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10 (Lame) Fitness Rules You Need to Quit Being Seduced By

10 (Lame) Fitness Rules You Need to Quit Being Seduced By

Seduction is oftentimes associated with sexy activities, or at least something in that realm.

Until now.  People are seduced in their everyday lives. Seduction is being lured, enticed, or bribed into something.

The fitness industry is great at seducing people (me included). I’ve been seduced more times than I care to admit in the past with various rules I thought I had to follow if I wanted to achieve any progress.

These rules are so tempting at times, because we see so many people do them. Fitness doesn’t need to be black and white. There’s more than one way to master the skill of fitness and achieve lifelong healthy habits.

Following a set of rules that cramp your style, make you feel bad about yourself, and causes you unhappiness isn’t what you should call an awesome quality of life. Allow me to share with you 10 of the lamest fitness rules you need to quit following immediately.

Lame Rule #1- No Carbs at Night

We’ve all heard the rule, eat your carbs in the evening and you’ll get fatter. Eating carbs at night doesn’t make you fat or cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories is what causes weight gain.

Your body doesn’t magically say “hey its 7pm, I’m going to store all the carbs into my fat cells now.”

There isn’t such a thing as daytime and nighttime metabolism. Here’s a study where individuals ate carbs in the evening and got leaner(the irony).

Feel free to eat your carbs at night, allow yourself 2-3 hours before going to bed. This helps digestion and allows insulin to return to baseline levels. Carbs also help trigger serotonin release, which will help induce sleep and relaxation.

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Lame Rule #2- You Must Cut Out All Carbs to Lose Fat

We live in a carb phobic society where carbs are public enemy number one when it comes to weight gain. Obesity rising isn’t because of carbohydrates, it’s because people eat too much.

Low carb diets are great for those who are sedentary, but for the active folk, it’s a terrible idea in the long run. Constantly working out without properly replenishing your body with carbs halts your recovery. Other signs of needing more carbs include increased crankiness, brain fog (not getting enough glucose), and issues on the toilet (hello constipation).

Lame Rule #3- Cardio is Needed for Fat Loss

Seduction runs rampant when it comes to our dependence on cardio. Cardio isn’t the only way to lose fat, in fact depending on your fitness goals, it can be counterproductive. Cardio is a great tool to include once you have your nutrition under control, you are strength training consistently, and your stress levels are under control.

Cardio burns plenty of calories, but that’s only while you’re exercising. Weight training burns calories during and after exercising leading to more calories burned.

When it comes to battling the bulge, fall in love with weight training. Save the cardio for when you hit a plateau.

Lame Rule #4- (Insert diet) is the Only Diet That Will Work

Whether it’s Paleo, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, Mediterranean diet, or a Japanese village style diet…they all work. There isn’t one diet plan that has to be used over the other.

Are there diets that are more optimal for people and their specific lifestyle? Absolutely.

The key is tailoring your diet to cater to your lifestyle without adding extra stress (there’s enough of that already).

Resist the carefully marketed seduction techniques that you see. Install a way of eating that makes you happy and is sustainable over the long haul.

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Lame Rule #5- You Need Supplements to Make Progress

Supplements aren’t a necessity. They’re meant to ‘supplement’ an already established healthy lifestyle. Think of supplements as icing on the cake. Supplements don’t replace the hard work it takes to make a transformation, no matter how sexy or awesome that new supplement ad sounds.

Stay consistent with lifting weights and eating real foods. There are no quick fixes. Get plenty of rest.

Then. Just maybe. You should consider using supplements.

Lame Rule #6- Fat Can Be Spot Reduced Through Exercise

Whether it’s abs, thighs, butt (glutes if ya fancy), or arms, men and women are equally obsessed with the idea of toning up a specific area.

Sadly, those thousands of crunches or hundreds of reps on the inner thigh machine won’t expedite fat burning in those areas. If you have a lot of bodyfat to lose, those areas will still be hidden underneath the existing layer of fat. You can’t pick and choose where bodyfat will burn off from. Focus on reducing body fat through eating healthier.

Lame Rule #7- You Need Soreness for Progress

“No pain. No gain.”

“Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

Those are two of the most seducing rallying cries that many use for fitness motivation. I’m here to tell you though, you don’t need to be sore, ‘hurting’, or in pain after every workout to experience results.

Muscle soreness is the result of small tears in your muscle fibers.. It’s common to be sore after the first few workouts after implementing a new workout routine or program.

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Constantly being sore is a great sign you aren’t recovering enough. You grow and become stronger by taking adequate amounts of rest.

Lame Rule #8- Go Gluten Free To Get Results

If you have celiac disease, problems with lactose, or other food allergies, then you should by all means avoid foods that don’t suit your well being.

If you don’t have these problems, please stop using gluten free or any other ‘free diet’ as the reason why weight isn’t falling off. It’s not the wheat, rye, nor milk that is making you bloated and miserable. The junk included in your diet is causing these problems.

If you feel better by eliminating certain foods, then by all means go for it. Just don’t blindly follow some fad diet without testing on yourself. It could all be in your head(non celiac gluten sensitivity for example).

Lame Rule #9-You Need a “Six-Pack” to Look Good.

Look around at newsstands and every health, beauty, and lifestyle magazine has some guy or girl showing off their perfect arms and midsections. Our culture is obsessed with body image to a fault.

If it isn’t abs, then its reducing thighs, toning arms, or that ridiculous thigh gap nonsense. While it’s great to have goals of improving your body composition, your entire self-worth shouldn’t rest on these goals.

You’re good enough already.

Ladies. Embrace your bodies as they are. Striving to make yourself stronger and improving your current self is great. Improve your body for you and only you. If a guy or anyone else has a problem with your body…tell them to go kick rocks.

Guys. A six pack isn’t the end all be. Obsessing over your body gets in the way of living life. Having racks and racks of muscle isn’t as important as you think(can we say overkill).

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Working out only for the six pack, toning the arms, tightening the thighs is shortening yourself of all the awesome benefits working out provides.

The key to happiness and a lifelong habit of exercising is to find motivation that goes deeper than just physical appearance.

Lame Rule #10- Women Shouldn’t Lift Heavy.

This rule is slowly seducing less women as time goes along.

I encounter women everyday who keep lifting the 5 lb weights and performing endless sets of tricep kickbacks. They’re working hard, but results aren’t following. The problem lies with woman being afraid to lift heavy.

Lifting heavy is what gives ladies the ever so desired ‘toned look’. Due to different ratios of specific hormones, it’s near impossible for women to develop the same muscular build of males.

So feel free to start squatting, hip thrusting, and deadlifting your little heart away.

Remember, our society forms these generalized ideals of what’s attractive; you can choose what you find attractive.

What are some lame fitness rules you wish would go away? Comment below or tweet at me.

Featured photo credit: Method Fitness via flickr.com

More by this author

Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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