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Get Lean By Eating Like A Caveman With The Paleo Diet

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There are a lot of diet trends that come and go, but one that seems to be catching fire with men is the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It includes whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they look like in nature.

Our ancestors were genetically the same as modern humans. They thrived eating such foods and were free of diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (without calorie counting) and major improvements in health.

A Paleo Diet Meal Plan

There is no one “right” way to eat for everyone and paleolithic humans thrived on a variety of diets, depending on what was available at the time. Some ate a low-carb diet high in animal foods, others a high-carb diet with lots of plants.

Consider this as a general guideline, not something written in stone. You can adapt all of this to your own personal needs and preferences.

The Basics

Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils.

Avoid: Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.

Avoid These Foods

Avoid these foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.
  • Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
  • Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy like butter and cheese).
  • Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil and others.
  • Trans Fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Sucralose, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Acesulfame Potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
  • Highly Processed Foods: Everything labelled “diet” or “low-fat” or has many weird ingredients. Includes artificial meal replacements.
  • A simple guideline: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!

Foods to Eat on The Paleo Diet

Base your diet on these real, unprocessed paleo foods.

  • Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
  • Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
  • Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
  • Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and others.
  • Salt and Spices: Sea salt, himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.

Maybe Eat

In the past few years, the paleo community has evolved quite a bit.There are now several different “versions” of the paleo diet. Many of them allow some modern foods that science has shown to be healthy.

This includes quality bacon from pasture raised pigs, grass-fed butter and even some non-gluten grains like rice.

Many people now think of paleo as a template to base your diet on, not necessarily as a strict set of rules that you must follow.

Sensible Indulgences

These are perfectly healthy in small amounts:

  • Wine: Quality red wine is high in antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.
  • Dark Chocolate: Choose one that has 70% or higher cocoa content. Quality dark chocolate is very nutritious and extremely healthy.

What to Drink When You’re Thirsty

When it comes to hydration, water should be your go-to beverage.

These aren’t exactly paleo, but most people drink them anyway:

  • Tea is very healthy and loaded with antioxidants and various beneficial compounds. Green tea is best.
  • Coffee is actually very high in antioxidants as well. Studies show that it has many health benefits.

Fitness

Resting The Right Way Can Lead To Big Gains

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Building muscle and getting stronger isn’t just about pumping iron: planned recovery and downtime are just as important.

It’s important to understand that there is no distinction between lifting heavy in the gym and picking up a pillow. Both require conscious awareness of positioning and how best to organize your body. No matter what you are doing throughout the day, you should always be thinking about improving your position and movement mechanics, as well as spending at least 10 to 15 minutes performing basic body main­tenance. Likewise, you don’t want to take a day off from good nutrition or miss a night of sleep. Of course, there will be times when you can’t eat perfectly, exercise, or get eight hours of sleep. But you should cultivate a habit of always being in a good position, regardless of what you’re doing.

The fact is, if you want to play and train at a high level, you cannot slack off for even one day. You have to think about your position constantly, whether you are at work, playing a sport, lifting, or lounging around. This is the basis of the No Days Off rule.

Here’s a simple example to help illustrate my point. A DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] agent buddy of mine told me about a friend who used to walk past his boot every time he got out of the car. It didn’t matter whether he was on or off duty, or whether he had parked at a supermarket, at home, or at a restaurant — he would walk all the way around the car and past his trunk every single time. He did it because he kept his rifle in his boot and wanted to ingrain the pattern of approaching his boot into his motor pro­gramme. That way, if he ever found himself in a dodgy firefight, he wouldn’t hesitate or think — he would automatically find himself by his boot, ready to grab his rifle.

Remember, your body is an adaptation machine. If you spend a few minutes a day working on improving your position, you will improve your position. But if you take a few days off, you will get stiff, and your movement and position will reflect that adaptation. Even if you’re taking a day off from the gym, you should never take a day off from mobilizing. In fact, a lot of muscle soreness and tissue stiffness aggregate the day after training, and those are the days when you really need to work on restoring normalcy to those tissues. For this reason, it’s best to break up mobility into short doses. Doing so gives you plenty of time to effect change within the con­text of movement, and, more important, it is manageable over the long haul.

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Fasting Is A Quick Way To Get Lean

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Intermittent fasting has shown the most promise for boosting metabolism and burning fat, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Researchers put mice on a 16-week intermittent fasting program. The mice ate normally for two days, and then went one whole day without food. Meanwhile, a control group of mice ate the same amount of calories overall, just spread evenly across three days.

After four months, the fasted mice tended to have lower bodyweights than the control-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for energy and body heat, and their insulin and glucose levels were more constant.

And that’s not all, says Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Studies suggest you keep more muscle and lose more fat than on other diets, even if you lose the same number of pounds.” That’s because after about 12 hours of fasting, you run out of stored energy from carbs and start burning stored fat.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods. Three popular ones are:

  1. The 16/8 Method: Skip breakfast every day and eat during an 8-hour feeding window, such as from 12 noon to 8 pm.
  2. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  3. The 5:2 Diet: Only eat 500-600 calories on two days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

The new fasting is not about deprivation, but about divvying up your calories differently than the three-square-meals-plus-snacks pattern—which some scientists say is a mismatch with the way we evolved to eat, when food was sporadic

VIA: Men’s Fitness

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3 Easy Ways To Boost Your Endurance

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Endurance is sometimes the last thing that people think of when it comes to fitness. Why do I need to build my endurance if not a training for running or cycling? Building your endurance and stamina can lead to bigger muscle gains as well as torch calories.

World-class trainer Will Torres and spoke to him about endurance.

“When people think of endurance and stamina, all they tend to focus on are cardio activities like running or cycling,” says Torres, a New York-based personal trainer and founder of the personal training studio, Willspace. “But that’s only a small part of the equation—you also need to improve your strength.”

For example, Torres explains that by building your leg muscles, you’ll be able to propel yourself further in every step you take while running. “The added muscle also helps absorb the impact that would otherwise put stress on your joints,” he says. So here, Torres gives you seven sneak tactics (ones you’re probably not trying) to boost your endurance and stamina.

Find Your Motivation

Fitness is as much of mental game as it is physical. Having your motivation in mind is a good way to push yourself when you are ready to break. Kevin Hart uses his family as motivation when he is doing his 5k runs.

“My biggest motivation is my kids — they make me want to be great. I want to feel good and be active with them when they’re in their twenties. I want to be able to do things with my grandkids when they come. I don’t want to be the guy who has a bad back, who’s in the chair and has to watch everything from the porch.”

Combine strength days with cardio days.

It’s a simple equation: the more muscle you can get working, the more it will challenge your heart and your cardiovascular system. Instead of building cardio-only workouts (the pitfall that’ll prevent you from building endurance) make sure to weave strength days into your training. “Most people reserve one day for strength and another day for cardio. Try combining the two instead,” says Torres. “Use a bench press, immediately followed by pull-ups, then run a mile as fast as you can… and repeat.” Another good example: Jump rope for a minute, followed by squats, an overhead press, and finally sit-ups. Repeat.

Reduce your amount of rest.

Men typically give themselves between 30 and 90 seconds of recovery time in between sets, but if your goal is greater endurance, be prepared to sacrifice break time. “By the end of your sets, your muscles should be burning—you should be breathing heavily and sweating,” says Torres. “Only take a break if you physically cannot continue.” Torres suggests selecting a series of movements like 10 pull-ups, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups. Do three rounds of the series back to back, taking as minimal a break as possible.

 

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