wiped of all its nutrients is not going to give you anything but a feel full quick fix.

Plan a diet that is going to work for you. Download a diet chart, print it off and pin it up in your kitchen. Know in advance exactly what you are going to eat and stick to it! It’s easier to fight temptation if you have a ready supply of good food options around you. Make complex carbohydrates a regular part of every meal. Switch white pasta and rice for brown. Eat the wholemeal alternatives where you can. Allow good fats to take centre stage. Butter, olive oil, avocados and nuts. Feast on fresh vegetables and good proteins. Don’t mess with thousands of years of evolution!

 

Combine your diet with your supplements and drink plenty of water. Now get those running shoes on and get out there. Prepare to feel fantastic!

 

Holiday Recovery: How to get back on track after a Summer Party Holiday

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Between holiday meals, parties, and bad weather, it’s easy to fall off the healthy-living-gym wagon. While a little indulging every now and again won’t make or break your diet, you can usually tell when you’ve gone a little overboard, and after two weeks in Thailand, I certainly feel like I have…

Here are my 6 Tips to help get back on track after any holiday, especially one, where the your bodily organs may have taken more of a battering than normal!

  1. Hydrate! Whether you need to re-hydrate after a night with too much champagne, or you’ve just been eating a lot of sodium, drinking water will help get you back at a good starting point.
  2. Redefine your goals. If you’re planning to start a new workout regimen, or are just picking things back up after a slow season, now is a great time to take a look at what your goals are and reset them if needed. Look at starting back with some strength training, I recommend StrongLifes 5X5.
  3. Stock your fridge with healthy foods. Stock up on fruits, veg, eggs, proteins and other healthy foods you love to reduce the temptation to continue with cheat meals.
  4. Get moving. Maybe you’re not up for it today, but get back into your desired workout routine as quickly as possible. It’s easy to say “tomorrow,” so don’t let that happen!
  5. Get enough sleep. Sleep is an important part of any training regime.
  6. Know Which Carbs to Avoid. No more ‘bad carbs’ like white flour, refined grains, and added sugars.”