Macro Diet Plan for Fast Weight Loss • IIFYM • Calculate Your Macros - Feed https://www.iifym.com Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:54:14 +0000 en-US 5 Exercises That Are A Total Waste of Time https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/5-exercises-that-are-a-total-waste-of-time/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:54:14 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=472584 Let’s be honest, for many of us, working out is kind of a chore that we can’t wait to get over and done with.

We do it because we know it’s good for us and in conjunction with tracking macros, exercise helps move us closer to our larger goal.

With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that when we’re in the gym or training at home, every single moment counts!

There are many exercises that are actually a complete waste of time that you might not even realize.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 exercises you should totally avoid, and what to do instead.

1. Sit-ups/Crunches

Sit-ups/Crunches are one of the worst core-focused exercises ever created. They exert strain on your back with every rep and are hugely inefficient at working out your abs.

Crunches are not a functional movement of the human body. If you’ve been doing crunches every week and wondering why you don’t have a 6 pack of abs (but you sure do have a sore back and neck), it’s time to say goodbye.

Instead, try a plank. This is a core-building exercise that not only strengthens your abdominals but gives your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles a workout too. This translates across to improved press-ups and other shoulder movements too.

2. Behind the neck pulldown

photo of woman performing lat pulldown

How this ever came to be a thing, we’ll never know. People wrongly assume they’ll get a better activation of the lat muscles but in actual fact, you can do some real damage.

Performing a lat pulldown behind your head is terrible for 3 main reasons:

  • It gives a far more limited workout than the correct method

  • Your shoulders are forced in an unnatural, externally rotated position

  • Your neck is craned forward

Instead, perform the lat pulldown in the correct form with the bar in front of you. You’ll receive all of the gain and none of the pain!

3. Bench Dips

This is a classic tricep toning go-to, but it’s actually incredibly unsafe. This move puts your shoulders in an unnatural position and most of us don’t have the flexibility and range of motion to perform this safely.

Choose overhead presses with dumbbells instead.

4. Smith Machine Squats

woman lifting barbell

The Smith Machine was created as a “safer” alternative to free weights because the barbell is fixed in place. However, this fixed position can be even more damaging as it forces your body into unnatural positions.

When you lower into a weighted squat with the smith machine, your back stays straight and almost perfectly perpendicular to the ground, which compresses and stresses the vertebrae.

It also removes the need to stabilize yourself which is an important part of weight training.

Instead, use free weight to perform any exercises you normally would with the Smith Machine.

5. Adductor and Abductor Machines

Your adductor and abductor muscles are accessory muscles. AKA, they’re smaller and support the larger leg muscles. Using the adductor and abductor machine to target them not only means you can actually strain them when they’re worked outside of a compound movement, but it’s a generally inefficient way to train when there are other moves that will work multiple muscles at once.

Side lunges and squats are a better alternative for training your adductor and abductor muscles. A squat performed with proper form engages more muscles and is a functional movement, meaning it'll better prepare your muscles for real-life challenges, like walking up the stairs and picking things up.

So, which of these exercises will you be ditching from your routine?

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget that your IIFYM Meal Plan comes with a workout program designed specifically for YOU so any and all movements you do and don’t want to include will be taken into account.

 

5 Exercises That Are A Total Waste of Time is courtesy of IIFYM Blog IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>
Let’s be honest, for many of us, working out is kind of a chore that we can’t wait to get over and done with.

We do it because we know it’s good for us and in conjunction with tracking macros, exercise helps move us closer to our larger goal.

With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that when we’re in the gym or training at home, every single moment counts!

There are many exercises that are actually a complete waste of time that you might not even realize.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 exercises you should totally avoid, and what to do instead.

1. Sit-ups/Crunches

Sit-ups/Crunches are one of the worst core-focused exercises ever created. They exert strain on your back with every rep and are hugely inefficient at working out your abs.

Crunches are not a functional movement of the human body. If you’ve been doing crunches every week and wondering why you don’t have a 6 pack of abs (but you sure do have a sore back and neck), it’s time to say goodbye.

Instead, try a plank. This is a core-building exercise that not only strengthens your abdominals but gives your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles a workout too. This translates across to improved press-ups and other shoulder movements too.

2. Behind the neck pulldown

photo of woman performing lat pulldown

How this ever came to be a thing, we’ll never know. People wrongly assume they’ll get a better activation of the lat muscles but in actual fact, you can do some real damage.

Performing a lat pulldown behind your head is terrible for 3 main reasons:

  • It gives a far more limited workout than the correct method

  • Your shoulders are forced in an unnatural, externally rotated position

  • Your neck is craned forward

Instead, perform the lat pulldown in the correct form with the bar in front of you. You’ll receive all of the gain and none of the pain!

3. Bench Dips

This is a classic tricep toning go-to, but it’s actually incredibly unsafe. This move puts your shoulders in an unnatural position and most of us don’t have the flexibility and range of motion to perform this safely.

Choose overhead presses with dumbbells instead.

4. Smith Machine Squats

woman lifting barbell

The Smith Machine was created as a “safer” alternative to free weights because the barbell is fixed in place. However, this fixed position can be even more damaging as it forces your body into unnatural positions.

When you lower into a weighted squat with the smith machine, your back stays straight and almost perfectly perpendicular to the ground, which compresses and stresses the vertebrae.

It also removes the need to stabilize yourself which is an important part of weight training.

Instead, use free weight to perform any exercises you normally would with the Smith Machine.

5. Adductor and Abductor Machines

Your adductor and abductor muscles are accessory muscles. AKA, they’re smaller and support the larger leg muscles. Using the adductor and abductor machine to target them not only means you can actually strain them when they’re worked outside of a compound movement, but it’s a generally inefficient way to train when there are other moves that will work multiple muscles at once.

Side lunges and squats are a better alternative for training your adductor and abductor muscles. A squat performed with proper form engages more muscles and is a functional movement, meaning it'll better prepare your muscles for real-life challenges, like walking up the stairs and picking things up.

So, which of these exercises will you be ditching from your routine?

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget that your IIFYM Meal Plan comes with a workout program designed specifically for YOU so any and all movements you do and don’t want to include will be taken into account.

 

5 Exercises That Are A Total Waste of Time is courtesy of IIFYM Blog IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>
10 Snacks You *Think* are Healthy… But Aren’t https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/10-snacks-you-think-are-healthy-but-arent/ Sun, 28 Jun 2020 19:59:26 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=472565 Health foods have come a long way over the last few years. When it first became “trendy” to buy healthy foods, the pre-packaged products available on the shelves seemed revolutionary.

But times have changed and we’ve since learned that many of those snacks deemed healthy are actually secret sugar bombs.

Here are 10 snacks you think are healthy but actually aren’t.

1. Muesli Bars

Despite the name sounding pretty healthy, most muesli bars are loaded with added sugar and too low in fiber to keep you full for any decent length of time.

If you’re looking for a muesli bar to snack on, be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it’s not a glorified sugar bomb!

2. Energy Bites

The energy you get from these usually comes from the enormous amounts of sugars! Energy bites are another hidden sugar bomb.

When choosing energy bites make sure they’re mostly made of nuts and seeds and sweetened with dates.

3. Trail Mix

Nuts and seeds are a great snack but trail mix tends to be full of dried fruit and chocolate — making it more like a candy than a healthy snack!

Try and stick to plain nuts and seeds to avoid the extra sugar.

4. Salted or Flavored Nuts

While nuts are a great snack, try and stick to plain, unsalted and unflavored nuts. Salted nuts can be high in sodium while flavors like honey-roasted are another unnecessary source of sugar.

5. Protein Bars

Like energy bites, protein bars are often loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners. They pass as “healthy” because they claim to help you build muscle but don’t be fooled by the label!

Ideally, source your protein from natural sources or make sure your protein supplements are sugar and artificial sweetener free.

6. Granola

bowl breakfast cereal cereal bowl

Granola has a whopping amount of sugars, making it no better for you than Froot Loops. If you notice a pattern developing here it’s because an enormous amount of pre-packaged “healthy food” is just a minefield of hidden sugars.

7. Popcorn

Microwave popcorn often contains a high level of harmful trans-fats. If you see the words "hydrogenated" or "partially-hydrogenated" in the ingredients list, stay well away!!

8. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is easy to overeat and lacks the fiber, hydration, and general goodness of fresh. All you’re left with is the fructose. Opt for fresh fruit where you can.

9. Juices

selective focus photography of pure orange juice

When you juice fruit you are removing all the good stuff—all the fiber that your body loves so much. The juice you’re left with is all fructose aka sugar! The lack of fiber means it’s easy to drink copious amounts that you wouldn’t be able to eat in its whole form. Choose smoothies instead to get the goodness of fiber.

10. Smoothie Bowls

Sure, they might be totally insta-worthy, but those trending smoothie bowls you see all over the internet will cost you around 500 calories and 100+ grams of carbs, most of which come straight from sugar. Doesn’t leave you much to play with in your meals for the rest of the day!

The key takeaway here is to watch out for hidden sugars! Most foods that claim to be healthy are actually loaded with sugar. Make sure you read the label and aim for foods with no more than 6 grams of sugar per 100g serving.

To make life super-simple, our meal plans come with a variety of snack options. Get your personalized IIFYM Meal Plan today!

 

10 Snacks You *Think* are Healthy… But Aren’t was first seen on IIFYM MACROS IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Health foods have come a long way over the last few years. When it first became “trendy” to buy healthy foods, the pre-packaged products available on the shelves seemed revolutionary.

But times have changed and we’ve since learned that many of those snacks deemed healthy are actually secret sugar bombs.

Here are 10 snacks you think are healthy but actually aren’t.

1. Muesli Bars

Despite the name sounding pretty healthy, most muesli bars are loaded with added sugar and too low in fiber to keep you full for any decent length of time.

If you’re looking for a muesli bar to snack on, be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it’s not a glorified sugar bomb!

2. Energy Bites

The energy you get from these usually comes from the enormous amounts of sugars! Energy bites are another hidden sugar bomb.

When choosing energy bites make sure they’re mostly made of nuts and seeds and sweetened with dates.

3. Trail Mix

Nuts and seeds are a great snack but trail mix tends to be full of dried fruit and chocolate — making it more like a candy than a healthy snack!

Try and stick to plain nuts and seeds to avoid the extra sugar.

4. Salted or Flavored Nuts

While nuts are a great snack, try and stick to plain, unsalted and unflavored nuts. Salted nuts can be high in sodium while flavors like honey-roasted are another unnecessary source of sugar.

5. Protein Bars

Like energy bites, protein bars are often loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners. They pass as “healthy” because they claim to help you build muscle but don’t be fooled by the label!

Ideally, source your protein from natural sources or make sure your protein supplements are sugar and artificial sweetener free.

6. Granola

bowl breakfast cereal cereal bowl

Granola has a whopping amount of sugars, making it no better for you than Froot Loops. If you notice a pattern developing here it’s because an enormous amount of pre-packaged “healthy food” is just a minefield of hidden sugars.

7. Popcorn

Microwave popcorn often contains a high level of harmful trans-fats. If you see the words "hydrogenated" or "partially-hydrogenated" in the ingredients list, stay well away!!

8. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is easy to overeat and lacks the fiber, hydration, and general goodness of fresh. All you’re left with is the fructose. Opt for fresh fruit where you can.

9. Juices

selective focus photography of pure orange juice

When you juice fruit you are removing all the good stuff—all the fiber that your body loves so much. The juice you’re left with is all fructose aka sugar! The lack of fiber means it’s easy to drink copious amounts that you wouldn’t be able to eat in its whole form. Choose smoothies instead to get the goodness of fiber.

10. Smoothie Bowls

Sure, they might be totally insta-worthy, but those trending smoothie bowls you see all over the internet will cost you around 500 calories and 100+ grams of carbs, most of which come straight from sugar. Doesn’t leave you much to play with in your meals for the rest of the day!

The key takeaway here is to watch out for hidden sugars! Most foods that claim to be healthy are actually loaded with sugar. Make sure you read the label and aim for foods with no more than 6 grams of sugar per 100g serving.

To make life super-simple, our meal plans come with a variety of snack options. Get your personalized IIFYM Meal Plan today!

 

10 Snacks You *Think* are Healthy… But Aren’t was first seen on IIFYM MACROS IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> 8 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/8-habits-that-are-sabotaging-your-weight-loss/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 23:14:07 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=472555 It can be frustrating and distressing to feel you’re doing everything right but still not making progress. The weight loss journey is always going to be a challenge, but there are some easy to fix habits that may be affecting your progress more than you think. These bad habits sneak into your routine without you even realizing it!

Let’s take a look at what these habits might be and how to fix them.

healthy orange juice on grass lawn

Thirsty not hungry

You might mistake being thirsty for being hungry and end up eating food you didn't need. Make sure you’ve ticked the thirst box with water before ravenously munching everything in sight.

Including a glass of water before or with each meal will help you feel fuller and also aid digestion. Make sure you drink at least a few liters a day to avoid the thirsty, not hungry feeling.

Sugar intake

Eating too much sugar not only hinders progress but will leave you craving more. Sugar is high in calories and will have your energy levels crashing a few hours after consumption.

Sugar can be hiding in foods you didn’t even realize! Make sure you’re checking the labels on everything to see where any bad sugars could be hiding. Just because a food is labeled “healthy” or you’ve always believed it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it won’t have added sugar.

Fruit juices, granola, and sauces are often the main culprits hiding behind a “healthy” image.

Eating too many calories (including healthy food!)

Getting the right amount of calories can be tricky. It’s a fine line between eating enough that you won’t binge later but not eating too many you’re putting on weight.

You might be under the impression that consuming more ‘good’ calories won’t sabotage weight loss. However, this is where many go wrong. While it’s better than consuming lots of ‘bad’ calories, it can still have you gaining weight.

appetizer avocado bread breakfast

Not eating the right macros

Getting too much or too little protein, carbs and fiber can affect your weight loss progress. Too much will have you gaining weight rather than losing it and too little will have you going hungry.

People often make the mistake of dropping carbs completely, this will not leave you feeling satisfied and decrease your metabolism.

If you are working out, not eating enough protein is another common mistake. Protein allows your muscles to recover and also increases your metabolism when eaten in the correct amount.

Work out your unique macro requirements with our world-class macro calculator.

Skipping meals

A big no, in the dieting world! Purposefully skipping a meal that you would usually eat will leave you feeling the need to eat more later.

It doesn't matter how many meals you eat each day as long as they fit your macros and leave you feeling energized. Make sure your meals are consistent each day, this will help you feel balanced and full for longer.

weight loss scrabble pieces plate

Restricting

Restricting can seem like the best method to get results fast, but it usually leaves you adding all the weight back on. That’s the whole point of IIFYM!

When you stick to your macros but still allow yourself to eat a range of foods you won’t find the need to binge or have cheat days later down the track. This is a key point in the IIFYM Meal Plan which will have you on track in no time.

Consistency

If you stick to the plan and keep it consistent you won’t have any trouble losing weight. Only sticking to the plan a few days a week won’t have you achieving the results you're after.

You have to commit in order to see results! Also, make sure you aren’t hoping for results too soon. If it’s only been a few days since you started you likely won’t be able to see change, give it a few weeks

Alcohol intake

Generally speaking, alcohol has a high-calorie count. Those who include a glass of wine daily or drink a lot on the weekend may not realize how much it’s affecting your diet.

There’s no problem drinking alcohol if you drop the calories from elsewhere, you just have to make sure you're counting.

Check out our guide on how to drink alcohol without sabotaging your progress.

alcohol alcoholic bar beverage

How to combat these habits

Once you’re aware of the mistakes you’re making they become easier to fix. An IIFYM Meal Plan will help to keep you on track and hold you accountable. It will provide you with the correct macros and support so you can hit your weight loss goals.

 

The following post 8 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss is courtesy of www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> It can be frustrating and distressing to feel you’re doing everything right but still not making progress. The weight loss journey is always going to be a challenge, but there are some easy to fix habits that may be affecting your progress more than you think. These bad habits sneak into your routine without you even realizing it!

Let’s take a look at what these habits might be and how to fix them.

healthy orange juice on grass lawn

Thirsty not hungry

You might mistake being thirsty for being hungry and end up eating food you didn't need. Make sure you’ve ticked the thirst box with water before ravenously munching everything in sight.

Including a glass of water before or with each meal will help you feel fuller and also aid digestion. Make sure you drink at least a few liters a day to avoid the thirsty, not hungry feeling.

Sugar intake

Eating too much sugar not only hinders progress but will leave you craving more. Sugar is high in calories and will have your energy levels crashing a few hours after consumption.

Sugar can be hiding in foods you didn’t even realize! Make sure you’re checking the labels on everything to see where any bad sugars could be hiding. Just because a food is labeled “healthy” or you’ve always believed it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it won’t have added sugar.

Fruit juices, granola, and sauces are often the main culprits hiding behind a “healthy” image.

Eating too many calories (including healthy food!)

Getting the right amount of calories can be tricky. It’s a fine line between eating enough that you won’t binge later but not eating too many you’re putting on weight.

You might be under the impression that consuming more ‘good’ calories won’t sabotage weight loss. However, this is where many go wrong. While it’s better than consuming lots of ‘bad’ calories, it can still have you gaining weight.

appetizer avocado bread breakfast

Not eating the right macros

Getting too much or too little protein, carbs and fiber can affect your weight loss progress. Too much will have you gaining weight rather than losing it and too little will have you going hungry.

People often make the mistake of dropping carbs completely, this will not leave you feeling satisfied and decrease your metabolism.

If you are working out, not eating enough protein is another common mistake. Protein allows your muscles to recover and also increases your metabolism when eaten in the correct amount.

Work out your unique macro requirements with our world-class macro calculator.

Skipping meals

A big no, in the dieting world! Purposefully skipping a meal that you would usually eat will leave you feeling the need to eat more later.

It doesn't matter how many meals you eat each day as long as they fit your macros and leave you feeling energized. Make sure your meals are consistent each day, this will help you feel balanced and full for longer.

weight loss scrabble pieces plate

Restricting

Restricting can seem like the best method to get results fast, but it usually leaves you adding all the weight back on. That’s the whole point of IIFYM!

When you stick to your macros but still allow yourself to eat a range of foods you won’t find the need to binge or have cheat days later down the track. This is a key point in the IIFYM Meal Plan which will have you on track in no time.

Consistency

If you stick to the plan and keep it consistent you won’t have any trouble losing weight. Only sticking to the plan a few days a week won’t have you achieving the results you're after.

You have to commit in order to see results! Also, make sure you aren’t hoping for results too soon. If it’s only been a few days since you started you likely won’t be able to see change, give it a few weeks

Alcohol intake

Generally speaking, alcohol has a high-calorie count. Those who include a glass of wine daily or drink a lot on the weekend may not realize how much it’s affecting your diet.

There’s no problem drinking alcohol if you drop the calories from elsewhere, you just have to make sure you're counting.

Check out our guide on how to drink alcohol without sabotaging your progress.

alcohol alcoholic bar beverage

How to combat these habits

Once you’re aware of the mistakes you’re making they become easier to fix. An IIFYM Meal Plan will help to keep you on track and hold you accountable. It will provide you with the correct macros and support so you can hit your weight loss goals.

 

The following post 8 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss is courtesy of www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Top 5 Post-Lockdown Fitness Trends https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/top-5-post-lockdown-fitness-trends/ Sat, 13 Jun 2020 00:33:01 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=472539 COVID-19 has changed the way we workout. Google searches for terms like “home workouts”, “home gym equipment”, and “HIIT workouts” surged throughout lockdown across the world.

This pandemic has forced trainers and dietitians to change the way they interact with their clients, meaning virtual health and fitness has never been better. Companies offering digital, “business-in-a-box” solutions have been inundated with trainers looking to expand the way they work.

As the world begins to relax lockdown restrictions from country to country, many people have weighed in with their predictions on what this means for fitness post-lockdown.

1. Virtual training

woman in white jacket holding silver iphone

Exercising virtually helps to break down the barriers and fears that some people have about exercising in front of others. The abundance of digital resources that have been available during global lockdown means many people who wouldn’t otherwise exercise, have started to. This is a positive shift for the way we workout moving forward.

"The majority of people have adapted smoothly to virtual training. Armed with no more than a couple of dumbbells, perhaps a kettlebell and some resistance bands, people have been enjoying new ways of training outside of the big lifts," says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.

Affordability and flexibility are the two biggest advantages of virtual training. Since the sessions aren't done in-person, you can choose the best time to work out, whether you workout at home or in the gym. You’ll save money too as online training programs cost less per month than most hour-long in-person training sessions.

Our IIFYM Meal Plan and Training Program are entirely app-based, providing you the freedom to take your shopping list with you to the supermarket and your plan to the gym without having to shuffle through endless pieces of paper!

To get your personalized meal plan and customized training program, start with our world-class Macro Calculator to determine your unique macro profile.

2. Exercising for mental health

women practicing yoga

Learning to manage stress and anxiety has become an essential part of wellness during lockdown. Moving your body, whether inside the house or out, is critical to wellness. Looking after your physical health will not only help your immune system stay healthy, but it will help relieve stress and anxiety. It also allows you to maintain a sense of structure and routine during this ever-changing situation.

Breath-focused exercises such as yoga, meditation, tai chi have become increasingly popular. Yoga and meditation are great ways to practice long, slow, deep breaths. Meditation will also help calm you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

"Bodyweight training and running have been people's favored ways of training these past 7 weeks. Yoga will continue to grow in popularity as people explore new, exciting methods of moving their bodies and calming their minds. Whilst gyms remain closed and social distancing measures stay in place, I can see a rise in the outdoor bootcamp market, as people begin to interact with one another once more." says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.

3. Group training

women having exercise using dumbbells

We are social beings! Lockdown has highlighted the importance of community and human connection.

Just as virtual training has removed many barriers holding some back from training, lockdown has also given new meaning and value to training with others.

"The lockdown has brought people together into fitness communities like never before and I think there will be a surge in people continuing with group training whether it be online or offline," says Joe Mitton Personal Trainer at MittFit.

4. Coping without gyms

The closure of gyms has forced us to learn to train from home, using the equipment we already have. This isn’t a bad thing! Knowing how to get a decent workout without relying on the gym is a game-changer for the fitness industry moving forward.

"People will miss the gym, but the fact that they are adjusting so well to having intense, effective workouts at home and outside will change the mindset for many - plus, it will be a while before they feel safe in gyms again," says Keith McNiven, personal trainer and founder of Right Path Fitness.

5. IG/FB LIVE fitness sessions

Combining the benefits of virtual fitness with group training and a strong sense of community, IG and Facebook LIVE workout sessions have been an excellent tool. Not only to allow trainers to actively engage with their clients but also to foster that feeling of connection with others when we’re feeling socially isolated.

"The rise of Instagram live sessions has seen the public exposed to a huge range of different options," says Personal Trainer George Pearse, at Fresh Fit London

People have been really keen to keep training, despite the gym being out of bounds. The need to keep moving, even if it's not exactly like they were doing before. This raises interesting questions on the other side of lockdown - will people want to rush back to the gym floor? The customer is going to be a bit more discerning on the other side."

Get your own personalized IIFYM Meal Plan and training program and start your virtual wellbeing journey today!

 

The following post Top 5 Post-Lockdown Fitness Trends was first seen on https://www.iifym.com/ IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> COVID-19 has changed the way we workout. Google searches for terms like “home workouts”, “home gym equipment”, and “HIIT workouts” surged throughout lockdown across the world.

This pandemic has forced trainers and dietitians to change the way they interact with their clients, meaning virtual health and fitness has never been better. Companies offering digital, “business-in-a-box” solutions have been inundated with trainers looking to expand the way they work.

As the world begins to relax lockdown restrictions from country to country, many people have weighed in with their predictions on what this means for fitness post-lockdown.

1. Virtual training

woman in white jacket holding silver iphone

Exercising virtually helps to break down the barriers and fears that some people have about exercising in front of others. The abundance of digital resources that have been available during global lockdown means many people who wouldn’t otherwise exercise, have started to. This is a positive shift for the way we workout moving forward.

"The majority of people have adapted smoothly to virtual training. Armed with no more than a couple of dumbbells, perhaps a kettlebell and some resistance bands, people have been enjoying new ways of training outside of the big lifts," says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.

Affordability and flexibility are the two biggest advantages of virtual training. Since the sessions aren't done in-person, you can choose the best time to work out, whether you workout at home or in the gym. You’ll save money too as online training programs cost less per month than most hour-long in-person training sessions.

Our IIFYM Meal Plan and Training Program are entirely app-based, providing you the freedom to take your shopping list with you to the supermarket and your plan to the gym without having to shuffle through endless pieces of paper!

To get your personalized meal plan and customized training program, start with our world-class Macro Calculator to determine your unique macro profile.

2. Exercising for mental health

women practicing yoga

Learning to manage stress and anxiety has become an essential part of wellness during lockdown. Moving your body, whether inside the house or out, is critical to wellness. Looking after your physical health will not only help your immune system stay healthy, but it will help relieve stress and anxiety. It also allows you to maintain a sense of structure and routine during this ever-changing situation.

Breath-focused exercises such as yoga, meditation, tai chi have become increasingly popular. Yoga and meditation are great ways to practice long, slow, deep breaths. Meditation will also help calm you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

"Bodyweight training and running have been people's favored ways of training these past 7 weeks. Yoga will continue to grow in popularity as people explore new, exciting methods of moving their bodies and calming their minds. Whilst gyms remain closed and social distancing measures stay in place, I can see a rise in the outdoor bootcamp market, as people begin to interact with one another once more." says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.

3. Group training

women having exercise using dumbbells

We are social beings! Lockdown has highlighted the importance of community and human connection.

Just as virtual training has removed many barriers holding some back from training, lockdown has also given new meaning and value to training with others.

"The lockdown has brought people together into fitness communities like never before and I think there will be a surge in people continuing with group training whether it be online or offline," says Joe Mitton Personal Trainer at MittFit.

4. Coping without gyms

The closure of gyms has forced us to learn to train from home, using the equipment we already have. This isn’t a bad thing! Knowing how to get a decent workout without relying on the gym is a game-changer for the fitness industry moving forward.

"People will miss the gym, but the fact that they are adjusting so well to having intense, effective workouts at home and outside will change the mindset for many - plus, it will be a while before they feel safe in gyms again," says Keith McNiven, personal trainer and founder of Right Path Fitness.

5. IG/FB LIVE fitness sessions

Combining the benefits of virtual fitness with group training and a strong sense of community, IG and Facebook LIVE workout sessions have been an excellent tool. Not only to allow trainers to actively engage with their clients but also to foster that feeling of connection with others when we’re feeling socially isolated.

"The rise of Instagram live sessions has seen the public exposed to a huge range of different options," says Personal Trainer George Pearse, at Fresh Fit London

People have been really keen to keep training, despite the gym being out of bounds. The need to keep moving, even if it's not exactly like they were doing before. This raises interesting questions on the other side of lockdown - will people want to rush back to the gym floor? The customer is going to be a bit more discerning on the other side."

Get your own personalized IIFYM Meal Plan and training program and start your virtual wellbeing journey today!

 

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]]> Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D? https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-d/ Fri, 29 May 2020 22:06:46 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=472526 Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for physical and mental health and supporting our immune system. Our main source of vitamin D is obtained by exposing our skin to sunlight, but due to Covid-19, many of us are spending much more time indoors, which may result in a vitamin D deficiency.

However, vitamin D deficiency is very common worldwide, regardless of the current pandemic. In fact, it’s estimated that around 1 billion people have low levels of vitamin D blood levels.

Some individuals are more at risk than others, especially if you have darker skin, are elderly, overweight, or you live in a sun-deprived part of the world (up to 50% of the global population don’t get enough sun).

Other factors include not consuming enough vitamin-D-rich products – such as dairy or fish – staying indoors, or applying sunscreen every time you go out (which is tricky as sunscreen protects your skin from prolonged exposure to harsh UV rays).

Read on for common symptoms of low vitamin D blood levels and how to raise them.

Tell-tale signs you may have a vitamin D deficiency

woman in gray tank top lying on bed

Tiredness

If you constantly feel tired and fatigued during the day, then a low vitamin D blood level may be the cause. Your quality of sleep may also be affected by this.

Anxiety and depression

Although depression is defined as an illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and a state of mind influenced by various external and internal factors, studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to poor mental health, increased stress and anxiety.

Sick or infected often

Vitamin D helps keep the immune system strong and capable of protecting the body from viruses and bacteria, by interacting with cells that fight infection.

If you’ve been getting sick frequently, then a lack of vitamin D could be a key cause.

Bone loss or pain

Sufficient vitamin D intake is crucial to effective bone metabolism and the absorption of calcium.

There is a correlation between low vitamin D levels and low bone mineral density. Older people tend to have low bone mineral density, due to a loss of calcium and other minerals in bones, putting them at risk of fractures.

Vitamin D also reduces inflammation and thus eases pain and promotes the healing of tissue. Studies suggest it may help and even prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Grey hair

Premature greying of hair is often linked to stress and genetic makeup. However, low vitamin D levels may also be a contributing cause.

Dry skin

Dry, itchy skin is another common symptom. Maintaining a healthy level of the vitamin promotes skin cell growth and repair and prevents premature skin aging, according to experts.

Excessive sweating

Sweating more than usual is one of the first signs of vitamin D deficiency. However, it may also be caused by another underlying condition such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

How to increase your vitamin D blood level

Vitamin D deficiency is generally easy to resolve through simple changes to lifestyle and diet or supplements. The recommended daily intake (RDI) is around 400 to 800 international units (IU), but many experts agree you should get more than that for optimal health.

Here’s how you can absorb more vitamin D daily.

Direct sunlight

The best natural source of vitamin D is, of course, the sun. When skin cells are exposed to direct sunlight, vitamin D is produced through synthesis. Unfortunately, a sunny spot indoors won’t cut it as the UVB rays are blocked by glass.

If you have lighter skin, aim to get at least 10 to 30 minutes of sunlight – preferably midday, when UVB rays are most intense – for optimal vitamin D absorption.

If you have darker skin, you’ll need to spend more time in the sun due to having more melanin, which protects the skin from sun damage, than lighter-skinned people. Anywhere between 30 minutes to three hours daily is recommended for sufficient vitamin D absorption.

But be careful that you don’t burn your skin, as sun damage can rapidly age skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

Foods rich in vitamin D

selective photography of breakfast in plate

Lucky there are plenty of foods that are high in vitamin D to add to your diet. For instance, egg yolks and fish are both excellent sources of vitamin D. In particular, salmon, tuna, herrings and sardines pack the most nutrients – especially if caught in the wild as opposed to being farmed.

Mushrooms are another great source, producing a high level of vitamin D2 – responsible for raising vitamin D blood levels – when grown with plenty of exposure to UV light, which in turn synthesizes the vitamin. Keep an eye out for brands that treat their mushrooms with UV light, however, as many grow their product in the dark and aren’t as rich in vitamins.

Due to the limited sources of natural vitamin D at our disposal, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, many products are fortified with this nutrient. These may include cow milk, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals and oatmeal – always check the labels.

Supplements

For those who do not have sufficient access to sunlight or vitamin-D-rich foods, the easiest ways to increase and maintain your vitamin D blood level is by regularly taking supplements.

Vitamin D tablets, capsules or liquids can be taken once a day with food and usually contain up to 1000 IU. This should be plentiful and safe for the average person, considering many experts advise not exceeding 4000 IU due to risk of toxicity.

Cod liver oil is another effective supplement, containing not only vitamin D but vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.

Visit your doctor – don’t self-diagnose, ever

If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article, you should visit a doctor – rather than self-diagnosing via the rabbit hole that is the internet. There you will be able to discuss symptoms in-depth, which may be caused by other factors, with a health professional and arrange some blood tests to get precise measurements of your vitamin levels.

To get a meal plan customized specifically for you that’s rich in vitamins and minerals to support your health and wellbeing, check out our IIFYM Meal Plans.

 

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D? Find more on: https://www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for physical and mental health and supporting our immune system. Our main source of vitamin D is obtained by exposing our skin to sunlight, but due to Covid-19, many of us are spending much more time indoors, which may result in a vitamin D deficiency.

However, vitamin D deficiency is very common worldwide, regardless of the current pandemic. In fact, it’s estimated that around 1 billion people have low levels of vitamin D blood levels.

Some individuals are more at risk than others, especially if you have darker skin, are elderly, overweight, or you live in a sun-deprived part of the world (up to 50% of the global population don’t get enough sun).

Other factors include not consuming enough vitamin-D-rich products – such as dairy or fish – staying indoors, or applying sunscreen every time you go out (which is tricky as sunscreen protects your skin from prolonged exposure to harsh UV rays).

Read on for common symptoms of low vitamin D blood levels and how to raise them.

Tell-tale signs you may have a vitamin D deficiency

woman in gray tank top lying on bed

Tiredness

If you constantly feel tired and fatigued during the day, then a low vitamin D blood level may be the cause. Your quality of sleep may also be affected by this.

Anxiety and depression

Although depression is defined as an illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and a state of mind influenced by various external and internal factors, studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to poor mental health, increased stress and anxiety.

Sick or infected often

Vitamin D helps keep the immune system strong and capable of protecting the body from viruses and bacteria, by interacting with cells that fight infection.

If you’ve been getting sick frequently, then a lack of vitamin D could be a key cause.

Bone loss or pain

Sufficient vitamin D intake is crucial to effective bone metabolism and the absorption of calcium.

There is a correlation between low vitamin D levels and low bone mineral density. Older people tend to have low bone mineral density, due to a loss of calcium and other minerals in bones, putting them at risk of fractures.

Vitamin D also reduces inflammation and thus eases pain and promotes the healing of tissue. Studies suggest it may help and even prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Grey hair

Premature greying of hair is often linked to stress and genetic makeup. However, low vitamin D levels may also be a contributing cause.

Dry skin

Dry, itchy skin is another common symptom. Maintaining a healthy level of the vitamin promotes skin cell growth and repair and prevents premature skin aging, according to experts.

Excessive sweating

Sweating more than usual is one of the first signs of vitamin D deficiency. However, it may also be caused by another underlying condition such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

How to increase your vitamin D blood level

Vitamin D deficiency is generally easy to resolve through simple changes to lifestyle and diet or supplements. The recommended daily intake (RDI) is around 400 to 800 international units (IU), but many experts agree you should get more than that for optimal health.

Here’s how you can absorb more vitamin D daily.

Direct sunlight

The best natural source of vitamin D is, of course, the sun. When skin cells are exposed to direct sunlight, vitamin D is produced through synthesis. Unfortunately, a sunny spot indoors won’t cut it as the UVB rays are blocked by glass.

If you have lighter skin, aim to get at least 10 to 30 minutes of sunlight – preferably midday, when UVB rays are most intense – for optimal vitamin D absorption.

If you have darker skin, you’ll need to spend more time in the sun due to having more melanin, which protects the skin from sun damage, than lighter-skinned people. Anywhere between 30 minutes to three hours daily is recommended for sufficient vitamin D absorption.

But be careful that you don’t burn your skin, as sun damage can rapidly age skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

Foods rich in vitamin D

selective photography of breakfast in plate

Lucky there are plenty of foods that are high in vitamin D to add to your diet. For instance, egg yolks and fish are both excellent sources of vitamin D. In particular, salmon, tuna, herrings and sardines pack the most nutrients – especially if caught in the wild as opposed to being farmed.

Mushrooms are another great source, producing a high level of vitamin D2 – responsible for raising vitamin D blood levels – when grown with plenty of exposure to UV light, which in turn synthesizes the vitamin. Keep an eye out for brands that treat their mushrooms with UV light, however, as many grow their product in the dark and aren’t as rich in vitamins.

Due to the limited sources of natural vitamin D at our disposal, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, many products are fortified with this nutrient. These may include cow milk, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals and oatmeal – always check the labels.

Supplements

For those who do not have sufficient access to sunlight or vitamin-D-rich foods, the easiest ways to increase and maintain your vitamin D blood level is by regularly taking supplements.

Vitamin D tablets, capsules or liquids can be taken once a day with food and usually contain up to 1000 IU. This should be plentiful and safe for the average person, considering many experts advise not exceeding 4000 IU due to risk of toxicity.

Cod liver oil is another effective supplement, containing not only vitamin D but vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.

Visit your doctor – don’t self-diagnose, ever

If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article, you should visit a doctor – rather than self-diagnosing via the rabbit hole that is the internet. There you will be able to discuss symptoms in-depth, which may be caused by other factors, with a health professional and arrange some blood tests to get precise measurements of your vitamin levels.

To get a meal plan customized specifically for you that’s rich in vitamins and minerals to support your health and wellbeing, check out our IIFYM Meal Plans.

 

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D? Find more on: https://www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>