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      Fat Loss Diets Part 2: Intermittent Fasting

      Fat Loss Diets Part 2: Intermittent Fasting

      What is Intermittent Fasting?  

      Fasting is nothing new. For generations, people have been fasting — just not for the sole purpose of weight loss. The body is always either in a state of feeding or fasting.  Most people spend the majority of their time in the feeding state, not allowing a significant amount of time to burn through the calories they packed in!   

      The body is designed to store fat for later use, and when we don’t eat, the body accesses this storage as a source of fuel. Research shows that fasting for at least 16 hours will result in increased energy expenditure and improved nutrient utilization that will start to level off after 30 hours. 

      Research also supports the fact that fasting doesn’t disrupt the metabolism, and that your metabolism is more of a result of how much lean body mass you are holding — more muscle supports a higher metabolism.    

      How Should I Use Intermittent Fasting? 

      Intermittent Fasting is one of the easiest fat-burning diets to follow.  One protocol involves fasting for a period of 24 hours, once every 3 to 5 days. Do not fast for longer than 30 hours. Fasting for this period of time will lower your intake of calories over the week, resulting in a caloric deficit while will prompt the body to access fat for fuel. Intermittent Fasting can be used with any diet you are currently following.   

      Perform the fast, and when you come off the fast, remember to continue with your normal eating habits. You will no doubt be hungry, but it is important not to binge, and consume all the calories you just skipped!  

      My personal limit for fasting is 16 hours — anything more than that and I become a wreck. Therefore, I perform a daily fast of 16 hours followed by an 8-hour feed. During your 8-hour feed your goal will be to consume your target daily calories and macros. For example, I wake up at 7am, have my pre-workout and BCAA/aminos at 12pm and begin my feed at 1pm, right after my workout is complete (with my post-workout protein shake). Therefore, I begin my fast at 9pm which is perfect timing because I aim to be in bed around 11pm (that’s if my 17-month old son Achilles lets me)! 

      What Can I Expect? 

      Intermittent Fasting isn’t for everyone. The long hours of calorie deprivation can lead to low energy levels, fatigue and headaches which can make the rest of life difficult.  Weight loss will occur at a normal rate of one to two pounds per week, although you may weigh less during your fast because your body has shed excess water or food in your system.   

      Should I Use Supplements While on an Intermittent Fasting Diet? 

      Supplements are a good way to not only encourage additional fat-burning, but to enhance your energy levels while fasting. At PHARMAFREAK, our supplements are made with premium, clinically-validated ingredients, and designed to complement a fitness and nutrition regime. They are safe to use in conjunction with fasting, and in fact, I recommend it!

      Follow this link for more information on our fat-burning supplements. 

       

      Need help regulating your metabolism, decreasing cravings, and keeping energy levels where they need to be? Then Part 3 of our Fat Loss Diets series will help you by covering the carb cycling diet.

      Top 5 Partner Exercises for Lovers on Valentine’s Day

      Top 5 Partner Exercises for Lovers on Valentine’s Day

      Who needs to indulge in pre-fixed, three-course menus and over-priced boxes of chocolate when you can focus on fitness? Modern-day romance involves being health conscious and active – together. Here’s how you can get fit (as a couple) this Valentine’s Day: 

       

      1. Leg Throw-Downs:

      Partner One stands with his knees bent, hips-width apart, while Partner Two lies on her back, holding his ankles for support.  While lying down, Partner Two raises her legs straight up, keeping her core engaged, knees locked and lower back on the floor. Partner One also engages his core, while gently pushing Partner Two’s feet back down for each rep. For added fun, complete two reps (14 times each!) 

       

      2. Linked-Arm Chair Squats:

      Both partners stand back-to-back, linking arms. Leaning against each other’s upper backs for balance and support, each partner walks their feet out enough to separate their butts and give each other room to bend into a deep squat. Next, each partner bends their knees, simultaneously, until their thighs are parallel to the floor. Complete 14 times – pause to kiss – and repeat! 

       

      3. Medicine Ball Dance:

      Both partners stand back-to-back, with their feet shoulder-width apart. With both hands, Partner One holds the medicine ball in front of his abs, rotates to the right, and passes the ball to Partner Two (while she is simultaneously rotating to the left.) To continue the full circle (or twist), Partner One rotates to the left to receive medicine ball, while Partner Two returns the ball on her right side. Continue for 14 reps, switch directions and repeat! 

       

      4. Hand-Holding Reverse Lunge:

      Both partners face each other, press their palms together and interlock fingers. Bringing their hands to chest-height, both partners simultaneously take a large step back with their right foot, and bend both knees into a reverse lunge position. Ensuring front heels come back up to a standing position, and each side is alternated, continue for a total of 28 times (14 per each leg!). The interlocked hands create resistance (and intimacy) while also engaging the core. 

       

      5. TEST FREAK 2.0:

      After you’ve really built up a sweat, we have the perfect exercise that we think both partners will equally enjoy. It involves a bed. Behind closed doors. 

      With TEST FREAK 2.0, we’ll make sure you’re exercising all night (and even into the morning!) The ideal, full-body workout, you’ll be engaging your core, utilizing your leg muscles and working your glutes. For this exercise, continue and repeat as many times as desired.

      5 Ways to Achieve Better Sleep

      5 Ways to Achieve Better Sleep

      1. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day

      Routine is extremely beneficial for normalized sleep patterns. Biologically, humans resonate with consistency, so maintaining regularity in a sleep schedule is highly correlated to increased deep sleep.  

      2. Create a stress-free environment

      Your bed (and bedroom) should be as comfortable as possible, so you’re more inclined to be excited for sleep. This means dimming the lights and adjusting the temperature (cooler is better, as you’re more likely to wake up from being too hot!) In addition to these essential steps, deep-breathing exercises or meditation can help to eliminate worrisome thoughts, allowing you to feel calm (and eventually, sleepy). 

      3. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption

      Back-to-back morning meetings – and three coffees deep – it’s no mystery why you can’t fall asleep in the evening. Limiting caffeine consumption allows your brain activity and alertness to decrease when you’re tired. In fact, if you can coax yourself into getting good night’s rest each evening, chances are you won’t need to rely on all those cups of coffee during the day. You could say it’s quite the Catch-22! 

      Alcohol is an equal culprit in preventing high-quality sleep. Alcohol is responsible for disrupting healthy sleep patterns and minimizing the brainwaves that make you feel rested in the morning. Although a glass of wine may help you sleep better initially, there’s a greater chance that you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, once its effects have worn off. 

      4. Maintain regular exercise (with plentiful time before bed)

      Studies have shown that adults who partake in physical exercise 3-4 times a week are more likely to increase their quality of sleep. Exercise is vital to activate (and tire) your muscles and joints throughout the day, but it is imperative that this exercise is done earlier in the day to avoid heightened adrenaline and restlessness before bed.  

      5. PHARMAFREAK®

      Even with all of these methods, sometimes you still may find yourself having trouble falling asleep. To improve sleep quality and promote relaxation, GH Freak 2.0 is there to help with a synergistic combination of ingredients to support and maintain natural hormones. Let’s get FREAK-y tonight!

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      Fat Loss Diets Part 3: Carb Cycling

      Fat Loss Diets Part 3: Carb Cycling

      What is Carb Cycling?  

      Carb cycling is a diet plan that switches between a period of low and high carbohydrates.  During the low carb phase, the body depletes its stores of muscle glycogen – which is the storage form of carbs.  After the body depletes its glycogen, it has no choice but to switch to alternate forms of energy – such as fat.  On the high carb phase, you refill lost muscle glycogen, which helps stimulate the insulin response, and delivers lost nutrients to the muscles where they can be stored and utilized once again. This constant switch between low and high carb phases helps to up-regulate the metabolism keeping both fat burning and muscle building hormones responding.   

       

      How Do You Use Carb Cycling? 

      The first step to carb cycling is to determine how many calories you should be eating, and then determine the amount of each macronutrient you need to eat during the low and high carb phase.  Generally speaking, to lose weight use a caloric intake that is 10 to 12 times your current weight.  

      For low carb days set your protein intake to 40 to 50% of your calories, carbs should be set to 20% or less, and fats will make up the remaining.  On high carb days your macronutrients will change.  Protein intake can be set to 30 to 40%, while carbs should take up at least 50% and fat will be set to less than 20%. This shift can create a super compensation of glycogen causes an increase in muscle anabolism.  

      These macronutrient ratios and the number of days in your cycle can shift based on your metabolism, how active you are and how your body responds to carbs.  Start by performing a one high carb day every 4 to 7 days for the first 4 to 8 weeks, then shift to performing one high carb day every 3 to 5 days.    

       

      What Can You Expect? 

      Traditional low carb diets do work for fat burning, but can often cause severe cravings, depleted energy levels and strength.  Not to mention, long periods on a low carbohydrate diet plan can result in metabolic slow down, a decrease in thyroid activity and a decrease in anabolic hormones that can stimulate muscle protein synthesis and growth.   

      Cycling between a low and high carb diet helps to stimulate the metabolism, decrease cravings and keep energy levels where they need to be.  While low carb days promote fat metabolism, encouraging fat utilization, high carb days promote the anabolic response, encouraging muscle building.  High carb days can also make you feel more energetic, and psychologically give you the stamina to keep on going until your high carb day.   

       

      What Supplements Should I Use While Carb Cycling?  

      Keto supplements are a great option when you are going through the low cycle of your carb diet. These supplements can help your body reach a state of ketosis, in other words, fat-burning, faster.  

      Visit this page to find out more about our ketogenic supplements! 

       

      Don’t like being limited to the foods you eat? Then a flexible diet (also known as if “if it fits your macros”) may be the diet for you – and that’s Part 4 of the Fat Loss Diets series!