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Carb Cycling 101

By: Snap Fitness

What is it:

Carb cycling is a diet trend that is popular with body builders and growing within the fitness community.

 

Benefits:

Carb cycling allows you to build muscle from high-carb days and burn fat from low-carb days.

 

For weight loss:

If you are looking to slim down, shoot for mostly low-carb days throughout the week. Maintain consistent protein intake to burn fat during your workout that day.

 

For building muscle:

If you are trying to bulk up and build muscle, rotate low-carb and high-carb days throughout the week. Try not to have too many high-carb days in a row.  The low-carb days help regulate insulin levels and stabilize your blood sugar.

 

High-carb meals:

On high-carb days, feel free to eat more fruit, grains, and legumes. Start your day with oatmeal topped with berries; enjoy a handful of nuts for a mid-day snack; a small turkey sandwich for lunch; and chicken stir-fry with vegetables and rice for dinner.

 

Low-carb meals:

On low-carb days, stick to eating protein and vegetables. Avoid grains, legumes, fruit, potatoes and carrots because these are foods high in carbohydrates. Try eating two eggs for breakfast; a couple of strawberries and a small protein shake for a mid-day snack; grilled chicken and broccoli for lunch; and a steak salad for dinner. 

Carb Cycling 101

By: Snap Fitness

What is it:

Carb cycling is a diet trend that is popular with body builders and growing within the fitness community.

 

Benefits:

Carb cycling allows you to build muscle from high-carb days and burn fat from low-carb days.

 

For weight loss:

If you are looking to slim down, shoot for mostly low-carb days throughout the week. Maintain consistent protein intake to burn fat during your workout that day.

 

For building muscle:

If you are trying to bulk up and build muscle, rotate low-carb and high-carb days throughout the week. Try not to have too many high-carb days in a row.  The low-carb days help regulate insulin levels and stabilize your blood sugar.

 

High-carb meals:

On high-carb days, feel free to eat more fruit, grains, and legumes. Start your day with oatmeal topped with berries; enjoy a handful of nuts for a mid-day snack; a small turkey sandwich for lunch; and chicken stir-fry with vegetables and rice for dinner.

 

Low-carb meals:

On low-carb days, stick to eating protein and vegetables. Avoid grains, legumes, fruit, potatoes and carrots because these are foods high in carbohydrates. Try eating two eggs for breakfast; a couple of strawberries and a small protein shake for a mid-day snack; grilled chicken and broccoli for lunch; and a steak salad for dinner. 

6 Ways To Maintain Weight Loss

By: Snap Fitness

If you’ve reached your weight loss goal or you’re striving to stay on track to lose more, follow these six easy tips to keep yourself from slipping back into old habits.

 

Fail to plan = plan to fail

Planning your meals for the week keeps you from grabbing unhealthy, calorie-loaded options or going out to eat. Plan and prep your meals for the week in advance to keep your food choices easy and seamless during your busy week.

 

Don’t skip breakfast

This meal sets the tone for your day. Eat a high-protein meal like eggs and vegetables to stay full until lunch. Also, if you make your breakfast the night before, you are less likely to grab a donut on your way to work!

 

Sip on success

One sign of dehydration is the feeling of hunger. If you feel hungry even after eating, try drinking a glass of water instead of snacking to relieve hunger pains. 

 

Stay motivated and active

Staying active for 30 minutes each day keeps your heart healthy and prevents weight gain. This can be anything from weight training to a simple walk around the neighborhood.

 

Be accountable and keep a food diary

The best part about tracking your foods is you can look back on previous weeks to see if you’re eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s important to hold yourself accountable because it builds a solid foundation for success.

 

Try new healthy recipes

Keep meals interesting by trying new foods and recipes. Head to a local farmer’s market and grab a vegetable you’ve never tried before or pick up a new cookbook for cooking light. We also have plenty of fun and healthy recipes here on our blog!

4th of July Picnic Swaps

By: Snap Fitness

Who doesn’t love a 4th of July picnic? Sun, games, fireworks and delicious food.  But for someone that is watching their diet, picnics can be a disaster. This year, Snap Fitness has given your typical picnic a makeover.

 

Follow the guide below to help you navigate the red-checkered tablecloth and avoid the foods that will cost you weeks of hard work in the gym.

 

Instead of: Fried Chicken

Try: Grilled Chicken

Why:  Fried chicken may be tasty, but it is loaded with calories, sodium and fat. You can cut those numbers in half by choosing to say good-bye to the fried chicken.

 

Instead of: Full Hamburger

Try: Drop the bun

Why: By eating your hamburger without the bun, you will shave calories off your meal. Bonus points if you wrap the burger in lettuce leaves for an added punch of greens.

 

Instead of: Bread, cheese and cold cuts

Try: Lettuce wrap with cheese and avocado spread

Why: Cold cuts contain high amounts of sodium, which can add up quickly if you stack your sandwich high. Avoid the bread and cold cuts, and choose to make a lettuce wrap with a slice of cheese and mashed up avocados to save calories and avoid high sodium levels.

 

Instead of: Potato salad

Try: Coleslaw

Why: Traditional potato salad is packed full of calories, fat and cholesterol thanks to the mayo and eggs. Cut those numbers with coleslaw, which traditionally contains veggies (cabbage and carrots) and uses cider vinegar, not mayo.

 

Instead of: Pasta salad

Try: Fruit & veggie skewers

Why: Pasta salads get overloaded with high-fat dressings. Avoid the added calories by making veggie and fruit skewers on the grill. Peppers, pineapple and mushrooms make for a fun and nutritious skewer.

 

Instead of: Packaged chips & dips

Try: Fruit & cheese platter

Why:  Though it may an easy snack, packaged chips and dips tend to be packed full of calories, sodium and fat. Grab a tray of fresh fruits and cheese to make a platter that will satisfy- without causing havoc to your diet.

 

Instead of: Lemonade

Try: Water with a lemon

Why:  Store bought lemonade contains a lot of sugar and calories. A typical 12-ounce glass of sweetened lemonade can have 140 calories depending on the brand. Opt for a glass of water and squeeze your own lemon to achieve a refreshing taste without the added calories.

4th of July Picnic Swaps

By: Snap Fitness

Who doesn’t love a 4th of July picnic? Sun, games, fireworks and delicious food.  But for someone that is watching their diet, picnics can be a disaster. This year, Snap Fitness has given your typical picnic a makeover.

 

Follow the guide below to help you navigate the red-checkered tablecloth and avoid the foods that will cost you weeks of hard work in the gym.

 

Instead of: Fried Chicken

Try: Grilled Chicken

Why:  Fried chicken may be tasty, but it is loaded with calories, sodium and fat. You can cut those numbers in half by choosing to say good-bye to the fried chicken.

 

Instead of: Full Hamburger

Try: Drop the bun

Why: By eating your hamburger without the bun, you will shave calories off your meal. Bonus points if you wrap the burger in lettuce leaves for an added punch of greens.

 

Instead of: Bread, cheese and cold cuts

Try: Lettuce wrap with cheese and avocado spread

Why: Cold cuts contain high amounts of sodium, which can add up quickly if you stack your sandwich high. Avoid the bread and cold cuts, and choose to make a lettuce wrap with a slice of cheese and mashed up avocados to save calories and avoid high sodium levels.

 

Instead of: Potato salad

Try: Coleslaw

Why: Traditional potato salad is packed full of calories, fat and cholesterol thanks to the mayo and eggs. Cut those numbers with coleslaw, which traditionally contains veggies (cabbage and carrots) and uses cider vinegar, not mayo.

 

Instead of: Pasta salad

Try: Fruit & veggie skewers

Why: Pasta salads get overloaded with high-fat dressings. Avoid the added calories by making veggie and fruit skewers on the grill. Peppers, pineapple and mushrooms make for a fun and nutritious skewer.

 

Instead of: Packaged chips & dips

Try: Fruit & cheese platter

Why:  Though it may an easy snack, packaged chips and dips tend to be packed full of calories, sodium and fat. Grab a tray of fresh fruits and cheese to make a platter that will satisfy- without causing havoc to your diet.

 

Instead of: Lemonade

Try: Water with a lemon

Why:  Store bought lemonade contains a lot of sugar and calories. A typical 12-ounce glass of sweetened lemonade can have 140 calories depending on the brand. Opt for a glass of water and squeeze your own lemon to achieve a refreshing taste without the added calories.

Five Healthy Condiment Swaps

By: Snap Fitness

If you aren’t careful, condiments can pack on empty calories because most are high in saturated fats and added sugars. Luckily, we have some healthy alternatives so you can swap out unhealthy condiments in exchange for flavorful, nutritious substitutes.

 

Swap mayo for avocado: With 10 grams of fat in one tablespoon and zero vitamins, mayonnaise is the king of empty calories. Replace it with avocado to nourish your body with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and Vitamin C.

 

Switch sour cream for plain greek yogurt: Greek yogurt has five times the amount of protein as sour cream for about one third of the calories. You’ll barely notice a difference with this satisfying exchange!

 

Trade butter for olive oil: The large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats in butter make this the worst thing to spread on sliced bread. Unsaturated fats found in olive oil are better than butter and your arteries will thank you.

 

Substitute peanut butter for almond butter: Peanut butter is an ok choice, but it is lacking in vitamins and minerals compared to almond butter; which is brimming with antioxidant Vitamin E, as well as Magnesium and Iron.

 

Swap mayo-based veggie dip for hummus or salsa: Don’t cancel out a good choice with a bad one! Dip your veggies in a low-calorie dip like hummus or salsa.

15 Superfoods for Weight Loss

By: Snap Fitness

Here is a list of superfoods for a super YOU!

 

1. Black Beans

- Loaded with protein and zero saturated fats.

- Add with brown rice for a healthy and harty protein/carb combo.

 

2. Oats

- High in fiber, boosts metabolism, and burns fat.

- Start of your morning with whole grain oats and fruit.

 

3. Avocado

- Packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein.

- Avocado is very tasty with eggs.

 

4. Salmon

- Lean protein and packed with monounsaturated fats.

- Have it by itself or throw it in a sandwhich or salad.

 

5. Blueberries

- Anti-aging and a high fiber content for low calories.

- Toss in your next smoothie!

 

6. Broccoli

- Also high fiber content with less than 30 calories per serving.

- Eat it raw, steamed, or roasted but don't ruin it with ranch sauce.

 

7. Brown Rice

- Healthy carb that burns fat and boosts metabolism.

- Pair with chicken for a great post-workout meal.

 

8. Pear

- Has 15% of your daily fiber intake.

- The peeling contains most of the fiber.

 

9. Grapefruit

- Contains 90% water.

- Grill your grapefruit to bring out more flavor with the natural sugars.

 

10. Kidney Beans

- High in protein and in resistant starch.

- Kidney beans taste great in chili!

 

11. Almonds

- Contain healthy fats to slim down.

- Swapping out crackers for almonds can do wonders.

 

12. Green Tea

- Contains antioxidants that burn fat and calories.

- Drink 3-5 cups a day to lose weight.

 

13. Lentils 

- A half-cup serving contains 3.4 grams of resistant starches that burn fat and boost metabolism.

- The ways to eat lentils are endless. Cook them up and add to your favorite dish to get all the lentil nutrients.

 

14. Banana

- One banana contains a whopping 12.5 grams of resistant starches.

- Mush a banana into a bowl, put it in the freezer until it is an ice cream-like texture, and enjoy your healthy ice cream.

 

15. Eggs

- Loaded with protein that curbs your appetite.

- Make sure you have hard-boiled eggs packed in your lunch for a quick and nutritious snack.

 


 

What's your favorite superfood? Tell us on our Facebook page!

 

Top Nutrition Tips for Weight Loss

By: Snap Fitness

If you’re looking to lose weight, exercise is only one part of the equation. Your diet plays a huge role in weight loss. What you eat can make or break your healthy lifestyle. If you want to see results in the gym, the choices you make in the kitchen or at a restaurant make a difference.

 

Here are five easy nutrition tips to follow:

Always eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you skip it, you’ll be hungry and more likely to overeat. Breakfast also kick-starts your metabolism for the day. We recommend oatmeal with cut-up bananas and a handful of chopped nuts as a healthy morning meal.

Drink more water. H2O has so many benefits! To name a few, it energizes your muscles, keeps your skin looking fresh, and detoxes your kidneys. So, how much should you be drinking? Shoot for half your body weight in ounces per day.

Be aware of mindless eating. Before you grab a snack, ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” Often times when we’re bored or stressed, eating provides us temporary comfort. Don’t fall into the habit of constant snacking! Next time you find yourself in this situation, drink a glass of water.

Put protein in every meal. Healthy proteins will help you stay full for longer periods of time. Be sure to include seafood, legumes (like beans and chickpeas), lean meat, eggs, and nuts when you eat throughout the day.

Know portion sizes. The days of “super-sizing” your meals are over! When you’re cooking at home, check the nutritional facts on your food items to see what the serving sizes are. At restaurants, it’s good practice to eat half your entrée and save the rest as leftovers. This will help you avoid overeating. 

5 Tips to Eating Healthy All Summer Long

By: Snap Fitness

It is officially time to embrace the joys of summer. Many of us like to spend the summer at a backyard barbecue or two. These usually involve food and beverages that may not be the healthiest options. Here are some ways to enjoy the fun in the sun and indulge in delicious food without compromising personal health and nutrition.

Keep it lean. When grilling, choose lean protein. We recommend skinless chicken breasts or lean pork tenderloin.

 

Go Whole Grain. If your meal comes with a bun, opt for a whole grain version rather than the typical white flour/processed breads and rolls.

 

Green is good. A crisp salad is always a healthy choice! To boost the nutrient power, select dark leafy lettuce, such as romaine, spinach, arugula and kale, and add bright-colored veggies or fruits.

 

Drink smart. Fruit-infused teas and water are excellent substitutes for sugary beverages. To brighten the flavor of plain water, add slices of citrus fruits; fresh berries work well in iced tea.

 

Stay safe. Be mindful of food safety practices, as well. Keep raw food separate from prepared or ready-to-eat foods. Keep hot foods hot (at least 140 degrees) and cold foods cold (at least 40 degrees). Put food away when you're done eating. Don’t allow food to sit out beyond two hours, or one hour if the outside temperature is 90 degrees or higher. For more information on food safety, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

 

What’s your favorite trick to staying healthy all summer long? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?

5 Ways to Go Beyond the Scale

By: Snap Fitness

After months of working out, you may be discouraged to discover that you’ve actually gained weight. Don’t let this alarm you. You’ve most likely deceased the amount of fat on your body and packed on some muscle. Muscle is heavy, and the scale won’t tell the full story of your body’s transformation.

 

Here are a few tips for measuring your success beyond the scale:

1. Inches.  Measure those areas that you’re looking to increase/decrease.

2. Body fat percentages. As you exercise, the composition of your body changes. Weight may stay the same – or even increase – but by testing body fat percentages, you should get deeper insight into what’s really happening.

3. Before and after pictures. Take a picture of yourself. Compare it to another picture in a few months or a year. See what has changed.

4. How your clothes fit. As our bodies change, our clothes will fit differently. Pay attention to if your pants become looser, or your shirts are tighter in certain areas. This is a very effective way to stay tuned in to your transformation.

5. Physical activity. Maybe you take the stairs and notice that you’re not as winded. This is a great indicator of success worth noting and celebrating!

 

If you do use a scale-Remember:

-Weigh yourself on the same day of the week.

-At the same time.

-While being mindful of the above tips.

 

What’s your favorite way to measure your fitness success? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Posts 1 - 10 of 106