Fitness & Wellness

Top Fat Burning Foods

Top Fat Burning Foods

One of the dreams often expressed by people trying to lose weigh is to eat everything they want and still lose weight. Almost as though the more food eaten, the more weight lost. It may be the perfect dream, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are fat burning foods that actually help with weight loss. These are thermogenic foods that increase metabolism or food that requires more calories to digest than they contain. Unfortunately, you can’t live consuming just these foods, they don’t provide all the nutrients you need. You can, however, add them to a well balanced diet to boost your potential for weight loss.

What’s a thermogenic food.

You probably already include chicken in your diet, since it’s a good source of protein, but did you know that eggs are also a good source and increase thermogenesis. They’re packed with nutrients, which also boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. Since they’re packed with protein, they make you feel full longer. One study showed that the group eating three eggs for breakfast compared those who ate a bagel, reduced the amount of calories consumed throughout the day. It also helped reduce body fat. Eggs also boosted the groups metabolism by as much as 35% for several hours after consumption.

Drink your way to a slimmer you.

Coffee is a metabolism booster, by as much as 13%. Drinking between one to four cups of coffee, depending on the coffee’s strength, can increase metabolism because of the caffeine. Green tea is another fat burning drink. One study showed that it increased the body’s fat burning significantly if consumed before bicycling. It contains some caffeine, but also EGCG, a biochemical that promotes fat burning, particularly belly fat. Don’t forget drinking water. According to studies, drinking more water can help you lose weight, particularly if it’s icy cold water or you drink a glass before a meal.

Some types of oil can help you burn fat.

Olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, blackseed oils and others can help you burn fat. These healthy oils boost your metabolism and help cut your appetite by making you feel fuller longer. Each type of oil has a different twist in how it helps. Flaxseed and fish oil, for instance, contain omega-3 fatty acids to help digestion and prevent insulin spikes that can cause belly fat. Both help suppress appetite and make digestion better. Both increase thermogenesis, just as coconut oil does. While each type of oil may work differently, they all get similar results.

  • Want a real fat burner that will burn your mouth, too? Try eating more chili peppers. The capsaicin in peppers that makes it hot, also makes you feel fuller longer and boosts your metabolism.
  • Apple cider vinegar is the naturalists medicine in a bottle, but did you also know it can help improve blood sugar levels and burn belly fat? One teaspoon in an 8-oz glass of water in the morning is the starter formula.
  • Avoid fat free options and stick with the full fat ones. Food labeled fat free normally have additives that make food more palatable, like sugar—which is the number one enemy of weight loss. Full fat Greek yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid that promotes weight loss.
  • Add some whey protein to your smoothie. Studies show it can increase your metabolic rate, plus burn far more fat than other protein additives, like soy or casein. Other studies show it boosted weight loss.

For more information, contact us today at Upfit Academy

My Diet Has Me Constipated - Help!

My Diet Has Me Constipated – Help!

Everyone has been constipated at some time in their life. It’s uncomfortable, but a topic that isn’t always discussed with friends. What you eat makes a huge difference in whether you have to strain when you’re on the toilet or make your bathroom visit shorter and more productive. While your diet plays a big role, other things can help you “get moving,” too.

Constipation comes from several things, one is lack of liquid in the colon.

Another reason for constipation occurs when food passes through the colon too slowly, causing too much liquid is removed. That causes hard, dry stools that make it hard to pass. If you want to make the waste to pass faster, so less fluid is removed, exercise is one way to help. It causes the contractions to accelerate and the muscles in the intestines to push food through faster as it increases your heart rate and breathing. Just walking or riding a bike can help.

Drink more fluid throughout the day.

If you’re even slightly dehydrated, it can cause your pooh to be harder, with less fluid to allow easy passage. It may not help you unless you’re in one of three groups, people who are dehydrated, pregnant women and older people. Studies show that people who are dehydrated, no matter how mild, benefited from extra water. Studies showed that by increasing fluid intake, it lowered the risk of constipation in pregnant women. In several studies on older individuals, there was a direct relationship between low fluid intake and constipation. Seniors are also more susceptible to dehydration.

Add fiber to your diet whenever possible.

There are two types of fiber and both of them help to make your bathroom time shorter. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to create a gel that keeps stools softer and easier to pass. Insoluble fiber adds bulk, which can also help you go….unless you don’t have enough fluid, then it’s like adding cement to your stools. Focus on legumes, apples, figs, sweet potatoes, avocados and other foods high in soluble fiber. If you eat a lot of white rice, bananas or other food high in insoluble fiber, drink extra water so you don’t create a brick in your colon. Sometimes, too much insoluble fiber makes matters worse.

  • Certain diseases and medications for those diseases can cause constipation. Thyroid problems, MS, IBS, diabetes and hypercalcemia are those health problems. See a physician to make sure it isn’t just diet that’s the problem.
  • Eating fewer carbohydrates and eating more probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir or yogurt, can help relieve constipation. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar and white flour if you have chronic constipation
  • Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that causes intestinal muscles to contract and make going easier. Foods higher in magnesium, like spinach, also help.
  • Prunes and prune juice are also notable for treating constipation, but be aware a little goes a long way. If you suffer from bloating and gas from prunes, stick with prune juice and avoid juice with pulp. Drinking a glass of water before consuming prunes or prune juice helps.

For more information, contact us today at Upfit Academy

Depression Can Come With Age - Exercise Can Help

Depression Can Come With Age – Exercise Can Help

Studies show that exercising can help lift depression, no matter what your age. In fact, in cases of mild depression, it’s often the recommended treatment. Just walking can be an effective tonic to lift the spirits. For more severe cases of depression, many therapists are adding exercise as an adjunct therapy. While we always recommend a full body workout that hits all types of fitness, including strength, flexibility, endurance and balance, you don’t do it all to get benefits for depression.

It’s all about stimulating endorphins, burning off stress hormones and getting your blood circulating.

When you exercise, your body starts burning off the fight or flight stress hormones. While flexibility training won’t necessarily do it, something as simple as walking or running will. Movements as simple as slow dancing can be beneficial for those that don’t enjoy walking. Movements like tai chi are good for those that are wheelchair bound. It’s all about getting the body moving and boosting circulation.

Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help you feel better.

If you don’t think you can walk for a half hour at a time, try three sessions of ten minutes each. Studies show that as long as you get at least ten minutes in each session, three sessions have the same benefits as a half hour one. It’s all about stimulating the endorphins. Do it regularly and you’ll feel much better after each session. After several weeks, you’ll probably be able to do an entire half hour at once. Do it regularly each day to get the depression lifting benefits.

Strength training is also a way to get depression relief.

A number of studies show that strength training is good for lifting depression. In fact, one focused on stroke survivors that did strength-building workouts for ten weeks. Not only did the study show it provided a number of benefits for overall health, it helped lift depression that often occurs after a stroke. Strength-building also improves your self-image and feeling yourself grow stronger is part of that. Increasing your strength gives you more of a feeling of self-reliance and independence. They can also lift your mood.

  • Yoga can also help lift depression. While yoga builds flexibility and strength, it also helps develop discipline and mindfulness. The breathing exercises help settle your mind and act like a type of meditation.
  • Try walking barefoot on the grass on a sunny day. Both the sun and the grounding that comes when your bare feet connect to the ground can help lift your spirits.
  • Have fun with the kids and make memories. Whether it’s taking them to the zoo and walking, shooting hoops, dancing in the living room or riding bikes, you’ll feel better exercising with the kids. If you don’t feel like it, fake it until you can make it.
  • Another reason exercise can help anyone of any age is that it helps you sleep better at night. Lack of sleep can cause mild depression and depression can also cause insomnia. Break the cycle with exercise.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Bicep Workouts At Home

Bicep Workouts At Home

Whether you workout online or in person at UpFit Training Academy in New York, NY, you probably strive for a particular look, especially when it comes to abs and arms. While everyone wants to look stronger, even women, few actually want bulging biceps and instead prefer for lean, but toned ones with a bit of a curve and more when flexed. There’s a lot of reasons people can’t make it to the gym at the times when the gym is open, which is why we offer virtual training that provide bicep workouts at home.

The bicep has two heads to work.

You need to work both heads and it’s even better if you work other muscle groups in the area, such as triceps, back, shoulders and chest. You don’t have to have dumbbells or barbells, you can use bodyweight workouts. Push-ups can do it, but only if you modify the push-up. Standard ones just build the chest, triceps and deltoids. Changing the placement of your hands. Put your hands closer together, leaving just a few inches in between. The closer you put them, the harder the push-up becomes. When you lower yourself, your elbows will flare out at about a 45 degree angle. Raise yourself back up and repeat. Do as many as you can.

You’ll be surprised at how much equipment you have in your home.

Do you have a backpack? Do you shop for groceries? Do you have a broomstick? All of those can be used as equipment. Fill your backpack with books or canned goods or carry your groceries to the car without a cart. Hold either one by its handle to your side, arm straight. Bend your elbow slowly as you bring your arm toward your shoulder, maintaining total control during the vertical rise. Don’t allow your arms to swing side to side. Use the broomstick loaded with backpacks or purses with cans on both sides and do a curl.

Most people have a sturdy chair in their home, but make sure it doesn’t have rollers.

You can do push-up style dips using a sturdy coffee table or a chair. The key is the way you hold your hands. Place your palms up with your fingers pointing down and grasp the seat of the chair, thumbs on top of the seat. Slowly lower your body to work the biceps and as you push back up, you’ll work the triceps. Your body should be straight with feet out behind you, as in a modified push-up position. Only lower yourself as far as you can comfortable.

  • If you don’t have dumbbells at home, you’ll be surprised at what you can use to do curls. Fill water bottles, use soup cans, milk jugs or laundry detergent jugs with sand or water.
  • You can do towel curls at home or in a hotel room. Put a rolled up towel behind one thigh, with each hand grasping one end. Use your leg as the resistance and pull until you lift it off the ground.
  • Resistance bands are a good tool to build biceps and are cheap and easy to store. For a bicep curl, put one on the floor, standing on it with feet shoulder-width and grasping an end in each hand. Slowly lift the bands with your palms facing up, then back to starting position.
  • You can modify the bicep curl by changing your hand position. Do a hammer curl with your palms facing each other as you grasp the handles of the resistance bands or a reverse curl by placing palms downward.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Do Cumin And Turmeric Aid In Digestion?

Do Cumin And Turmeric Aid In Digestion?

Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help relieve many health issues, besides making food taste better. Two popular herbs are cumin, and turmeric, which provide many health benefits, including aiding digestion. Each one has special properties to help relieve gassiness, soothe sour stomach and relieve that queasy feeling. Both of these herbs are used in cooking, with cumin more popular for

What is cumin?

Cumin is a spice that originated in Egypt. In fact, it was often used in mummification. It’s often confused with caraway, although the taste of cumin is hotter. That’s one reason it’s often used in chili or found in chili powder. It’s used in soups, curry and sometimes in pastry. It contains monounsaturated fat, protein, fiber, vitamins E and B, plus iron, magnesium and manganese. Cumin has been found to be beneficial for hemorrhoids, heart disease, inflammation, vomiting, insomnia, viral infections and to boost the immune system. The Sanskrit name for cumin is Jira, which means digestion. It’s frequently mentioned in the Bible, too. One verse refers to tithing with mint, dill or cumin, so it was highly prized.

Turmeric also provides a number of health benefits.

Turmeric comes from India. It gives dishes it’s added to a golden color. It’s used both in cooking and part of herbal remedies, more recently, the scientific community has found its beneficial for a number of ailments. It helps the body with its anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties. Besides digestion, turmeric helps prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome and degenerative conditions, which often occur from chronic inflammation.

How cumin and turmeric aid in digestion.

Part of the reason cumin helps digestion comes from the fiber that stimulates the digestive system and prevents constipation. However, it’s the thymol in cumin that really helps. First, it helps prevent gas from forming and combats flatulence. It stimulates the glands that produce enzymes and secrete acids for digestion. Enzymes are important for proper digestion. It’s also good for acid reflux. The curcumin in turmeric helps stops the inflammation that leads to GERD. The anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties also help with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

  • To make the benefits of cucumin in turmeric more bioavailable, use it with a bit of black pepper. The piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.
  • Studies showed that 20 drops of cumin essential oil in water every day relieved the symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and painful bowel movements.
  • While taking some of the herb turmeric may help, too much can be a problem. Too much turmeric or turmeric tea can actually increase stomach acid. It also thins the blood, so don’t use it if you’re on blood thinners or two weeks before surgery.
  • Adding turmeric to your diet may provide benefits for exercise and can help with depression. It boosted the action of Prozac when taken together. It also improves dopamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and serotonin.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Planning Ahead Makes A Big Difference, Especially For Busy New Yorkers

Planning Ahead Makes A Big Difference, Especially For Busy New Yorkers

Like in all areas of life, having and following a plan can help you achieve any fitness goal. Planning provides guidance and allows for confident execution as all potential problems already have a planned solution. In order to make a plan more likely to stick, research has shown that writing it down, whether on pen and paper or on your phone, will make a plan more concrete. This is why we always recommend our clients keep a food and exercise journal, and why we use Train Heroic to plan out client workouts.

Here are several factors to take into account when planning ahead for your fitness goals:

Determining Your Actual Goals

Before you can make an exercise-related plan, you need to determine what your goal is. Your goal is what your plan leads up to; the end result. You wouldn’t take and plan out a trip without knowing your destination; the same goes for fitness planning. Are you looking to make strength gains? Or do you want to lose weight? Maybe you are just looking to increase your fitness or train for a particular event. Determine what you want to achieve, and then create a plan on how you can get there. At UpFit Training Academy, our coaches take into account your goals and create a training plan for you.

Planning Your Meals

A huge part of health and fitness is nutrition. Again, depending on your goal, your nutrition planning is going to look different. Maybe you are looking to gain muscle, in which case it is important to plan out how you are going to eat a surplus amount of calories. If done properly, meal planning will help you achieve your goals faster while spending less money. Especially when living in New York City, eating out can be tempting due to its convenience and ability to save time. However, with a little extra planning, healthier and cheaper options can be prepared at home. Our coaches also provide nutritional guidance and workshops in order to help you determine a solid plan.

Other Potential Planning Areas to Help You Succeed

  • Sleep is one of the most underrated aspects of any healthy lifestyle. Despite New York being dubbed ‘The city that never sleeps,’ sleep is arguably the most important aspect of recovery after training. So if you are training hard, which we know you are if you are training with us at Upfit Academy, you need to be sleeping hard, too.
  • Are you drinking enough water every day? If you are someone who knows they don’t drink enough water daily, consider setting reminders on your phone to let you know you should drink more, or write time periods on your water bottle.

Final Tips

  • Use a nutrition or meal tracking app to track macronutrients or calories; we use MyMacros or MyFitnessPal.
  • Plan to work out at similar times during the week to create a habit.
  • Plan to go to bed and wake up at a similar time every night. Even consider staying off your device for the last 30 minutes before bed in order to wind down.

For more information contact us today at Upfit Training Academy

Frozen Foods May Save You On Time, But Are They Good For Weight Loss?

Frozen Foods May Save You On Time, But Are They Good For Weight Loss?

Eating healthy is extremely important, especially if your goal is weight loss. At UpFit Training Academy, not only do we train hard, but we also focus on the lifestyle changes that are necessary to achieve all fitness goals. This includes exercise, nutrition, proper sleep, hydration, and much more. With rising prices, especially living in New York City, it can get expensive to only consume fresh, organic fruit and vegetables. As a result, our clients, especially the busy ones, often ask; are frozen foods bad for weight loss?

Frozen fruits and vegetables are often cheaper and easier to prepared than fresh ones

Wondering whether or not frozen foods are good or bad for your health completely makes sense. In a city where time and money are occasionally in short supply, wanting to use frozen foods to save on both of those is valid. So, can they be used when trying to lose weight? The answer is that it depends. Will frozen pre-made meals and pizza rolls help you achieve your weight loss goal? Probably not, given that they are highly processed, provide little nutrition, and probably won’t satiate you. This may lead to cravings or eating more food later in the day. However, if you are using frozen fruits to put into your smoothies, or frozen vegetables to make home-cooked meals, then frozen produce can definitely be the way to go.

Most frozen fruits and vegetables are vine-ripened and immediately processed

Most fresh produce you purchase in the store is not as fresh as you may believe. It’s often picked before it ripens so that by the time it gets to you it is in consumable condition; not to mention the processing and shipping it goes through before reaching your store.

On the other hand, some research has shown that frozen fruit and vegetables have similar nutritional content and that some frozen food actually retains an even higher amount of nutrients due to it being picked at peak ripeness before it is frozen.

So, can frozen produce be used in order to aid weight loss?

Definitely! As with many things regarding nutrition, there are some things to be aware of in order to get the most out of your frozen fruits and vegetables.

  • Make sure you read the ingredients label on the back of the frozen package.  Some products contain hidden calories or added sugar that are unnecessary, empty calories. Look for companies that sell only the fruit or vegetable without excess ingredients.
  • Based on the nutritional guidance we provide here at UpFit Training Academy, you can create your own meals and freeze them for later in the week to save on time for when you might have a busier day.
  • If using frozen fruits or vegetables helps you get them in and makes it easier for you to cook at home, then use them! Frozen fruits and vegetables are better than none, and potentially even better than fresh ones.

For more information contact us today at Upfit Training Academy

You Can't Out Exercise A Bad Diet

You Can’t Out Exercise A Bad Diet

Are you sabotaging your exercise program by continuing to eat a bad diet? Whilst exercise is important for health and weight loss, eating a healthy diet is arguably just as important, if not more. Here at UpFit Training Academy, we want our clients to understand that exercise only takes up a very small portion of their day; eating is done throughout the entire day. This means that our clients have to make multiple decisions throughout the day to eat healthily.

They also know that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter how many calories you burn during your workout, eating excess calories is a lot easier to do than burning them. Aside from calories, eating a bad diet won’t provide you with the nutrients your body requires to carry out its basic functions, making recovery from your workout harder.

Fuelling Your Workout

If you eat before you train, it is also important for you to pay attention to the type of fuel you are putting into your body. Most of the time, it’s important to include some form of carbohydrate as your fuel source as well as some protein before your workout; usually a couple of hours before. However, this is quite personal; some people prefer to eat a quick source of carbohydrates (like a banana) up to 30 minutes before working out, and some people prefer to workout fasted; especially if it’s too earlier in the morning for them to feel like eating.

Having said that, it’s important not to overdo the calories pre-workout as this can make you feel sluggish during your workout. Furthermore, it is a good idea to avoid junk food or food that can make you feel worse or upset your stomach.

Other Considerations

  • The gut microbiome is increasingly becoming more studied, showing ties to mood, immune system function and neurological health. Beyond calories, this is an important reason to eat healthily and include a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and protein in your diet. Not to mention, it’s easier to convince yourself to get a workout in when you’re in a good mood.
  • Recovery. The body goes through many processes in order to recover from a workout. Eating enough protein and sometimes carbohydrates (depending on your goal) is extremely important in maintaining muscle mass.
    • If someone is on a weight loss program, protein can be extremely important in maintaining satiety levels and energy as well as making sure that the weight being lost is not coming from muscle. If not enough protein is consumed, weight loss can start to occur from places we don’t want.
    • If someone is trying to gain weight or muscle mass, including protein and clean carbohydrates throughout the day is extremely important in being able to increase muscle size. Without proper nutrition principles, the client won’t be able to gain muscle.

Remember, a healthy body starts in the kitchen, and ends in the gym!

For more information contact us today at Upfit Training Academy

Confidence Is Like A Muscle; It Must Be Built

Confidence Is Like A Muscle; It Must Be Built

Do you, like many others, hold the self-limiting belief that you can’t lose weight, get that raise or learn a new skill? This is a good opportunity to practice self-awareness and ask yourself why. Is it because you tried to lose weight before and didn’t succeed the way you wanted to? Maybe you have asked for a raise before and were shut down. Or maybe you have actually succeeded at your desired goal before, but something unexpected happened in your journey causing you to stop progressing. Whatever it is, your past experiences do not have to define your future when pursuing a goal. Building confidence and belief in ourselves takes practice, but we can always go back to those skills if we ever fail at a weight loss program or get rejected from a job and pick ourselves right back up.


Success breeds success

Exercise has a strong association with difficulty. As a result, when people start a new exercise program, they can tend to do too much, too fast. This can be difficult for our confidence because if we set our expectations too high, we may not be able to stick with that original plan. When first starting an exercise program, it’s important to be realistic so that we can build upon our small wins. At UpFit Training Academy, we sit down with our clients to come up with clear and manageable goals so that their confidence can be built in the early stages of training with us. Small successes early on lead to bigger successes down the line as our confidence increases, motivating us to do more.

Confidence is Built Through Action

On the other hand, some people underestimate what may be necessary to achieve their fitness goals. Without the required action to achieve our goal, it may be very difficult to build confidence as there is nothing to feel confident about. If we don’t push ourselves we will always be stuck in the same place. This is why our trainers heavily rely on progression and overload to not only improve and reach our client’s goals but to also build confidence week to week when clients see their numbers improve.

Final Confidence Building Tips

  • Eating healthily can build our confidence by making us feel good about ourselves and our body, on top of increased energy levels. Check out this blog post for more information.
  • Sometimes faking it till you make it can build confidence. Speak confidently, walk confidently, and have a confident posture. Even if you don’t feel it immediately, you are starting to understand what it’s like to act like a confident person.
  • Set up small wins for yourself. Setting realistic expectations in your life is important; make sure they are challenging yet attainable. If it’s too easy, you won’t build your confidence because you already knew you’d be able to achieve it.

Exercise is one of the best tools to build confidence because it inherently boosts our mood via endorphins, making us feel better about ourselves. To learn more about how we approach training, visit UpFit Academy. 


Getting Started On Your Fitness Journey

Getting Started On Your Fitness Journey

Every effective exercise program should be built around a goal. Without a goal, it’s very difficult to know where you’re going, and more often than not will not reach your desired outcome. Like we mention here, writing down your goal will make you more likely to achieve it. Your goal can either be a big goal broken down into smaller steps (e.g. wanting to lose 50 pounds in a year) or something we call a process goal. A process goal focuses on the actual habits that lead to an eventual outcome. For example, if your end goal is losing 50 pounds, you may create a process goal of attending three personal training sessions per week as your way of achieving that.

Be very specific about your goal

Wanting to lose weight or gain muscle is not a specific goal, nor will it allow you to create the required plan necessary to achieve that goal. Here are some examples of how you can make a goal more specific:

Instead of “I want to lose weight,” you can try “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat in 5 months.”

Instead of “I want to get stronger,” you can try “I want to be able to squat 125 pounds by December 31st, 2021.”

Instead of “I want to run faster,” you can try “I want to run an 8-minute mile by the end of the next 2 months.”

Start slow

If you haven’t engaged in an exercise program for a long time, jumping right into training for a lofty goal may not be the best approach. Overdoing it can lead to failure which can lower confidence, resulting in a lack of consistency necessary to achieve any goal. If you want to read more on gaining confidence, check out this post.

Start slow and create smaller, more achievable goals that can lead up to your eventual goal. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds for a wedding that’s in a year and you haven’t worked out for several years, jumping into high-intensity workouts three times per week may not be the best idea. In this case, you could build up to going on 4 hour long walks per week in order to get into the habit of moving. Then once you are able to do this consistently, adding a couple of workouts and then slowly building up will allow you to have built enough confidence to stay consistent with your goal. Remember, whatever allows you to stay consistent in your journey is the best way to reach your goal the fastest.

If you want to learn more about creating personal and specific goals, contact us today at UpFit Academy with any questions.