Firm Blog

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When did the formula for fat loss become so complicated? Whatever happened to the simple ideas of portion control, reducing calories from fat, and expending more calories then you consume? If a calorie is a calorie; if fat is a denser source of calories than other sources; if we must create a calorie deficit to promote fat loss, then what is all this fuss about carbohydrates? With the recent explosion in nutritional research, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to stay abreast of fact versus fiction. But in the billion-dollar industry of weight loss, praying on an unhealthy interpretation of the facts paves the way for a healthy profit. It is time to get the facts straight.
FACT: Not all calories are created equal. Just as essential unsaturated fats are metabolized differently from saturated fats, so too are different types of carbohydrates metabolized. Processed foods, generally considered to be the “bad carbohydrates”, are high in simple sugars (sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, white rice and alcohol). Diets higher in simple sugars increase blood insulin, which promotes fat storage.
FACT: Carbohydrates are a specific source of nutrients essential for optimal health and longevity. Carbohydrates are not “bad”; some are actually good. Poor choices of carbohydrates include processed foods, which have been stripped of all their important nutrients. Because these "nutrient-poor" foods lack fibre, it is easy to eat large quantities without feeling full. "Nutrient-rich" carbohydrates are unrefined and include whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are not only nutrient-rich but also high in fibre. They contain phytochemicals and ingredients associated with preventing cancers and chronic disease.
FACT: Lower carbohydrate/higher protein diets suppress appetite. A meal higher in protein decreases hunger better than carbohydrates or fat, because of the increased time necessary to metabolize proteins. Carbohydrate-restriction also increases the production of ketones that are powerful appetite-suppressants. Thus, many low-carbohydrate diets seem to work for weight loss because food choices are severely limited, and as a result, less food and fewer calories are consumed.
Although there’s reasonable evidence to prove low-carbohydrate diets can work, opposing arguments against low-carbohydrate diets also have valid points. An approach worth investigating is one that complements what is currently known about caloric restriction and expenditure. A smart carb diet takes into account the latest research on carbohydrate metabolism and fat loss. The following guidelines represent a balanced approach to nutrition that takes advantage of what works in low-carbohydrate diets without sacrificing many health benefits that are found in fibre and nutrient-rich carbohydrates.
  • Control portion sizes and practice moderate calorie restriction.
  • Eat moderate amounts of carbohydrates (40-50% of total calories), while emphasizing a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, high in fibre and low to moderate on the glycemic index. (The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels.)
  • With every meal and snack, include low-fat protein foods such as fish, chicken, turkey, dairy products, beans, egg whites, soy, and whey protein.
  • Eat healthy fats (fish, olive and canola oils, nuts, avocados) while minimizing foods high in saturated and trans fats. 
  • Drink plenty of water and follow a balanced program of exercise.


(by Nicole Boon)

Hey Ladies, (and gents who like to get their dance on). Sometimes I find it is either too gross to go for a run outside, or the gym is closed. Either way this can be a HUGE inconvenience when I need to get my cardio on. So let’s say you planned a light jog or 30 min on the bike ; well I have no real calorie count for this ( I suppose I could wear a heart monitor while I do it next time) anyways cutting to the chase have you ever seen a beyonce video ? How she dances around and uses her hips a lot ? Well… turn up the speakers and blast your favourite dance beats for at least 30 min and boy oh boy will you get your sweat on. I would recommend wearing a bathing suit and maybe dancing somewhere where your family will not burst in on you cause im not going to lie that would be embarassing. Either way, get your bikini on, blast beyonce, and hey if you got a mirror around that’s cool too – think of it as cardio and a way for you to start loving your figure (even if you think you have some work to do.)

A good 30 min of dancing like a fool really makes me feel good – I get to de-stress, burn cals, and love my body – no matter what shape it is in. Watch a beyonce youtube video if you don’t know what I mean and you will see it takes some serious leg muscles and core muscles to swing your hips like that. You may not feel it the day of, but believe me the next morning you will notice your abs looking fab ! Let loose and tighten the core at the same time, try it out i dare you.

So ladies, (or gents), next time you are bored and want an easy work out – get your dance on !



Cold Water

Every time you drink a glass of cold water your body has to warm it up to match it with your systems temperature. Theoretically if you drink 16 ounces of ice water, your body will burn around 17,508 calories, or 17.5 Calories. This really isn't all that significant with a diet of around 2000 Calories....

But..if your drinking the recommended daily water intake (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day -ish), add that up and you've got around 70,030 calories, aka around 70 Calories. Still I wouldn't suggest trying to lose weight with ice water. But that 70 Calories can add up.

And I can guarantee that all the little things you do in life will make a big difference.



Now heres a post from a colleague & good friend of mine Nicole Boon out of both London Ontario, she knows whats up, and it's a pleasure to have her on with the Tip of the Week. Dig in

Hey Ladies, Nicole here. Now some way or another summer has managed to sneak up on us ; catching some of us off guard – I’m talking bikini ready. Now my first tip for you is to not panic. I, myself, have recently slipped up in my dieting and unfortunately lost what I worked so hard to attain all winter long. Now don’t get upset, your body is a forgiving being and more than happy to give you another chance. All it asks from you is a little bit of discipline and planning. Now as my trainer once mentioned to me “You can’t possibly out-train a bad diet” … “PFFT”, I thought, “no way, whatever, I work out I’ll eat what I want”. FALSE. He was 100% right. So here is my advice, and his, that I have now vowed to follow in order to ensure a QUICK summer shape up.

Firstly to show off that amazing 6 pack you have been working towards you need to lose that excess body fat. A key way to do this is to eat clean and well balanced meals in order to curb appetite (that often leads to needless snacking) and will fuel your body properly for workouts. Now I know summer can be a little crazy, you don’t have a regular schedule to follow, you are working and you are tired etc. Well, I would suggest pre-cooking meals ahead of time and freezing them (ahead as many days as you can think of).

To start you should have to plan. Plan for up to a week, but if that doesn’t seem reasonable then maybe just 3 to 4 days. Start with your protein source for each meal, and cook that up. If you like salads and/ or fresh veggies alongside you can leave those alone until you actually eat the meal. Anyways so pre cook as much of your protein as you can, and then I would suggest dividing up any veggies or dairy products in bags or Tupperware or whatnot into individual servings so it is easily accessible for when you need it. Having already measured and counted the calories in each meal, you will know exactly what you are putting into your body…. And more importantly what you are NOT putting in.

How many times have you come home from running errands, working out, or work and you are starving? So naturally you grab for that bag of chips, or that super delicious sweet granola bar. Sure it is a quick fix, but that will not satisfy. Those foods are going to spike your blood sugar and give you a temporary high until insulin kicks in and takes it all out – leaving you way more tired than you initially were. Instead keep those blood sugar levels steady and eat some protein and complex carbs that will break down slowly. A steady blood sugar level will keep you feeling energized and curb that insatiable appetite.

Freezer friendly zip lock bags and microwave safe Tupperware are going to become your best friends. Invest in them and invest in your body.

Tip 1 – For salads and veggies on the side, cut up lettuce or divide broccoli,(whatever you will be eating), into individual servings and put in zip lock bags in your fridge. That way when you come home from work/ gym and you are starving, you won’t have to worry about meal prep.

Tip 2- Late night/ early riser – I hear you. Breakfast is not practical to pre-cook because for most dieters it can usually consist of eggs or egg whites and whatever else you may add to your omelet. Suggestion- hard boil about 4 eggs when you are pre cooking your proteins for the week. Hard boiled eggs can act as an easy on-the-go breakfast and pair it with some sliced turkey/ lean ham and you have a kick butt breakfast.





This weeks tip is about pre-exercise fueling. Many people find it difficult to workout on a full stomach, many people actually recommend working out on an empty stomach to maximize weight loss. Truthfully you must realize that a body is a machine, and as many machines do, it requires fuel. Pre-event/workout meals serve four main functions:

- Helps prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), with symptoms of light-headedness, fatigue, and blurred vision.

-To help settle the stomach by absorbing some of the gastric juices, as well as to abate hunger.

- To fuel the muscles, by maintaining blood sugar levels with food eaten hours before workouts, as well as increasing stored glycogen levels with foods eaten well in advance of the workout.

- To put the mind at ease, as to inform it that it is prepared to workout.

As a guidline, it is benificial to consume foods low on the glycemic index prior to working out. Such as: Apples, beans, lentils, peanuts, yogurt, grapefruits, strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes.
Dig Life
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