Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

You’ve Been Working Out for All the Wrong Reasons

According to Dr. Michelle Segar, a psychologist who directs the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan, it can be significantly easier to continue working out if you’ve got the right motives.

Dr. Segar specializes in helping people adopt and maintain regular exercise habits and is the author of “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.” In this book she describes, in depth, just how effective it ca  n be to look at exercise in another light.

Sure, you won’t get workkkyour six pack abs immediately and no, you probably won’t be able to participate in a triathlon the next day, but working out has its immediate benefits as well as its long term ones.

The research provided in Dr. Segar’s book proves that exercising to promote better physical health, in general, won’t get the majority of people to both start and stick with it. Being employed full-time will leave you busy as is, so the promise of better health, a toned body and weight loss unfortunately isn’t enough to get people to stay the path.

Some of the studies outlined in ““No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness” have concluded that people who work out to achieve weight loss and better health actually manage to exercise the least. Go figure.
What Dr. Segar suggests you do is take a different approach – reframe your motives behind working out.

Instead of focusing on the long term effects of working out, take notice of all the immediate benefits you’ll experience post-workout. You feel more energized, less stressed and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment which will ultimately leave you in a, generally, better mood.

It will better suit someone to think of exercise as a way to rejuvenate one’s self. The endorphins that are produced give you the feeling that you’ve been revitalized with all sorts of positive energy. You’ll begin to notice that instead of feeling like a gym-18punishment, exercise is beginning to become more pleasurable to you.

When we do not focus our energy towards bettering ourselves, we do not reserve energy to perform our daily tasks. Instead, we’ll focus our energy on catering to others. Whether it be your boss, a client or even a family member, you’ll ultimately leave yourself feeling drained and exhausted and you’ll have an increasingly difficult time trying to motivate yourself to get your daily dose of exercise in at that point.

Plenty of people have expressed the common misconception that if they exert their energy in the gym, on a run, or during their ILKB class, that they won’t have the energy to carry on with their day. You’re not going to want to lay down and rest, you won’t be easily distracted and you won’t feel groggy. In fact, you’ll feel energized, attentive and you will have obtained a sense of clarity. Exercise has these immediate effects and these are what’s worth working for. It provides you with the energy to do other things, not the opposite.

Also, Dr. Segar suggests that people take the “everything counts” approach when it concerns physical activity. Walk to the deli down the street during your lunch, take the stairs instead of an elevator, walk your dog, go swimming, play basketball, soccer, go dancing… anything! It adds up, believe it or not.

Consistency takes happy-woman-after-runprecedent over quantity. It’s not about how much time you put in, how much weight you’re putting up, how far you’re running or how many times you can kick in a minute – it’s about showing up and trying. Listen to your body, if you’re tired, don’t push yourself. Any physical activity is better than none.

Focus on making yourself the best version of you each day. Exercise can provide you the energy that no coffee ever could.


Tell us, do you find that exercise is the best way to kick-start your day? Comment below!

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Monday, July 27, 2015

8 Steps to Get Back on Track

Unfortunately, there are plenty of uncontrollable variables that deter us from moving forward on our fitness journeys. Whether it be an injury, a hectic work schedule or the required attention from your children, it’s hard to keep up.

Those are some of the things that you cannot plan ahead for and thus may find it difficult to make time for a workout. However, there can be a lot of petty things that’re keeping you from getting your butt moving! If that’s the case, we’ve provided you with 8 steps to help you get back on track!


1. Choose a Start Datecalendar
If you’re not currently in the right mindset to re-embark on your fitness journey, which is usually the case, pick a future start date. By future, we mean within the next couple weeks, we don’t want you wandering too far off the beaten path.


2. Take Things One Step at a Time
You have to learn how to walk before you run. Trying to take one too many steps at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed and simply just not satisfied in what you’re doing. Instead of cutting out sugary drinks, running an extra mile and lifting five days a week, try just one of those things at a time.


3. Get Someone to Join You on Your Journey
Staying committed is never easy, which is why having someone who counts on you to join them for a trip to the gym or your ILKB class can be beneficial. Beware, you don’t want a partner who will make frequent excuses as to why he or she can’t make it. Find someone who’s just as motivated and determined to become a better version of themselves.


4. Don’t Forget to Make It Fun
It’ll be really difficult to be consistent with your workouts if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Running isn’t for everyone, so try other cardio exercises like cycling or rowing. Lifting weights isn’t for everyone either so try some calisthenics like push-ups or pull-ups. It also couldn’t hurt to begin playing a sport that you enjoy. That could be a good mix of both cardio and strength training depending on the sport.\


5. Provide Yourself a Motive
Can’t imagine it being very motivating to better yourself if you don’t know why you’d want to better yourself. Do you want to be able to play with your kids without losing your breath? Do you want to run a marathon? Or do you simply want to look better in a bikini? At any point, if you’re feeling doubtful or too lazy to continue, just remember your motive and how much better it would feel to achieve that goal than it would be to eat that slice of pizza or watch that television program from the couch.


6. Remove Any and All Deterrents
What’s stopping you from reaching your desired physical appearance? Is it the fast food? Try substituting one bad meal a day for a healthy one (remember, baby steps). Do you just enjoy binge watching Netflix from your couch? Instead of watching yet another episode, take 30 minutes to ride a stationary bike.


7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water throughout the day is over-work-outjust as, if not more, important as eating better or working out. If you aren’t properly hydrated, you’ll find yourself struggling to find the energy to workout.


8. Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Important
It’s very hard to develop new, healthy habits. So when you do end up creating a good habit, don’t let yourself break the habit like you have your bad ones. Remind yourself of all the time and effort you’ve put into making yourself a better, healthier and happier version of you.



If you have any advice to keep on track with your progress, weigh in by commenting below!

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

5 Sources of Fiber That Battle Hunger & Improve Longevity

We’re sure that between all the grilled chicken breast, cans of tuna, egg whites and both pre and post workout shakes, you’ve got no time for anything else but protein. Well if you’re looking to get more toned, fiber may just give you an advantage as an appetite suppressant and it’ll also provide you with a multitude of additional health benefits as well.

So How Exactly Does Fiber Help?

First things first, traditionally, foods that contain a significant amount of fiber take longer to eat. They tend to be somewhat chewy and that can give someone the feeling that they’ve eaten more than they really have.

Also, foods high in fiber typically take a longer time to digest, ultimately leaving you with the feeling that you’re full for longer.

And when you consume foods that contain soluble fiber (think mature beans or oatmeal) you’ll be stabilizing your blood sugar as the day progresses. This can also keep you from feeling hungry.

If what you’re looking to achieve is control over your weight, you’d be mistaken to not include more fiber into your diet. Fortunately, to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other complications, you won’t have to eat an entire bowl of prunes and lettuce.

Here are a few alternatives that offer you a good source of fiber you may actually enjoy:


Raisin Bran Cereal81xwJVRsIDL._SY679_

Fiber: 7.7 grams (1 cup)

Raisin Bran and all the other bran cereals on shelves everywhere offer you a pretty significant amount of fiber in a relatively small serving size. Besides just eating the cereal with milk, you could perhaps sprinkle some cereal as a topping on some yogurt!

Kidney Beans

Fiber: 5.7 grams (half-cup)

Be careful, the beans you’ll find in your burrito aren’t the type that’ll contribute to weight-management. Neither will the green beans. Look for mature or dried beans (kidney beans and chickpeas) for your source of fiber.

Mixed VegetablesMixed-Vegetables-Asian-Cusine

Fiber: 4 grams (half cup)

To add some variety, go to the frozen foods section and pick yourself up some mixed vegetables. Many of the vegetables you’ll find like beans, corn, etc. have fiber.


Fiber: 4.5 grams (2 ounces)

We know how much protein means to a diet, so with nuts and other seeds, you’re essentially getting two for one. As opposed to meat, nuts have a ton of dietary fiber.


Fiber: Apple – 5 grams, banana – 3.5 Banana-1grams, orange – 4.4 grams

Fruits that contain fiber, like bananas, apples, avocados and pears, can be especially beneficial. The skin cannot be discounted either, they’re good sources of fiber as well.


Gradually Adding Fiber to Your Diet

It’s not smart to one day just add a ton of fiber into your diet. It’s recommended that you begin adding it gradually. You can do this by supplementing a meal a day dedicated to good sources of fiber. This could mean adding kidney beans to a salad or a vegetable with your dinner.

Some other ways you can begin adding more fiber would be to supplement white breads with whole wheat bread or start eating oatmeal instead of frosted flakes.

It’s recommended that a grown man should consume somewhere around 38 grams of fiber per day. You shouldn’t over-do it, however you definitely shouldn’t leave fiber on the back burner!

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Weight Loss: Diet vs Exercise

When it comes to weight loss, there are essentially two main factors – diet and exercise. Just because there are just two doesn’t mean that they are equally as important. This may come as a shock to some, but it won’t surprise anyone who’s gone through a weight loss transformation. It’s said that your diet is 70% of the battle. Exercise takes up the majority of the rest.

Exercising burns far less calories than people seem to think. Consider this: jogging for 30 minutes can burn anywhere from 300-400 calories. 30 minutes of cardio isn’t necessarily the easiest task either. You can reduce just as many calories by removing two cans of soda from your diet every day.

There are, however, many efforts to cardiocombat the obesity epidemic occurring in America at the moment. It seems a lot of people are reluctant to see their physical fitness classes be removed from their schools. Our first lady even implemented a program called “Let’s Move” that puts an emphasis on being active to help better prevent obesity.

Despite what many may think, people are actually responding to the calls for more physical activity. Over the last decade, the percentage of Americans who became physically active has been steadily increasing. Unfortunately, however, the same could be said for those suffering from obesity. While exercise has it’s numerous benefits, it isn’t always smart to rely too heavily on it when it comes to weight management.

490693009_XSMultiple studies have been conducted to uncover more on the relationship of fat mass and physical activity. What was discovered was that not being active was, most likely, not the main cause of obesity. Apparently, energy expenditure and physical activity levels in countries that are either developing or already industrialized, are eerily similar – making it unlikely that physical activity is the main component of obesity.

It’s been proven that people end up expending less energy by exercising than what was originally thought. They also increased their caloric intake. This can be attributed to the fact that whenever someone burns calories, their body tells them that these calories need replacing.

Often, your metabolism can weight-liftingdetermine how well you’ll be able to control your weight. The more weight you lose, the slower your metabolism becomes.

Don’t get us wrong. It wouldn’t be true if we were to say that exercise isn’t a component what-so-ever. Combining exercise and a good diet will better help you lose weight more efficiently. Many people seem to find the time to go to and from the gym and clean up afterwards. If those people dedicated the same amount of time (perhaps even half) to cooking and preparing a healthy meal each day, they’d find their results to come more quickly.

Changing your diet can seem like a daunting task full of daily mental battles and strictly enforced guidelines. Looking at it that way will most likely just set you up healthy-eating-smallfor failure. If you happen to fall off, don’t wait to get things going again. If you eat an unhealthy meal, don’t wait until Monday to get back on track. Give yourself cheat days. Eating healthy 5 out of 7 days of the week is better than eating healthy 4 out of 7 days.

Exercise may not make all that big of a difference in weight management, however it can end up helping in a lot more ways. Being physically active has been proven to have positive effects when it comes to things like diabetes, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular disease and depression.

So, moral of the story: exercise will not aid in weight loss as well as an effective diet would. The evidence just simply is not there to support it. Now, don’t twist our words, exercise is important and combining a fitness regimen with a healthy diet can yield impressive results.

If you have a routine that’s worked for you, comment below and share it with us!

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Friday, July 10, 2015

8 Convenient & Healthy Alternatives For You To Snack On

If you begin to feel hungry between the three meals you should be eating a day, you’d grab a snack. Hopefully a healthy one! However, healthy snacks aren’t always the most convenient…

Instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips or some cookies, curb your cravings with one of these healthy packaged snacks:


1. Dole’s Wildly Nutritious Mixed Berries:

This is a great snack on-the-go and not only can you eat them right out of the bag, they’re a great topping for yogurt and they blend well in a smoothie! This antioxidant blend is high in both fiber and vitamin C.

Serving Size: 1 cupdoles

Calories: 70

Protein: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 0 mg

Carbs: 17 g

Sugar: 11 g

Fiber: 5 g


2. S’mores Luna Bars:

Has anyone ever considered a s’more to be healthy? Probably not. Until just now. This Luna product has the melt-in-your-mouth flavor and is always packed with 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber!

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories: 190LunaProd_LunaBar_smores

Protein: 9 g

Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 180 mg

Carbs: 26 g

Sugar: 10 g

Fiber: 4 g


3. Mott’s Healthy Harvest Granny Smith Apple Sauce:

This healthy alternative has 80 mg of potassium! Hard to imagine considering it’s only 50 calories! Not to mention, it’s got no artificial sweetener or added sugar.

Serving Size: 111 grams

Calories: 50 g91oWlNC3gNL._SX425SX425_SY392_CR,0,0,425,392_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_SX425_SY392_CR,0,0,425,392_SH20_

Protein: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 0 g

Carbs: 13 g

Sugar: 11 g

Fiber: 1 g


4. RxBars:

Nothing screams healthy like a product made with blueberries, egg whites, almonds, figs and dates and contains 290 mg of potassium. Also, if you’re looking to build some muscle, they come with 12 g of protein!

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories: 2004_Bars_SamplePack_Small_1024x1024

Protein: 12 g

Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 115 mg

Carbs: 25 g

Sugar: 17 g

Fiber: 4 g


5. Sabra Hummus

Hummus is made with cooked chickpeas which happen to be high in protein, potassium and fiber while remaining low in cholesterol and sugar, making this product a great, healthy alternative to other dips!

Serving Size: 2 tbsp

Calories: 70PKTMP0002

Protein: 2 g

Fat: 5 g

Sodium: 130 mg

Carbs: 4 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fiber: 1 g


6. Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! Kettle Corn

The popcorn you get at the movies that you douse in butter and salt, yeah that’s no good for you. Orville Redenbacher, however, has made a product that offers some health benefits. One serving contains 4% of your daily iron intake and comes in around a minuscule 140 calories.

Serving Size: 7 1/2 cups

Calories: 14041RdcFpv+kL

Protein: 4 g

Fat: 2.5 g

Sodium: 230 mg

Carbs: 29 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fiber: 6 g


7. Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants with Macadamia Nuts KIND Bars

KIND bars have long been associated with healthy diets. There are tons of different flavors and kinds to choose from. This one in particular contains 50% of your daily A, C, and E vitamins.

Serving Size: 1 barkind_bar_cranberryalmond_1_2

Calories: 190

Protein: 4 g

Fat: 13 g

Sodium: 25 mg

Carbs: 20 g

Sugar: 11 g

Fiber: 3 g


8. Bare Fruit Apple Cinnamon Chips

Bare is notorious for their organic products. This one is no different, it’s 100% naturally made. They are very high in vitamins and contain no added sugar or preservatives.

Serving Size: 1 oz or 1/2 cup

Calories: 90Bare-Fruit-Organic-Dried-Cinnamon-Apple-Chips-Fat-Free-013971000214

Protein: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 10 mg

Carbs: 26 g

Sugar: 21 g

Fiber: 4 g



So the next time you start to feel hungry but know that you’ll regret eating that donut or even the entire box, try one of these! You won’t feel guilty and you’ll curb your appetite all the same, if not better.



Are there any healthy packaged snacks that you enjoy? Comment and let us know!


from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7 Health & Fitness Hacks

Getting in shape takes a lot of hard work and patience. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just because you’ll have to break a sweat in the gym consistently for an extended period of time doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t speed up the process a bit. Here are 7 ways you can help make your fitness journey a tad bit easier:


1. Find yourself an easily addictive TV show.spirit-cu800-upright-bike-2

This might sound counterproductive, but here’s the trick: only allow yourself to watch it while working out. Watch it while using an elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill!

The best shows to look for are the ones that leave you with cliffhangers. You’ll be wanting to watch more but you’ll have to work for it!


2. To stop overeating, start using smaller plate, cups and bowls.

Using a big plate and only filling half of eat can give you the impression that you’re depriving yourself of more. When your smaller portions fill up your entire plate, you’ll feel less inclined to fill up your plate once more.

You’re also less likely to feel hungry afterwards. It’s all in your head!


3. Make yourself snacks for each day of the week.

Whether you take them with you to work every day or leave them in the fridge at the office, these snacks will always be there for you.

Like a comforting mother, these snacks will provide you with the sense that you’re safe… from starvation that is.


4. Bring water with you at all times.

It’s important to keep hydrated. Dehydration won’t allow for your body to go through its daily functions as efficiently as it normally would. Also, drinking water can actually keep you Running-with-Bottlefeeling fuller! It’ll prevent you from snacking when you shouldn’t be.

Drink water with your meals as well and you won’t end up eating more than you should!


5. Eat/drink protein 30 minutes before or after you work out.

Working out is essentially breaking down muscle tissue. This sounds like it can’t be good, but believe us, it is! Your muscles begin repairing almost immediately after you’ve finished. Protein has been used to help build muscle for quite some time now.

Not only will you help build muscle, the muscle you build will help speed up your metabolism! Protein also has appetite suppressing effects.


6. Have your gym outfit ready to go before you wake up in the morning.

Waking up is hard as it is. Waking up to go to the gym is even harder. Waking up to find clothes to wear to go to the gym is just pointless. Save yourself the time and have your outfit picked out, folded and ready to go.

It’s just one less thing you won’t have to worry about when you’re already not very thrilled about being up that early in the first place.


7. Make vegetables account for ½ of your meal.

Everyone knows greens are good for you. 1297327Something a lot of people may not know is that vegetables have high fiber content and can make you feel full fairly quickly.

Not only are you eating healthier, you’ll stop yourself from overindulging on the rest of your meal.



If you can think of any tricks to lead a healthier life, comment and let us know!



from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Of The Most Overrated “Health Foods”

There are a lot of popular health trends out there today. Between health food restaurant chains opening up everywhere you look and the hundreds of detoxes, how could you be sure which ones are actually effective?

Well, we can’t tell you that, but we can tell you which foods are getting more credit for being “health foods” than they deserve. Here’s our top three most overrated “health foods” that should be consumed in moderation…


Green Smoothies

This claim will undoubtedly be disputed, however, that won’t stop us from including green smoothies on this list…

Green smoothies can be a great way to kick off your diet. Unfortunately, drinking these “healthy” smoothies will often result in some not-so-healthy side effects.

Most people are unaware that drinking these green green-smoothiesmoothies can bring up your blood pressure higher than a candy bar can. Anything you add to your smoothie, particularly those with fairly high glycemic levels, like bananas, raw sugar, honey and agave can lead to some problems. Consuming these types of sweeteners can lead to gut dysbiosis, insulin resistance and the production of more AGEs, likely to pave the way to some serious health concerns.

Obviously a green smoothie offers more health benefits than say a chocolate shake from Carvel. However, It almost defeats the purpose of trying to be healthy in the first place if you begin adding the sugary products to your blend. Try focusing on adding fruits with lower glycemic levels, more protein, greens and a few healthy fats.


Buttered (Bulletproof) Coffee

Buttered coffee is a popular new trend in the health food industry at the moment.
Considering your mixing butter and MCT oil, the “fat burning” effects this recipe claims to have are indeed not fat burning at all. It may even have fat gaining effects.

bulletproof-butter-coffee-604x270So hear us out. Butter intake should be moderated considering its adverse effects on your blood lipid profile. It does this by increasing apolipoprotein B levels, which can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease. MCT oil also may be harmful. It has the ability to spike triglycerides as well as blood glucose levels.

A good alternative to the butter would be cream. It contains more MFGM content that will have a better effect on your blood lipid profile than butter ever would. Hence, We suggest sticking to cream if you’re going to spike your coffee. This buttered coffee trend may very well just be a ploy from marketers looking for opportunity.


Brown Rice

What’s so much healthier about brown rice as opposed to white rice?

Just because whole grain pasta looks brown doesn’t make it any healthier. The same could be said for brown eggs and white eggs.

The only justification someone can White-and-brown-ricehave for choosing brown rice over its white counterpart, is that brown rice has a glycemic index of 50 while white rice is pegged at 58. Not a big difference. Not only is it not by a wide margin, the glycemic intake is compromised due to other components like fiber. So unless you plan on eating only brown rice for dinner, it wouldn’t make a difference.

It’s also known that brown rice has less nutrients than other sources of carbs. That doesn’t sound like an ideal health food if you ask us.



Are there any “health foods” you like to stay away from? Comment below and tell us which ones! 

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog