Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sleep is Important to Burn Fat

There are a lot of factors that affect our body's ability to effectively burn fat and sleeping well is one of them. Not sleeping enough can reduce and undo the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, which is why rest is the second most important part of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® program.

Here are some reasons that getting a good night's sleep is important:

1. Lower cortisol levels - when your body is sleep deprived it produces more of the stress hormone, cortisol. Higher cortisol levels can cause the body to store fat and increase the hunger hormone.

2. Increased motivation - poor sleep or not enough sleep leaves you feeling exhausted, dazed, even a little grumpy. Any motivation you had to reach for good food choices or to take time for exercise goes out the window.

3. Managed hunger hormones - Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don't. Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation. This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.

4. Reduced insulin sensitivity - lack of quality sleep can affect insulin levels. When insulin levels are off, your body will start to store fat instead of burn it.

When you cut back in sleep, you also cut back the amount of fat loss you can lose by half.

Try these tips for better sleep:

1. Do your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime. Physical activity promotes deep sleep, but too close to bedtime can stimulate the body and keep you awake.

2. Reduce your screen time. Playing on your phone or laptop, watching television can prevent the body from producing the sleep hormone, melatonin.

3. Create a sleep sanctuary. Dark and cool rooms promote better sleep. Use black out curtains, cover the glow on your digital clock, wear a sleep mask to block out light. Decrease the temperature in the room you sleep in to signal the body that it is time to go to sleep.

4. Eat whole foods. What you eat throughout the day can promote better sleep. Avoiding processed foods will help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Consuming proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs will promote the fat burning process and muscle growth while you sleep.

So, in addition to making good food choices and exercising daily, getting enough sleep is important for fat loss and our overall health.

See information on my next round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss® here.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

No More Scales: Why You Should Stop Using a Scale to Measure Progress

I'm going to share an idea that may sound really, really crazy, but I think you should get rid of your scale!

Let me tell you why:

1. Your scale doesn't tell the whole story. Fat loss and weight loss are not equal ---> fat takes up a lot more room. When you lose 5 pounds, it looks like you lost A LOT more because the space that fat takes up is significant.

2. Weight fluctuations are normal. As we lose fat, our fat cells fill up with water. It's a last ditch effort to stay in our body. This can actually cause a temporary weight GAIN. Once the water leaves the cells our weight will drop. Over time (like during a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® journey) this will happen repeatedly.

3. The number can be misleading. It can tell some people they are healthy when they are not. It tells other people they are unhealthy when they are. Progress should be measured by how we look and FEEL, NOT by a number on the scale.

4. There are other ways to measure your progress. You'll be much happier if you focus on the right measure of your progress, like your body measurements, your before and after photos, your blood work, energy levels, sleep and mood. All of these are much better measurements of your health and wellness than a number on a scale.

If your clothes are looser and fitting well, if you're sleeping well and have lots of energy to do the things you want, then why does a number on the scale need to be the main measure of your progress? It shouldn't.

Now, go toss out that scale and tell your friends and family to do the same!

Leave a comment if you did it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Modify Your Workout: Ankle/Foot Injuries

If you have ever suffered a sprained ankle or other foot injury, you know that waiting for the healing process to complete 100% can be frustrating when the rest of your body wants a good workout.

I am here to tell you that you can still get a great workout while recovering from an ankle or other foot type injury.

First let me tell you my story. Two days before mrC and I were to fly back to Hong Kong from the US, I missed a step going down some stairs at our hotel and sprained my ankle. After nearly a week of following ICE protocol like a pro and taking anti-inflammatory medicine, I was ready to get some exercise that did not involve using the crutches.

Here are some great options that I tried for getting in your workout when you have an ankle or foot injury:

Upper Body Workout - no reason you can't do back, biceps, triceps and abs. Sit on a bench/chair when possible. Try this one:

Pull-Ups or Push Ups if N/A : 2 sets of 10 reps - warm up

Superset: 4 sets 10-12 reps each
Dumbbell Seated Row
Lateral Pulldown with Dumbbells

Face Pull with Band: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Bent Over Row with Tricep Kickback (combined): 4 sets of 10-12 reps (per arm)
Triceps dips: 3 sets 10-12 reps

Bicep Curl: “21’s” using Dumbbells
7 Bottom Half
7 Top Half
7 Full Range

Plank: 1 minute
Bird Dogs: 1 minute
Medicine Ball/Russian Twists: 1 minute

Lower Body Workout - if you take it easy, you can still work some of those lower body muscles without aggravating your injury. Try this (but stop if you experience any pain/discomfort):

Giant Set: Complete all 4 sets before moving onto next move
4 sets 10-12 reps
Dumbbell Deadlift
Calf Raises
Goblet Squat

Giant Set: Complete all 4 sets before moving onto next move
4 sets 20-25 reps 
Banded Glute Kickbacks - do these laying on the floor
Banded side steps - do these sitting in a chair and stepping out and back
Banded Glute Bridge 
Side lying inner thigh lifts 

HIIT Workout - looking to get your heart rate up and break a sweat while exercising from a seated position? It's possible, I did it! Try this workout video.

I hope if you are dealing with a ankle/foot injury and you're feeling up to a workout, you will try one of these! Let me know!

PS ---> if you are looking for a good pair of resistance bands, I love my set from Fit Simplify. You can find them on Amazon (here) and the tubes too (here).

Monday, September 24, 2018

Amy Caine Fitness is on Bloglovin'

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Tips for Successful Low Carb Days

Low carb diets are a strategic way to teach our bodies to burn stored fat. When consuming fewer grams of carbs throughout the day, our bodies deplete of glycogen and reach to stored fat for energy.

Most people starting a low carb diet for the first time will struggle in the beginning and sometimes feel withdrawal like symptoms (headache, puffiness), especially if they are coming from a high carb, high processed food diet. This is caused by the transition our bodies go through while going from a sugar burner to a fat burner and adjusting to a new eating cycle.

Here are some tips for a successful low carb day:

1. Plan your meals - If you have an idea of what you are going to eat throughout the day, go ahead and log it into My Fitness Pal and check your nutrient goals. This is a great way to make sure you don't exceed your carb intake goal and lets you see where you need to make adjustments.

2. Have low carb snacks ready - Snacks are often the culprit when exceeding low carb goals. Plan your low carb snacks and have them on hand so you don't have to think about it. Nuts, raw veggies, jerky, even a protein shake are great low carb snack ideas.

3. Drink plenty of water - Avoid carb loaded drinks and instead drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will prevent cravings and help flush the body as it processes all the protein and healthy fats you are consuming during your eating window.

4. Vary your foods - It's good to have go-to protein choices, but keep it interesting by mixing in different proteins. Instead of always going for the chicken recipes, try fish, sausage, pork. Also, try preparing foods in new ways, like mashed or riced cauliflower!

5. Consume healthy fats - Healthy fats like fish, nuts, avocado, oils, will help you feel full and will help you reach your calorie goal for the day. Healthy fats have more calories per gram than protein and carbs.

Consuming an intentional low carb diet will help turn our bodies into fat burning machines. In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® program we cycle low carb days and regular carb days. Click here to learn more about my bootcamps and I will show you how to pair workouts with low carb days for optimal results!