5 Awesome Exercise Regimes With Ridiculous Health Benefits

Right now, we are going to look at the health benefits associated with the 5 activities/sports below. Not only will they burn fat, but they will also strengthen muscles, improve performance, give us more mental clarity, and make us feel better, period!

When we sweat, toxins that we ingest from non-organic foods are released through our pores, which will make it easier on the organs that usually process them. We can also sweat while we swim, which some people don’t think about, and it depends on the temperatures of the water and air around us.

Let’s have a look at some of these activities:

1. SWIMMING

Muscles used while swimming

Swimming is often seen as a recreational exercise by many people. However, as fun as it can be, it is one of the best workouts that offer a great deal of mental and physical health benefits.

Swimming involves almost all of your muscles, whereas other forms of exercise concentrate on certain parts of the body. Various swimming styles and methods such as backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly provide varying levels of health benefits in their own ways. Some benefits include:

Helps To Strengthen Muscles

All the body parts are involved while swimming, which helps to strengthen the muscles as you swim through the water. The resistance of the water against the body is 44 times greater than air, providing an opportunity for the whole body’s musculature to be involved.

It’s A Low-Impact Exercise

The benefit here is that, unlike other workouts that may involve rigorous procedures, you only bear the weight of 10% of your body while swimming. Therefore, it offers the body an avenue to exercise with a lower risk of injury. It also provides individuals with health challenges, such as osteoarthritis, to exercise without partaking in weight bearing exercises.

Helps To Manage Weight

Swimming has been shown to help the body burn more calories than walking, cycling and even running, hence it is a great way to burn fat. Per hour, the calories burned while swimming varies according to your weight and how fast you’re moving. Just as an example, a 180 pound person can burn up to 800 calories if they are moving fast, and up to 600 while moving slow.

Reduces The Risk Of Certain Health Problems

Swimming is a great cardio workout and it has been proven to help control blood sugar levels, as well as lower blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces susceptibility to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Regular/Daily Swimming Reduces Stress

Thirty minutes of swimming at a moderate intensity, three times a week, will help the body to stay fit. It will also work out all the stress you’ve been feeling and make you feel more relaxed. It will also give you a feeling of pleasure that you put in such a great workout.

 

2. Boxing

Friends boxing

Boxing, over the years, has not received the same attention as some other forms of exercise. However, just like every other exercise, it has its own great health benefits. It is an exercise that requires a lot of strength, speed, endurance, agility and coordination, but offers a perfect way to exercise the body. The benefits of boxing include:

Enhancement Of Cardiovascular Health

Boxing helps to keep the heart pumping and the lungs moving fast as you workout, therefore becoming stronger. It will also help to improve your overall cholesterol, as the blood pumps fast through your arteries. Include this with the right diet, and you should be set.

Weight Management

Boxing helps the body burn excess calories. When combined with a healthy diet, it can help greatly in maintaining weight for some and losing it for others. Many muscle groups are used when you are boxing, and not only will you will get stronger, but for those looking to lose weight, more muscle means more burned fat.

Strengthens The Body

Boxing is an exercise that requires a whole lot of strength and energy. The whole body is put to work at a high intensity. Over time, this helps to greatly improve physical strength.

Hand And Eye Coordination

Boxing puts hands and eyes to use at the same time, creating a kind of understanding and coordination between the two body parts over time. This helps in improving our reflexes and reaction times, a benefit that could last a lifetime.

Boxing workouts are for those who are training to become boxers or who are already boxers, or just individuals who want to get a nice workout. The difference here is that athletes compete with boxers like themselves, while non boxers make do with punching bags, though the training procedures are still similar.

 

3. Kayaking

Exercising in a kayak

Kayaking, like canoeing, is a low-impact exercise that involves paddling (and sometimes pedaling) a small craft on the water. It is often regarded as a hobby, but some perceive it to be a sport, while others see it as purely a recreational or holiday activity.

While it offers all of these, it is also a great way to get a workout. And it only takes something simple, yet comfortable, like the Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS to get started. The kayak, unlike the canoe, is covered and requires the person who wants to paddle to sit down, extending their legs and use a double bladed paddle to propel the kayak, with the main strength required coming from the continuous rotation of the torso. Kayaking includes these benefits:

Upper Body Workout

Kayaking helps to put the upper body to work through the continuous movement of paddling, which is needed to propel the craft forward, ensuring that all of the upper body muscles become stronger. It is also a great abdominal workout, as are all of these activities.

Major Calorie Burner

Constant paddling requires continuous movement, which is going to burn more calories as time goes on. For a 200 pound person looking to lose weight, kayaking could burn 400 or more calories an hour. In 2 hours, you could burn 800 calories, which is a whole meal!

Improves Torso And Leg Strength

To propel the kayak forward, it requires pressure from the legs and rotation of the torso, thus helping to strengthen these body parts over time. Some kayaks use pedals to propel, which would give you a nice leg workout if your arms got too tired.

Joint Flexibility

The constant movement of paddling helps to keep the joints lubricated, therefore providing more flexibility. That combined with fish oil and healthy fats will keep you pretty limber!

Decreases Stress

Not only is kayaking a great workout for the body, but it helps to relieve stress because it’s so fun at the same time. And you never know what you might see, especially out on the ocean, which could also lift your spirits. Enjoying nature is one of the most peaceful, stress reducing activities you can partake in.

 

4. Biking

Biking with great scenery

Biking has been around for quite a while, and a lot of people love to go for a nice ride on them. It’s fun, exciting, and it can be used as a form of transportation, instead of paying for gas to take the car. But above all these, biking offers a lot of benefits to our mental and physical well being that even a great majority of us seems to not realize. Aside from the fun of riding a bicycle, it also comes with these health benefits:

Strengthens And Tones Muscles

This is achieved as a result of the continuous pedaling of the bicycle, with the most impact directed at the muscles of the calf and thigh. The muscles of the arms are also strengthened, as they are used to balance the bicycle, and so are the abs from lifting your legs repeatedly.

Improved Cardiovascular Function

Biking exercises the heart, resulting in an improvement in your cardiovascular system. It keeps the blood pumping to clear out bad cholesterol, as well as other impurities.

Increases Stamina

The more biking you do, the further you’ll be able to go over time. Professional bikers train hard so they can participate in marathons and races, and they didn’t get there overnight. It also increases your stamina for other sports as well.

Great Calorie Burner

When starting a workout plan for biking exercises, it should be preceded by some kind of dynamic stretching of the body muscles. You may try and raise your knees high a few times or you could jog for a few minutes before jumping on the bike. It is better for the workout to be longer instead of being harder, as this will help to train the muscles to endure long distances and enhance cardiovascular stamina.

 

5. Aerobics

Doing aerobics in a gym

Aerobic exercises are those that stimulate the pumping of oxygenated blood to be transported and delivered to muscles throughout the body. This exercise results in an increase in the heart and breathing rate, in a manner that can be sustained over the course of the exercise.

The exercises are rhythmic in nature and help to strengthen the heart and lungs, which helps the cardiovascular system perform more efficiently. Examples of this type of exercise include jogging, swimming, aerobic dance, hiking, etc. Some of the health benefits are:

Reduces The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

Doing aerobics keeps the blood pumping for at least 30 minutes, clearing out the impurities and toxins in the blood as well as in your sweat. People often sweat more with aerobics because it’s indoors, along with boxing. We want to clear out all the toxins that are now in our foods, unfortunately. But remember to drink enough water so as not to become dehydrated, which could be very dangerous.

Weight Management

Aerobics are great for working all muscle groups, which strengthens them and helps you burn more fat. If no weight needs to be lost, it’s great as a weight maintenance tool, as you can just burn off anything bad you’ve eaten that might cause you to gain weight.

Reduces Stress And Depression

Doing any kind of exercise for an extended period will drain most of us, which can actually help ward off stress and therefore lift our spirits. Sometimes people are so tired from the workout that they can forget about a stressful day for a while.

You’ll Be And Feel Healthier

Combined with a nice cardiovascular workout and the reduction in stress, you’ll feel great overall. You most likely won’t eat bad things that are unhealthy either, if you consider that you just put in all that hard work and don’t want to ruin it. Take care and remember to stay hydrated!

Fixing A Slow Metabolism

Have you been on many diets in your life? Well, chances are that you have a slow metabolism from doing that. Watch this informative video on how to correct it. This is mainly for people on the ketogenic diet.

Dangerous Sweeteners To Eliminate From Your Daily Diet!

Have you been eating sugar for a long time, but have recently decided to go on a diet that restricts it? Switching to artificial sweeteners does help, but are they all bad for you? Well, some are and some aren’t, depending on how much you can believe of what companies and our own government tell us.

The best thing to do is to use natural sweeteners like raw honey or pure maple syrup, but if you’re on a low carb diet, you really may not have a choice. Honey, for instance, is very high in carbs, so in order to make things sweet-ish, you’ll have to rely on sweeteners. Below we will go through the worst sweeteners first, and then the best (until further research tells us otherwise).

Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Generic Pink Packets)

saccharin packets

Saccharin used to contain a label that warned people of its consumption possibly causing cancer, but that label was taken off by the FDA. I personally don’t trust any government organizations with your food, as most of them are corrupt, paid off by companies. This sweetener is made from coal tar, accidentally discovered by a chemist who worked with coal tar.

It’s made with anthranilic acid (used to corrode metal), ammonia, chlorine, nitrous acid, and sulfur dioxide. As early as 1907, it was deemed dangerous for people’s health by a director in the USDA. Five years later, the public was told it was safe, but by 1972, the FDA tried to have it banned without success. It was known to cause cancer in lab rats, but saccharin stayed on the shelves with a warning label, instead of fully protecting the public from it.

Aside from those studies on rats, saccharin has been linked to breathing problems, rashes, diarrhea, headaches and allergies. Nevertheless, people still consume it and now that there’s no warning label, they may never know of the dangers if they don’t read about it. It can be in our foods already as well, so always look at ingredients, especially with baby foods.

Aspartame (Equal, Generic Blue Packets)

aspartame

Found in most diet sodas and sugar free foods, Aspartame is made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are both amino acids. It is broken down by the body, unlike saccharin, and can be withheld in different areas throughout the body, causing side effects immediately or more slowly over time. However, it’s still a debate as to whether it’s truly bad for you, even though many people are complaining about their symptoms after ingesting aspartame.

There have been reactions of side effects including the eyes, ears, nerves, dizziness, headaches, depression, heart palpitations, and many more, including very serious ailments and life threatening diseases. This is definitely one to stay away from, and it’s in many more products than you might realize.

Splenda (Sucralose, Yellow Packets)

sucralose

Splenda is 600 times sweeter than sugar, so many people use it when they are reducing their sugar consumption, thinking that it’s a great alternative. It does have one good thing going for it, and that is the fact that it’s not fully absorbed by the body. So maybe there’s a chance all those harmful chemicals will not affect us as much. However…

Many people think Splenda is like sugar, because that’s what they’ve been told, but that’s not true. It was accidentally discovered in the middle of a new insecticide experiment. Although it’s true that Splenda was originally sugar, so many chemicals were added that it ended up being very different from sugar. The addition of chlorine is what is most concerning, as it is a known carcinogen, but not enough studies have been conducted on what it’s actually doing to our bodies.

Side effects of consuming Splenda include skin irritation, breathing conditions like wheezing and coughing, heart palpitations, bloating and much more. One of the ingredients in Splenda is maltodextrin, which is in many foods and causes a spike in insulin. It is a carbohydrate that adds bulk to the packets, and not only is it not good for you, but it’s completely unnecessary. The other ingredient, dextrose, is not much better.

Acesulfame K

ace-k

This sweetener has been around since the late 80’s, yet many people have never heard of it or knew it was being used in their food and drinks. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar and is also known as acesulfame potassium or Ace-K. It’s made with methylene chloride, a chemical used as a paint remover (yeah, think about THAT!) that can cause airway irritation and skin problems.

It also has been known to cause cancer, nausea, headaches, liver and kidney problems, and much more. The frightening thing is that the FDA is not requiring that this chemical be tested for its effects on humans when they consume it. Stay away from this one at all costs, if you possibly can. Do your due diligence and read ingredients on food and drinks so you can avoid products containing these chemicals, and your body will thank you for it.

Neotame

neotame chemical

This sweetener was approved in 2002 by the FDA, supposedly to become the new aspartame, only without the phenylalanine (the chemical in aspartame that causes a problem for people). It is up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar and the FDA has said it’s safe, but can we really trust them at this point? They said others were safe as well, but none of these are safe.

Many companies claim to have done testing on their products, but they are allowed to get away with so much because of laws that make it easier for them to sneak by. The findings they came up with are not available to the public, which is a concern in itself. No one knows what long-term effects this will have on our bodies. It isn’t even a requirement to be listed in the ingredients of foods/drinks, which is pretty scary, and only proves that the FDA does not have our health in mind.

These five sweeteners are a big no-no, and you would be wise to avoid them if you can. If you must use a sweetener, then you might as well just use a little bit of natural sugar, raw honey, or real maple syrup. However, all hope is not lost when it comes to sweeteners, and we will examine those in our next article.

Ketogenic Diet VS Paleo Diet: Which One Is Better?

If you are curious about the Ketogenic diet and then wondered if it is better than Paleo diet, you’re in the right spot.  Watch this video and share your comments with us. We will be discussing the details of both diets (and more) in a dedicated post.

PS. Neither one is “better”; you should apply a lifestyle diet change that works for you, your cravings, and your body!

 

5 Extremely Fun Activities That MELT The Fat Off Your Body!

tennis

No, tennis is not on the list, but it should be, right? The best way to burn calories is by doing what you enjoy while sweating a lot at the same time. Nothing can help you lose extra weight like outdoor activities that are fun and make time fly while you are burning fat. The best workout is not at the gym, but waiting for you outdoors.

Here are 5 of the best outdoor activities that burn a lot of calories:

1. Hiking

On a hiking trail, a 180 pound person can burn up to 500 calories in an hour. Hiking works out many of your muscle groups for a full body workout. You will not get the same workout at the gym because you won’t be using your whole body at once. Along with giving your body a great workout, it allows your brain to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Within a few minutes, hiking improves your mood and motivates you to keep walking. Motivation is the number one factor when it comes to losing fat. Unless you are motivated to workout, you will most likely not be consistent or you will do it half-heartedly. If you feel motivated to do something, you would always go the extra mile. It is always a better experience to work out in natural surroundings than being stuck in front of a tv at the gym or through a video at home.

hiking

While hiking on a straight path, you must keep your spine straight and shoulders pulled back while taking long steps. Going downhill, don’t shorter steps and move at a controlled pace. Relax when you feel your body is getting tired and enjoy the surroundings. When you go uphill, it naturally burns a lot of calories, but make sure that you don’t stress yourself too hard. If you get muscle cramps in your legs, you obviously won’t enjoy it as much.

2. Kayaking

Kayaking is a highly effective way to lose extra weight. A 180 pound person will lose around 400 calories an hour while having fun paddling. The great thing about kayaking is that it hooks you in, making you addicted to it. You naturally feel motivated and do not have to push yourself to work out. At times, it can become so much fun that you will be doing it for hours at a time. Once you start liking this activity, you will surely get rid of all the extra weight more quickly without even realizing it. Renting a kayak isn’t expensive at all but if you’re an avid kayaker, buying a kayak can be a worthwhile investment (you can even buy a two person kayak and invite your partner or a buddy and burn calories together!)

kayaking

You can’t be too relaxed while kayaking if you want a good workout. It can be a leisure activity if you make it that, but you must gather your energy and paddle almost constantly for it to burn major calories. Don’t stop after every few minutes just to relax. Just being in the water does not mean you will lose weight by lazily paddling. You must maintain a higher speed for at least half an hour, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

3. Ultimate Frisbee

An active player who weighs around 180 pounds will lose around 700 calories for every 90 minute game. Of course, players who are lazy on the field, which their teammates won’t like, will burn a lot less. Different muscle groups work at the same time to perform various actions like catching, tackling and passing. To bring out that unpredictable, yet coordinated, activity of different muscle groups is simply not possible in a gym.

ultimate frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is a great workout, but it also makes you more sociable because it is a team sport. You naturally start acquiring leadership skills when you become passionate about the game. It lifts your mood and increases your overall general motivation.

Playing Ultimate Frisbee regularly for a few weeks, along with consuming balanced nutrition, can make you very fit while having a lot of fun with friends.

4. Rowing

Rigorous rowing can burn around 700 calories in an hour for a person who weighs around 180 pounds. Rowing not only works your upper body but tones your legs like nothing else, due to continuous movement. You work out nine different muscle groups at the same time when you row. Upper body muscle groups like shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, and lats come into full action. You also give your core a fantastic workout, including your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

rowing

Despite being a great workout for your whole body, rowing is a surprisingly low impact exercise. No extra burden is put on your joints or any other area. It does not take much time to learn rowing, as the movements are relatively simple. Just like other water sports, it can also be addictive, and it will always motivate you to keep going. It can be a team sport, so you acquire better social skills while doing it. You start understanding the dynamics of working within a team where the best in everyone is brought out. You can also use the row machine in the gym as well if it’s raining outside.

5. Rock Climbing

A rigorous rock climbing session can burn as much as 900 calories in an hour for a 180 pound person. It is a fantastic cardiovascular and muscle workout. A novice will mainly work the upper body muscles during a rock climbing session. More advanced climbers need to put their body close to the rock and work their core and leg muscles to achieve that.

rock climbing

Rock climbing can increase your endurance tremendously, working your upper body muscles just staying on the rock. Once you start climbing steeper routes, you work your whole body out and, building lean muscle mass and increasing your VO2 max capacity. If you are a beginner, it is important to take it slow and give your muscles enough rest and nutrition to develop before climbing more difficult rocks.

MELT The Fat Off Your Body Summary

A lot of people sign up for gym memberships but almost never go after that. Working out in a closed space can never be as fun as working out in nature. A passion for an outdoor physical activity does not just burn calories, but is extremely enjoyable and makes you happier. Activities like these make you physically, mentally, emotionally and socially more fit and adaptable.

Is A HIIT Workout The Best Workout?

From feeling energized to uplifting your mood, the importance of exercise can never be ignored because the results are simply amazing, both physically AND mentally. Regardless of age, physical ability or sex, everyone benefits from working out. It also reduces stress, helps you to lose weight and gain muscle.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is one form of exercise that is highly recommended. It is a training technique where you use all of your energy to put into a quick, intense burst of workouts which are followed by short recovery periods. These exercises increase your heart rate and burn more fat within a short span of time. During HIIT, the body is depleted of oxygen, but recovers during rest periods between workouts.

How To Work Out On HIIT

Some HIIT exercises include burpees, push ups, high-knees, pull ups, jumping lunges, skipping rope, and jumping jacks. With these exercises, you can do 20 rounds of each workout with a resting period of 10 seconds between each exercise, then repeat three times. If you do this three times a week, the results will be incredible.

hiit workout

Amazing Benefits Of High-Intensity Interval Training

YOU BURN MORE FAT: During HIIT, you will burn more fat by training under fatigue. Your body will delay the accumulation of lactic acid and metabolization of both fats and carbs will result in a greater calorie output, hence you burning more fat. HIIT is also known to boost metabolism for 36 hours post workout, which means you will burn fat even when you’re not working out.

GREAT FOR BUSY SCHEDULES: HIIT is an ideal workout for a busy schedule. You can achieve results in a mere 20 minutes of interval training compared to jogging on a treadmill for an hour. A short period of high-intensity interval training will improve your capacity in aerobic and exercise tolerance, as much as what weeks of endurance training would do.

A HEALTHIER HEART: By pushing your body to the anaerobic zone (the point where it’s difficult to breathe and feels like your heart is popping out of your chest), your heart will be strengthened and become more stable. Extreme results are achieved by extreme training. A study has proven that after a month of HIIT, you can cycle twice as long as you could before, while maintaining the same pace.

biking

NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Skipping rope, jumping jacks, knee highs, burpees, and biking are some of the HIIT workout that do not require any exercising apparatus. This translates that HIIT is cost effective and can be done anywhere, at any time. Equipment such as dumbbells can make weight loss less achievable, since the focus will be on muscles rather than on pushing your heart for more fat burning.

INCREASED METABOLISM: HIIT leads to greater production of the Human Growth Hormone [HGM] 24 hours after working out. It is an added advantage since HGM increases burning of calories and also slows the aging process, leaving you looking young and glowing.

CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE: Since no big gym equipment is necessary, you can do it in your house, on a boat, at the park, near the beach, etc. It is easier to adapt to, cost effective (no need to pay for gym memberships), and results are achieved within a short period.

jump roping

IT’S CHALLENGING: Doing HIIT requires maximum concentration with minimal to no distractions, meaning you can’t do it while doing something else. As hard as it can be to work out, different short interval exercises make it more fun while burning more fat.

HELPS TO TRAIN MIND AND BODY: HIIT requires you to alternate between speed and a short rest, and you are required to stick to the pace even when you feel depleted. This is why you need to work with your mind to maintain the same pace.

BEAT THE HOLIDAY BULGE: HIIT helps to keep the belly bulge away, even during the holidays when you tend to indulge in junk and not control your food portions. Go ahead and enjoy yourself, because life is short so why not have some fun? You won’t have to worry, because with HIIT, you can snap back within a very short time.

holiday cookies

With the above benefits, HIIT becomes a great deal for any person who wants to be physically fit in a short span of time. It can be done by anyone, regardless of their daily schedule or financial status, so there’s no excuse for not working out. However, to achieve the desired goals, it is necessary to keep your diet in check, with occasional free days to eat whatever you want.

Foods To Eat Before A HIIT Workout

Carbohydrates: Carbs are essential to propel energy into your muscles. They keep you going, especially on the last lap of your exercise where you hit that anaerobic stage. Eat a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, apple slices, or a banana with whole grain bread.

bread and banana

Caffeine: Caffeine can keep you energized for hours, but don’t drink too much of it or it’ll make you jittery, nauseated and even nervous. With a small amount of caffeine, you will get a jolt that will make your workouts seem much easier.

Foods To Eat After A HIIT Workout

Just because you worked out, it doesn’t give you free reign to indulge in unhealthy foods. Your metabolism will still be going strong long after working out, so don’t overindulge, or you will add more calories than you burned, hence no weight loss. You can eat more of the healthy food to stave off hunger. Make more meals at home, that way you can control what goes into your dishes, like salt, sugar, bad carbs, and fats.

Proteins And Carbohydrates: This duo will help to rebuild what is depleted during a working out. The best choices you can go with are Greek yogurt, a glass of dairy milk, fruits and a cup of cooked vegetables. Greek yogurt will help in squashing hunger after your workout, which will also assist in restoring glycogen.

strawberries

No Salty Stuff: Working out lowers potassium levels in the body, and so does salt. When potassium is low, it makes you weak, you get muscle cramps, you can feel nauseated, and even have low blood pressure. Your heart and muscles need potassium to work properly, so instead, you can have fruit juices (low sugar or none), vegetables/juices, or a chocolate milk. Prune juice is one of the highest in potassium, and you will notice a chocolate milk feels like heaven (is there any time it DOESN’T feel like heaven?). It’s high in potassium and helps to rejuvenate your body after a hard workout.

Working out is healthy to our bodies. It fights many weight related diseases, makes us feel better physically and mentally, and gives us a boost of self esteem because we look better as well! Be consistent, disciplined and determined, and you shall achieve your goals.

Are Alternative Milks Really Good For You?

Most milk consumed in the United States is from a cow, but more people have turned to milk alternatives like nut, rice, and coconut milks. They are lactose free, which is great for those who are lactose intolerant, but do they have enough nutrition? Although some alternative milks are fortified with vitamins to compensate for the loss of real milk vitamins, these can be found in other food or supplements as well. But let’s take a look at what these milks are all about.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is similar to milk in the way of protein, carbs, and texture, and has lower fat than these other alternative milks. It as has phytonutrients, which are very healthy compounds found in plant foods that we eat. It also has 75% more antioxidants than cow’s mlk!

soy milk

Per cup, soy milk has 100 calories, 4 grams of fat (3.5 of which are good fats), 300 mg of potassium, 8g of carbs, 6g of sugar and 7g of protein. It has 50% of your vitamin B-12 for the day, 30% of your vitamin D, and 30% of your calcium, among other vitamins and minerals. These nutritional facts could go up or down depending on what kind of soy milk you buy, as is true with all of these we’re discussing.

Almond Milk

This nutty milk really doesn’t need to be fortified with vitamins, as almonds are already rich in vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron and others. It’s also a good source of monounsaturated fat, lowering bad cholesterol in the blood stream. It’s very tasty too!

almond milk

Per cup, almond milk has 60 calories, 2.5g of fat (1.5 is monounsaturated), 150mg of potassium, 8g carbs, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, and 1g of protein. Daily values of vitamins and minerals include 10% vitamin A, and 30% calcium, among others.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk does not have as much nut flavor as other nut milks, but it’s a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc, along with healthy fats.

cashew milk

Per cup, cashew milk has 150 calories, 10g of fat (of which 8g are healthy fats), 130mg of potassium, 13g of carbs, 7g sugar, and 3.5g of protein. Daily values of vitamins and minerals include 25% copper, 15% magnesium, and a healthy balance of other vitamins/minerals.

Hemp Milk

This is the most watery of these milks, but it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which treats inflammation and is good for the heart). Some people think it has a gritty taste, and some like it, so you’d have to taste it to know, of course.

hemp milk

Per cup, original hemp milk has 130 calories, 3g of fat, 113mg potassium, 20g of carbs, 1g of fiber, 15g sugar, and 4 g protein. Daily values of vitamins and minerals include 18% vitamin A, 25% vitamin D, 46% calcium, 43% phosphorus, and 31% riboflavin. It also has vitamin E, iron, magnesium, thiamin and zinc.

Coconut Milk

If you love coconut, you’ll probably love this milk, but it’s a subtle flavor. People love this milk as a dairy creamer alternative in their coffee because it’s so thick.

coconut milk

Per cup, coconut milk has a whopping 550 calories, 57g of fat, 13g carbs, 8g of sugar, and 5g of protein. It’s not too high in vitamins, but is rich in copper, manganese, iron, and selenium, among others. It’s best to only have small portions of this at a time, like being part of a smoothie for taste.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is great for those with nut allergies or who are lactose intolerant, but is high in carbs and low in protein. It is, however, high in vitamin B-12 and D, but other than that, there’s no great advantage to drinking rice milk versus the other milks.

rice milk

Per cup, rice milk has 100 calories, 2g of fat, 23g of carbs, and 15g of sugar. Daily values are 50% vitamin B-12, 30% vitamin D, 25% vitamin E, and 30% calcium. It has almost the same vitamin values as soy milk, but none of the other benefits.

Only you can judge for yourself what is best for you. The real milk industry is going after alternative milks for not being real milks, but it’s most likely because their sales are seeing a small decline. Soy milk seems to be the winner, but almond milk tastes better, in my opinion. Try them all and see what you think, but be careful with the coconut milk!

10 Under Rated Foods That Will Burn The Fat Off Your Body!

While there are many foods that are healthy for the body, there are certain ones that will actually rev up your metabolism and help you to burn fat on your weight loss journey.

Included below this article will be foods that are extremely healthy in terms of essential vitamins and minerals, but they do not focus as much on fat burning as these foods we are going to discuss:

1. Whole Grains

bowls of grains

Whole grain foods include barley, oatmeal, brown and black rice, corn, quinoa, rye, spelt, and bulgur. Oatmeal can be somewhat high in carbs, but it has 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per cup and can keep you feeling fuller longer. Steel cut oats are superior to instant oats because they have a much lower glycemic index. Try to make oatmeal with a natural sweetener, like honey and mix it with fruit for a more complete breakfast.

Brown rice has 2 grams of both protein and fiber in each half cup serving, along with a nice variety of minerals and some vitamins. A study was conducted where one group of people ate only white rice and one ate only a brown and black mixed rice. The mixed rice group lost more weight and body fat than the white rice group. Black rice is rich in antioxidants, low in fat, and has the highest amount of protein of any rice. Cook it with a lot of water though, as this rice has been found to contain arsenic.

2. Lean Meats

lean meats

Our bodies burn 30% of the calories in whichever lean meat we are eating just to break it down and digest it. Lean meats include pork tenderloin, lamb chops, veal cutlets, chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, and leaner beef cuts. Meat is rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. If you’re thinking of drinking whey protein shakes for protein instead of meat, you may want to rethink that. Those shakes do not provide the same amount of vitamins and minerals as real meat. Also, they can add carbs, sugar, and unhealthy chemicals.

3. Low Fat Dairy Products

cheeses

A diet high in low fat dairy has been shown to be twice as effective as just a low calorie diet that was low in dairy. Calcium found in dairy (not supplements) boosts weight loss by breaking down the fat in fat cells. The phosphorus and magnesium in dairy aid the calcium’s effect on this breakdown of fat, and proteins help muscles and increase metabolism. However, only a certain amount of calories per day should be from dairy.

Among the best dairy products are organic milk, hard cheeses, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese. Organic milk is less salty than regular milk, has Omega-3 fatty acids to lower insulin levels, and other essential nutrients that are lower or missing in regular milk. Hard cheeses like parmesan, cheddar and pecorino romano are higher in fat and salt, but also high in calcium. Because the cheese is dry, the calcium becomes concentrated, so the softer and more a cheese crumbles, the less calcium it will have.

Greek yogurt is a powerhouse in itself, as it is not only a good source of calcium, but it has a nice amount of protein as well. It has double the amount of protein as regular yogurt, as well as lower carbs, but it does not have more calcium. Greek yogurt has half the sodium, but costs twice as much due to demand and being high in protein.

4. Green And White Teas

green and white teas

Green tea is well known for being an aid to weight loss, as well as having high antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body (the type that can cause cancer). Both of these teas are minimally processed, which keeps their antioxidant properties intact. However, it is in this area that white tea is far superior, containing three times as much antioxidants than green tea.

The reason white tea has more is because it is not fermented, and green tea is. It is even less processed than green tea, therefore having more antiviral and antibacterial properties. However, you are still getting a good source of antioxidants from green tea, and both are good for the skin as well as boosting the immune system.

White tea is very delicate, so in order to keep the benefits, it must be brewed in water at a lower temperature, whereas green tea can be brewed when the water is almost boiling. White tea is three times as expensive as green because of its lack of processing and the fact that not as much is produced. It has a light subtle flavor vs green having a grassy flavor. If you can’t afford the white, go with the green, because you will still reap the good benefits. Or if you can splurge a little, why not do both?

5. Hot Peppers

peppers

Hot peppers like the jalapeno, habanero, serrano, and poblano all contain capsaicin, which is what gives peppers their heat. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it is likely to contain, and also the more painful it is to eat! Capsaicin helps to turn white fat into brown fat inside your body, which helps you burn more calories. Brown fat heats up to burn the white fat cells, the same effect you’d get if you spent time in colder temperatures.

Peppers are involved in a study to fight cancer, since the capsaicin binds to a protein of certain cells, making tumor cells commit suicide. Scientists are also trying to develop a diet supplement containing capsaicin to prevent and combat obesity. How great to hear of both of these things! Contrary to popular belief, removing the seeds from a pepper will not make it less hot. Most of the capsaicin is concentrated in the white ribs on the inside of the pepper.

6. Peanut Butter

organic peanut

Peanut butter, in moderation (up to 3 Tbsp a day) boosts testosterone (not just good for men), is good for muscles, and prevents weight gain. As long as you set aside the calories for it, it’s a delicious, satisfying, rich treat to have instead of an unhealthy snack. It also contains mono and poly unsaturated fats, which both help to reduce blood cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, making it especially great for people with type 2 diabetes. Add it to your smoothies (with banana and milk, yum!), spread it on whole wheat toast, or have it by itself!

7. Grapefruit

grapefruit

Most people cringe when they think of eating grapefruit. But if you can handle it, eating half of a grapefruit a day add lycopene (cancer fighter) and vitamin C to your diet, but that’s not all. It also has a nice amount of fiber, which helps to keep you fuller longer, stabilizes blood sugar by reducing insulin levels, and the mere smell of it helps with cravings. Lower levels of insulin helps your body to use food for energy instead of storing it as fat. Be sure to check with your doctor if you’re taking medications whose absorption could be affected by grapefruit.

8. Avocados

avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol, oleic acid which can reduce abdominal fat. It also allows your body to absorb 3-5 times more carotenoids (disease fighting agents that also help with weight loss) when added to a salad. Avocados fight free radicals (disease causing compounds) in your body at a molecular level, deeper than other foods can go.

There are also other benefits to eating avocados. It reduces hunger, has a high amount of fiber and over 60% of your daily vitamin K (helps to control blood sugar). You can spread it on toast, have it in salads, cook with avocado oil (if you can afford it), or make guacamole. Guacamole has added ingredients that will only add the health benefits of the avocado, like tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and limes.

9. Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate

Not everyone likes the bitterness of dark chocolate, but in moderation, it can help to burn fat as fuel instead of storing it, and works to reduce inflammation in the body. It helps to lower blood pressure and increase circulation, as well as preventing spikes in blood sugar levels, which in turn keeps you from overeating.

Dark chocolate also aids in blocking the absorption of fats and carbs during digestion and contains anandamide, a lipid that gives you a feeling of well being. Anandamide is usually easily broken down, so you don’t experience the benefits for too long, but the chemicals in dark chocolate suspend that breakdown, allowing you to feel better for longer. Make sure to only have a serving three times a week, as it is high in calories, but don’t worry about the fat. Dark chocolate has three kinds of fat, and two of them cancel out the third bad one. Make sure to buy chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegars

Drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal helps to lower blood sugar and interfere with the body digesting starch. Less starch breaking down means less calories absorbed, thus having an effect on weight loss. You can add it to water before a meal or use it in place of balsamic vinegar in salad dressings.

Apple cider vinegar can be used for many things, including a facial toner, spray cleaner, mouthwash, and a post workout tonic for fatigue, among others. For consumption, it’s better to get the organic version, as it has a mix of beneficial enzymes, fiber, and bacteria. The more cloudy it looks, the better it will work to clean your whole system.

Honorable Mentions!

mixed salad

In conjunction with the fat busters listed above, these fat burning foods are healthy additions to any diet and have their own benefits, which will be discussed later: berries, cinnamon, watermelon, apples, sweet potatoes, broth based soups, lemon water, green leafy vegetables, garlic, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, beans, tomatoes.