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Don't Cut out Carbs Entirely

Two of most popular fad diets are no carb and low fat... However both of these fad diets make a fatal error.

It is true that too much carbs and fat is bad for you, but you shouldn't eradicate carbs and fat from your diet entirely.

Various no carbs or reduced carb diets such as Atkins or South Beach work around the idea that dieters start the meal plan by eating almost no carbs or no carbs at all in an effort to lose weight quickly. It is true that such a diet will cause you to lose weight quickly, but at the expense of muscle tissue. Your body, in an effort to find energy will start burning protein from your muscle tissue in order to provide the body with enough energy. Carbohydrates and fat are macronutrients that are very important to full body functioning and wellness. Carbohydrates especially should consist of approx. 30 to 50% of overall food intake.

The real trick for the dieter is learning how much carbs is enough, since many foods contain small amounts of carbs but various foods like bread contain a lot of carbs.

The best solution is to simply avoid over-consumption - aka binging.

Next if you are going to eat bread, get whole wheat or cracked wheat bread.

Why are carbs so important? They give you energy and feed your brain! Without them energy lows and you will encounter trouble thinking / problem solving as your brain will be working slower.

No/low carb diets work because they quickly release water retention. Sure, this is great for about ten days, but when you start eating normally again your body will treat it like you've been on a fast and you will gain it all back again in an hurry!

Same goes with fat. You need healthy fats from egg yolks, fish, seeds, flax, virgin olive oil, etc. What you want to avoid is super fatty foods that are obviously not good for you and avoid binging on things you know will push your fat consumption over the edge (eg. eating a whole package of bacon by yourself).

So now you're asking what is the best diet?

A balanced one! Aim to reduce your carbs and fat intake, eat lots of veggies, eat non-processed meats, make sure you are getting enough calcium and take a daily multivitamin. Don't be afraid to treat yourself once in awhile, but don't binge on cookies or bacon strips just because they're there.

Are Exercise-induced Orgasms real?

There is a fun topic that has been circulating various exercise websites on the internet for a few short years now. The concept of Exercise Induced Orgasms, aka Coregasms.

Various surveys administered online to women claim that some women experience exercise-induced orgasms (EIO) and/or exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP). But can those claims be substantiated by the scientific community, or are they just a way of drawing in extra readers to exercise websites seeking more attention.

As a man I will admit I really don't really know if women are capable of achieving orgasm via exercise. But since this seems to be a relatively new phenomenon that hasn't been talked about before, I am inclined to believe that it is mostly hype and possibly even bogus.

If its mostly hype, then yes, that would imply that there are a few rare women out there capable of attaining orgasm or sexual pleasure via exercise. It is in theory possible, especially since its mostly the brain which serves the largest role in the process.

If its a bogus hoax meant to draw in extra readers, then I am really not surprised. People are always looking for new ways to capitalize on the whole "sex sells" concept and the exercise industry is no stranger to using attractive fitness models to draw in extra consumers.

The websites claiming to have studied and surveyed the phenomenon make an active effort on their part in trying to get extra people to visit their websites, and since there is a very short list of websites claiming to have conducted surveys, it does lend some credence to the idea that their survey's might be nothing more than fiction and falsified information created purely for intention of drawing in consumers.

I have been unable to find any serious scientific studies into the topic, which suggests that the scientific community either don't take the topic seriously, or the rarity is such that it is very difficult to find women who have experienced such things.

I suppose that achieving orgasm during exercise would be a great motivator for some people, but let us not forget that people often lie on online surveys and that men would not be above pretending to be women and filling out false answers in such a provocative subject.

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Foods for Cardio Workouts

An all-around healthy diet is best for any exercise routine, but cardiovascular exercises requires a balance of special nutrients. If you do cardiovascular exercises regularly (and we all should) you should also learn how to fuel up so you are getting the most out of your workout.

Cardio Basics

Cardio exercises like swimming, walking, running and cycling require energy from both carbohydrates and fat. Carbohydrates are the body’s #1 go-to source, but healthy sources of fat also give ample doses of energy.

As exercise intensity changes (like due to an increase in speed or running uphill, for example), the body switches back and forth between carbs and fat to provide energy, often giving people their "second wind". Since you can’t completely control how and when the body needs what nutrient, it’s best to have adequate amounts of both as a regular part of the diet.

Your best choices for carbs are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and dairy. The healthiest types of fats come from foods like canola oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, peanut butter, eggs and salmon.

All foods are digested and metabolized differently, so you need to think about the best times to eat foods that will support your exercise schedule.

Before A Workout

Pre-workout meals should focus mostly on healthy carbs, but since carbs with high amounts of fiber take longer to digest, you want to be careful not to take in too much directly before exercise. Protein and fat also take longer to digest, so those should also be spaced further away from exercise.

If you have 3 to 4 hours before exercise…… Have a regular meal.

•    A salad with grilled chicken, vinaigrette dressing and whole wheat roll
•    Turkey & cheese or PB&J on whole-grain bread
•    Grilled salmon with brown rice and broccoli
•    Whole grain pasta with feta cheese and grilled veggies

If you have 60 minutes or less before exercise….. Have a low-fat (and relatively low-protein) snack.

•    Nonfat yogurt
•    A low-fat granola bar
•    A piece of fruit
•    A handful of pretzels

Note: always consider your personal tolerance – choose foods you digest comfortably.

After A Workout

The post-workout window is time for refueling energy stores and helping tired and worn out muscles recover. That means more healthy carbs plus a boost of protein. If it’s been more than 4 hours since your last meal, it’s time for another one. If not, try one of these snack options:

•    A glass of chocolate milk
•    Hummus with pita chips
•    (In a time crunch) A protein bar
•    Half of a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
•    Raw egg milkshake

Don't forget you are also shedding "stored fat" while you exercise too. Not all of it is from food.

Each 3500 calories worth of exercise you do amounts to burning 1 lb of fat. Exercise combined with a healthy diet means you can easily drop that 1 lb of fat (or more) in 1 week. Over a year you can drop 52 lbs or more if you keep up that routine.

Cool Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

Toronto gets really HOT in the summer! The sun, the humidity from the lake and the constant lack of rain often makes many people feel sluggish, and not exactly pumped for a sweaty workout in the intense heat.

The same thing applies when you go on vacation somewhere really hot and realize its way too hot to exercise during the day.

So if you're looking for summer alternatives to exercises that won't leave you feeling (and looking) like a burnt raisin, try the following exercises:

Three Summer Workouts to Stay Cool

1. Public Pools

In Toronto, outdoor public pools are free, and when it's extremely hot they are open until 11pm. Swimming is a fantastic full body workout that combines cardio and strength. A swim is a great way to cool down, and with the extended hours, a dip in the pool after work or even before bed is a cool way to fit in activity this summer.

Or get a membership at a gym (or the YMCA) so you can access their pools.

2. Evening or Early Morning Workouts

When the sun goes down cycling, walking, jogging and even yoga are exercises that can be safely performed in the summer. Doing anything physical in the late morning or afternoon is not recommended. Not only is that the hottest time of the day, but it's also when the sun's UV rays are at their most dangerous levels. Try and evening workout to unwind and work off the stress from the day.

If you're a morning person you can also do early morning workouts before the sun is fully up.

3. Air Conditioned Classes

Maybe it's time to try out a class in an air conditioned studio. Even if it is only once a week dancing, martial arts, yoga and fitness classes are an effective way to beat the heat and achieve fitness goals. This also offers the opportunity to try something new, that has always been on the, "to-do" list.

Always remember to stay hydrated and stop exercising if you feel faint or nauseated.
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