Where Have All The Good Fitness Blogs Gone?

I love reading blogs, it’s one of ┬ámy favorite past times aside from watching movies. I love reading a variety of topics but when it comes to fitness, exercise, and health…it’s oddly lacking.

Maybe I’m being a stick in the mud or maybe I’m old fashioned, but I just don’t like reading about people’s new fads, new diets, new products. I don’t want to read about female body builders, Ironman triathletes, and the like. I want to read about average people doing and accomplishing amazing things.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get in shape. You don’t need to buy subscription style meals to eat healthy. You don’t need a new-fangled monitor to track the steps you’ve taken, your heart rate, or even your calories.

These things are helpful, sure, but it just comes down to 3 things.

  1. Work out regularly…aka EVERY SINGLE DAY.
  2. Eat balanced and healthy meals.
  3. Take care of yourself: stay healthy, decrease stress levels, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated

There are some amazing blogs out there and maybe I just haven’t found them yet. So if you have ideas, please let me know.

But for now, here are some that I find pretty interesting:

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Are My Bad Habits…My Good Ones?

I’m back from my hiatus and it’s been an interesting week.

I traveled and saw some familiar sights from a familiar place.

Originally, I planned to work out but it proved harder than I thought. So, I eased up on my exercise plan to three 15 minute jogs and doing Ab Ripper X three times this week. I ate whatever everyone else was having, whether it was steak, seafood, sushi, or other items. When I think about, I ate more carbs and protein than I usually do. I tried to add more veggies and fruit to my food intake, but it wasn’t enough. Plus, I snacked a lot on almonds, chips, wafers, bananas, and popcorn. I had some of these snacks 30 minutes prior to going to bed. On two occasions, I woken up hungry in the middle of the night and I went to pick up a bite to eat (like a glass of OJ or a handful of almonds). For some reason, I’ve been ravenously hungry all week and I’ve been eating lots of big and small meals.

Therefore, according to many food and fitness “experts”…I should be gaining weight this week because I’m working out less and eating more in addition to having more unhealthy food than I normally ingest.

BUT…according to an old, janky scale, I lost 3 pounds. I weighed myself twice on the same scale: once when I arrived and again the night before I left.

How did that happen?

My friend says I’ve been unintentionally following a modified version of the Atkins diet. Something about when you eat more protein, your body doesn’t store it as fat as easily and instead, the fat reserves are being depleted. So you end up losing weight.

Also, since I was doing P90X for over two weeks, I’ve been building up muscle which burns through more calories a day which can explain my unquenchable hunger. The extra protein I’ve been eating goes toward repairing my muscles. So I guess my decreased exercise maintained my fat to muscle ratio…no increase and no decrease.

Personally, I’m not looking to lose weight since each pound is practically 1% of my total body weight. I want to maintain my weight and improve the muscle definition in my body. I don’t think in terms of weight…I want to see how my body can be sculpted and defined by healthy food and exercise habits.

But if I was on a track for weight loss…I guess my bad habits are kind of my good habits?!

“Healthier” Fast Food Series: McDonald’s

Not everyone can spend money to buy organic foods or even fresh produce. If you can’t cook, you think you’re doomed to buy those pre-packaged “diets” or eating out. It’s not true that you absolutely cannot lose weight if you eat fast food. You just need to be smarter about your choices and the portion size. I don’t recommend that you eat fast food everyday, I’m just saying that when you do go and you want to be healthy, here’s my best suggestions.

Everyone recognizes the golden arches of McDonald’s and I’m sure you’ve heard about all the heat they’ve been taking for making America “fat” a la lawsuits and Super Size Me.

Here are some healthier options for those who cannot avoid the Micky D’s. The portion size is one serving…so unless you’re a big eater, you can double up, but keep everything in moderation!

  • Breakfast: The English Muffin or the Egg McMuffin
    • An Egg McMuffin is a great start to your day with some carbs and some protein. Add some pepper to spice it up but don’t add cheese or additional sauces as it adds calories and more importantly, sodium.
  • Sandwich: The Hamburger
    • The healthiest sandwich is the plain old hamburger. Skip the cheese, the Big Mac sauce, and the other condiments and it’s the best thing you can have at this establishment.
    • You’d think it’d be the grilled chicken, but unless you cut that sandwich in half and and take out the mayo, it’s not as great as you’d think.
  • French Fries: The Small Fries or the Kid’s Size Fries
    • You can’t be at McDonald’s and not have fries, right? Well, as long as you brush off as much salt off of it, add some pepper, and go really easy on the ketchup in a small…it’s ok. As long as you don’t mind that they’ve been fried in oil.

Read on for more food options!

Foods You Should Eat Everyday

…from Eat This, Not That.

Many people look for ways to lose weight by taking diet pills, fat-burners, and other things that “allow” them to keep their current food habits without much sacrifice. I believe that those people are being misled. In the long run, eating healthier and exercising regularly will keep you fit and help you maintain the weight you want. It’s a lifestyle change, not just a 30 day solution or a 90 day “extreme makeover.” Once you get off the fast track, you’ll gain it all back and then some. It’s brutally honest and true, just look up how some of the Biggest Loser winners are doing now.

But anyways, back to the topic at hand…items to eat every day. I found this little piece very informative and useful. In fact, I’m still aiming to pack in all 8 of these foods….yogurt and nuts are my downfall.

  1. Spinach (kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce) – 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup cooked
  2. Yogurt (kefir, soy yogurt) – 1 cup
  3. Tomatoes (red watermelon, pink grapefruit, persimmon, papaya, guava) – 8 cherry tomatoes, 1 glass of tomato juice
  4. Carrots (sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango) – 1/2 cup
  5. Blueberries (acai berries, purple grapes, raisins, prunes, strawberries) – 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup frozen/dried
  6. Black beans (peas, lentils, pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans) – 1/2 cup
  7. Walnuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts) – 7 nuts (1 oz.) per serving
  8. Oats (quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice) – 1/2 cup

These 8 foods are great for your body but that doesn’t mean you should neglect all other produce. It’s better to have more variety so you don’t get bored. I don’t always get in all these things, but I do my best to keep my meals as colorful as possible. Eating right is only part of the equation to being healthy and staying in shape.

There is no quick fix or ultimate solution to lose weight or get in shape. It’s a lifelong choice and journey and hopefully, the more little steps you make towards positive change, the bigger the outcome will be in the long run.