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Health and Fitness Solutions for Experiencing Life In Motion

The Closet Couch Potato


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Get Wicked Results with these Healthy Witches Brews

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM Comments comments (51)
Ideally we all know that one should eat nutritionally consuming healthy calories through 2-4 servings of fruit, 3-5 servings of veggies, 6-11 servings of whole grains, 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy, and 2-3servings of lean protein per day all while keeping high fat foods down to a minimum.  However, let’s face it.  How realistically are you achieving that goal?  Are you really consuming all the necessary vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) necessary to function and fight disease?  Are you able to manage your weight by consuming the appropriate amounts of healthy macronutrients: carbohydrates (55-60% of daily caloric intake); proteins (15-20% of daily caloric intake); and fats (15-20% of daily caloric intake)?  One should focus on getting proper nutrition through eating proper foods; however, if doing this is not realistic due to lifestyle or discipline, one option is to belly up to the smoothie bar and get yourself some healthy witches brew this Halloween season.
 Meal Replacement Drinks
What’s Brewing?  The purpose for a meal replacement drink or shake is just that- - a drink that has the essential nutrients to replace an actual meal consisting of actual food.  You can even call these meal replacement drinks “meals on wheels” because they are convenient for “on the go” individuals.  A meal replacement drink is not a snack.  Because of the high calorie content--anywhere from 200 to 400 per shake--many people with good intentions sabotage their diets by drinking shakes as snacks instead of as meals.  Meal replacement drinks may look like regular milk shakes, but they're actually a unique delivery system for nutrients--proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. When consumed periodically, they offer a healthful alternative when a conventional meal isn't available.  Meal replacement drinks are nutritionally dense containing anywhere from 35 percent to 100 percent of the recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamins and minerals. If you drink a smoothie in addition to taking a daily multivitamin, you may exceed the recommended daily allowance for some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, which can be harmful; therefore, ensure that you are reading the labels.  Typically protein, whether whey or soy, is the cornerstone of most meal replacement drinks containing 15-18 grams of protein, the equivalent of 2ounces of a roasted chicken breast. Insoluble and soluble fibers are common ingredients for drinks. As researchers learn more about fiber's role in immune function, digestive health, and cholesterol and blood sugar levels, meal replacement drinks are being introduced that contain disease-fighting fibrous substances derived from oats, flax, quinoa, chicory tool, fruits and vegetables. Nutrient boosters such as echinacea, ginkgo and probiotics, which are commonly found on smoothie bar menus, are also finding their way into meal replacement products. Some contain ingredients found only in dietary supplements, and therefore are sold as such.  Again, it is very important to read the labels and understand what is in the drink.
Pros and Cons  As was mentioned previously, meal replacement drinks are convenient and come in a variety of flavors.  Drinking replacement meal shakes can ensure that one is consuming the recommended daily allowance of nutrients that may be omitted otherwise.  There are many health benefits for incorporating meal replacement drinks.  Those who desire to build muscle or improve athletic performance benefit from including meal replacement drinks that are high in protein.  Those who are dieting to lose weight can include meal replacement drinks to control the amount of calories that are consumed.  However, if not managed properly, one may end up consuming more calories if the meal replacement is treated as a snack in addition to other meals.
 Sports Drinks
What’s Brewing?  The first sports drink was developed in 1965 by doctors at the University of Florida to encourage the athletes of the Gators football team (who practice in the Florida heat and humidity) to consume adequate amounts of fluid and electrolytes for optimum athletic performance.  The end result was Gatorade -- water with added carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. Today, there are a variety of similar sports drinks in an array of flavors and neon colors designed to taste good.
 Pros and Cons   Studies show that athletes -- even weekend warriors and kids running around their backyards -- benefit from consuming sports drinks instead of water. Individuals tend to drink 25 percent to 90 percent more of flavored sports drinks than plain water, thus preventing dehydration. In addition, the carbohydrates in sports drinks help fuel active muscles, preventing fatigue and encouraging increased effort.  However, sports drinks are not helpful when you're simply lounging around watching TV or hanging out at the pool.  Ounce for ounce, sports drinks have about half the calories and sugar of fruit juice or regular soft drinks, but the calories add up more quickly when you are not conscious of how much you are drinking.  Although one should be exercising on a regular basis, if you're not, drink water instead of a sports drink.  There is no need for the replenishment of electrolytes or extra calories without the activity.
 Energy Drinks
What’s Brewing?  Energy drinks are beverages which contain legal stimulants, vitamins, and minerals, including caffeine, guarana, taurine, various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, carnitine, creatine, and ginkgo biloba. Some may contain high levels of sugar, or glucose. These drinks are typically marketed towards young people, students, people “on the go” and those who play sports.  Many of these beverages are flavored and colored to resemble a soft drink.  Energy drinks are different from sports drinks in the fact that energy drinks simply provide lots of sugar and caffeine with little to no health benefits.  Sports drinks, on the other hand, are intended to replenish electrolytes after vigorous activity.
Pros and Cons  The main purpose of an energy drink is to increase brain activity, stamina and physical performance in a person. Many people drink these drinks when they have to pull “all-nighters” or desire to enhance performance.  If not drunken in excess, energy drinks can be very helpful during day-to-day and major events.  However, when consumed in excess or if one is hyper-sensitive to caffeine, energy drinks can have an adverse affect on how one feels, eliciting a jittery sensation and an elevated heart rate.
Fitness Water
What’s Brewing?  A vast majority of health and fitness professionals recommend hydration as a primary step in a person's overall wellness and physical/mental performance. A fairly new item on the market is fitness water.  Fitness water contains added vitamins, minerals, and other functional ingredients. Fitness water has fewer carbohydrates than sports drinks.  A combination of high-fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, and healthy sugar substitute keep the carbs and calories low.
Pros and Cons  For those individuals who just cannot stand the taste of pure water and who just cannot get hydrated enough, fitness water is a great alternative.  The sugar content and unwanted calories are minimal. On the other hand, some brands contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals that may exceed the daily allowance especially if one is already taking a multi-vitamin.  One should not consider fitness water as a substitute for a sports drink if one is vigorously performing long distance activity for a long period of time.  Fitness water will not provide enough carbohydrates needed during vigorous activity.
 Body Shots
What’s Brewing?  Popular on the scene are shots of health drinks consisting of exotic tropical fruits and herbs.  Examples of these shots are mangosteen, pomegranate, goji, green tea, wheatgrass, and the ACAI berry.  One can consume these shots by themselves or within smoothies.
 Pros and Cons  There are many benefits from consuming these health shots.  The downside of consuming these shots is that it can become quite expensive.  Highlighted is a list of claims that companies who sell these health drinks make.  (See Below)
Next time you are reaching for that refreshing thirst quenching drink, remember that water is your best option.  It is ideal to eat your food rather than drink your food.  If you feel that you are needing the extra supplementation or replacement because all else has failed in terms of nutritional needs and weight loss, go for the witches brew that gets wicked results.
Happy Halloween!!
Anti-fatigue (energy booster)
Anti-inflammatory Analgesic (prevents pain)
Anti-ulcer (stomach, mouth and bowel ulcers)
Anti-depressant Anxyolytic (anti-anxiety effect)
Anti-Alzheimerian (helps prevent dementia)
Anti-tumor and cancer prevention
Helps the immunesystem
Anti-biotic(modulates bacterial infections)
Anti-fungal(prevents fungal infections)
Anti-seborrheaic (prevents skin disorders)
Anti-lipidemic(blood fat lowering, LDL)
Anti-atherosclerotic(prevents hardening of arteries)
Cardioprotective(protectsthe heart)
Hypotensive (blood pressure lowering)
Hypoglycemic (anti-diabetic effect, helps lower blood sugar)
Anti-obesity (helps with weight loss)
Anti-arthritic (prevention of arthritis)
Anti-osteoporosis (helps prevent the loss of bone mass)
Anti-periodontic (prevents gum disease)
Anti-allergenic(prevents allergic reaction)
Anti-calculitic (prevents kidney stones)
Anti-pyretic (fever lowering)
Anti-neuralgic (reduces nerve pain)
Anti-vertigo (prevents dizziness)
Anti-glaucomic (prevents glaucoma)
Anti-cataract (prevents cataracts)
Pansystemic - has a synergistic effect on the whole body

My Beach Body Secrets

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM Comments comments (58)
12 Easy Steps For Beach Ready Abs
Spring has arrived, bringing with it the promise of warm weather to come. You know what happens when the weather warms up?
People put on bathing suits. Are you ready to bare it all on the beach? If not, no worries, there is still time. Follow these 12 steps to get your abs beach ready:

Step One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees really help flatten your abs? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your workouts to burn extra calories and tighten your core.

Here's how to do a burpee: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.

Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that salt causes water retention? Puffy skin is not going to make your abs look great in a bathing suit!

Take the time to pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker. Your six pack will thank you.

Step Three: Pick Up A Medicine Ball. Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. The medicine ball is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.

Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches.

Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great on the beach? It's actually quite simple.

High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you'll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: spinach, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Check out the high-fiber recipe for pasta salad below.

Step Five: Crank Out Some V-Sits. One of the most problematic areas for women, when it comes to baring it all in a bathing suit, are the sides of your waist, or obliques. This is partly because the sides of your abs are not challenged with traditional crunches and sit-ups.

Enter the oblique V-Sits. Target that problematic, muffin-top area with this effective move. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.

Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don't be afraid to eat when you are on the get-great-abs-quickly plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to develop that six-pack.

Lean protein helps support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish.

Step Seven: Do Some Hanging Leg Raises. Now it's time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. Traditional crunches and sit-ups neglect to strengthen and tighten the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.

Hanging Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down.

Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, your abs would look significantly flatter by summer. I can't emphasize enough how quickly sugar will cover your hard earned stomach muscles with a soft layer of fat.

Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don't give in to the initial cravings.

Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here's an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline.

Here's how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat.

Step Ten: Pass On The Grains. Sure, whole grains are being touted as essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is that you'll do just fine without them for a while. Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, so put down the breadbasket as you prepare for beach season.

Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates - the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables.

Step Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven't run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.

Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.

Step Twelve: Start A Professional Fitness Program. You wouldn't try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your CPA, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I'm here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It's what I do, and I'm good at it.

Contact me about my tummy flattening programs that will get you those washboard abs that you're wishing for. Email me today to get started. [email protected]


Posted on December 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (34)
Why Do You Self-Sabotage?

How long have you been trying to lose those last 10 or 20 or 30 pounds?

Been awhile now, hasn't it?

You know how to lose weight - eat healthy and exercise - so why are you still living in a body that you're disappointed with?

In my experience, people hold on to "unwanted" pounds for very specific reasons. These reasons are on a subconscious level, which is where things get tricky.

Self-sabotage is your subconscious mind's way of protecting you.

Seems counterproductive, but it makes sense when you realize that it is a defense mechanism meant to keep things from changing.

Your conscious mind says it wants to lose weight to look and feel amazing, but your subconscious mind is pulling the strings behind the scenes, keeping your goals just out of reach.

As long as your subconscious mind thinks that you are safer being out-of-shape then you'll be stuck.

Your most valiant efforts will be undermined by self-sabotage every single time.

But don't give up.

There's a way to turn everything around, and it all starts with finding out the reason that your subconscious mind equates being out-of-shape with being safe.

Once you turn the light on to that reason then it will no longer have any power over you.

So, lets dig around for your reason.

  • Do you believe... You don't deserve it? Has someone in your life made you believe that you aren't worthy of success? Or that they wouldn't accept you if you were more successful than they are?
  • Do you believe... Change is bad? It's common to fear the unknown, but this could very well be the reason that you're not reaching your goal. Being comfortable with where you are today could be the reason that you sabotage your efforts to improve your life through change.
  • Do you believe...Success will bring loss? If you met your weight loss goal, would it bring out resentment and jealousy in your friends and family? Are you supposed to be the ‘screw-up'?
  • Do you believe...You're not capable? Are you unable to imagine yourself at your goal weight? Does the possibility of achieving your goal not seem real?

Spend time diving into your own mind to discover why it is that you aren't meeting your goals. Once your whole mind is primed for success, then nothing will be able to stop you.

What the mind believes the body achieves.

Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving weight loss.

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results - without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.


Time To Create a NEW YOU in Just 3 Steps!

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 7:07 PM Comments comments (22)
Are there things about yourself that you'd like to change?  Your weight, your habits, and maybe even your outlook on life?  We are trained to think that change is hard, that it takes time. But it really doesn't have to be.  I'm here to argue that lasting change happens in an instant.

I understand that this goes against mainstream belief. Most people believe that change has to be a struggle. We expect to try and fail numerous times before ultimately giving up or succeeding.  Think about this - how many people do you know who struggle with their weight? They want to make a healthy change by getting in shape, but the change never seems to happen.

What is it in your life that you want to change? Do you have inches to lose? Do you have preventable diabetes? Do you have a pair of skinny jeans that you want to fit into?  What is keeping you from making this change in your life?

According to professional speaker and author, Tony Robbins, it's the preparation for change that takes time. In the end there's a single instant when the change occurs.

Here are the 3 steps to instantly create a lasting change and a new you.

Step #1:
Believe that SOMETHING must change. Do you sort of want to get into shape, or do you absolutely have to lose the weight? Does dropping a few pounds sound good, or is living another day in your current body simply unbearable? In order to make a lasting change you must believe wholeheartedly that things must change.

Step #2:
Believe that YOU must change it.  It is vital that you take full responsibility in making the change rather than assigning responsibility elsewhere. Sure, others may help you, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to want this change enough to make it your personal mission - no one else can do it for you.

Step #3:
Believe that you CAN change it.  Don't let past failures get you down. The truth is that you are capable of amazing things when you put your mind to it. Believe that you are able to lose weight or to make any other positive change in your life.

Why do most people fail to make change stick? They rely on willpower. This works for awhile, but you'll soon revert back to what's comfortable. The solution?

Change what you are comfortable with.

People are motivated by two things: 1) to avoid pain and 2) to gain pleasure. When you want to change a behavior pattern the key is to associate pain with the behavior that you don't want and pleasure with the behavior that you do want.

You know that you want to lose weight and that to do so you need to quit eating comfort food late at night. You also know that you need to start exercising on a regular basis. Up until this point your brain is trained to associate pleasure with eating comfort food late at night and to associate pain with exercise.

It's time to retrain your brain to feel good about exercise and to feel bad about eating late at night. Think about all of the negative things about being overweight and connect these unpleasant thoughts to your late night snack. Now think about all of the wonderful things about being in shape and connect these pleasant thoughts to exercise.

You are capable of making big changes in your life. Start by contacting me for your no obligation fitness consultation. 

Remember, change happens in an instant.

Lose Weight When Eating Out

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM Comments comments (19)
Temptations abound when you eat out. There are bread baskets, chip baskets, appetizers, and desserts. In order to maintain your healthy diet, you'll have to have a plan in place before arriving at the restaurant.

Here's how you stay on track while eating out:

  • Ask for a doggy bag right away when ordering: Automatically, you know that the portion sizes are going to be huge. Be proactive and divide your meal in half and put it in the "to-go" box BEFORE you begin your meal. This will ensure that you will not overeat. "Out of Sight/Out of Mind"
  • Don't eat extras: Ask for the bread basket or chip basket to be removed from your table and stick to eating only what you ordered.
  • Don't drink calories: Stick with water or unsweetened ice tea in order to avoid a few hundred extra calories.
  • Get it plain: Ask for sauces and dressings on the side to cut down calories.
  • Get healthier sides: Just because the grilled fish comes with a side of potatoes doesn't mean you have to get it that way. Ask for a side of steamed veggies instead.

New Report Says Evolv Health's e84 Challenge Poised To Dominate Weight Loss Market Share

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 5:41 PM Comments comments (15)
Experts in the wellness arena state that, "Weight loss and obesity can't be cured by shots, pills, potions or lotions. Consistent weight loss and better health can only come from lifestyle changes". One company is taking that seriously and helping people create better lifestyle choices. That company is Evolv Health. Evolv Health's e84 Challenge is a coordinated program of tools, guidance, and support that provides you the means and motivation to achieve personal goals and break those persistent bad habits that create stress, illness, and financial strain in your life. You CAN Evolv your life in 84 days! Take the Challenge... Pass it On.

The ultimate question is, "What's your 84?"
Lose 10 pounds? Get Fit? Go for a Personal Best?

Taking the Challenge means redirecting your current spending in a way to give you better nutrition, support and guidance to help you evolve your health in 84 days. Small daily changes that will create a profound 'Compound Effect' on your life.

If almost everyone knows that your best health is maintained by eating right and exercising, why do so few of us do it regularly? The answer is that bad habits are hard to break when you're doing it by yourself.

In fact, you're 80% more likely to succeed if you have the help and guidance of a coach or mentor. That's why e84 builds support right into the program.
* Stay connected with key partners going through Challenges with you
* Share your story on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter
* Consult with your e84 Coach to help you stay motivated and on track
* Win Prizes, gift packs, and more!

e84 makes it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals whether you're trying to reach your ideal weight (BURN Challenge), boost and maintain good health (FUEL Challenge), or push your body to its limits to gain peak conditioning (EDGE Challenge).

Wouldn't you like to feel your best, knowing you have the support to get you through all the way to your goal?

Mike Healy, one of evolv's top promoters said, "What we measure matters. Having a goal of improving any part of a persons lifestyle in just 84 days is totally doable. The e84 challenge for my wife and I is a great way for us to partner up and achieve some things we have been wanting to do but have been putting off. The challenge has motivated us to move forward and since we have begun the e84 challenge, it's been incredibly easy to follow. Not only do we enjoy the products, but we've told so many people about it that we decided to be promoters of the challenge ourselves. So not only are we getting results from the products but now we are making some great money helping others do the same. What an incredible blessing this is for our family! I just ask people "what's your 84?" then it leads into a conversation."

Statistics show that over 10,000,000 people start a diet every Monday. The problem with fad diets is that most of them are based on hype and really never reward a person the way they should be.
Evolv Health's e84 challenge helps people make a better commitment to their lifestyle and makes it easier for a person to cater to their individual goals and needs.

With a wide variety of programs to choose from and rewards for those accomplishments, Evolv Health's goal is to have 8.4 Million people doing the challenge.

For More Information on How You can get started, email CarolAnn at [email protected]

Ready Set Burn! Resetting Your Metabolism

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM Comments comments (20)
1.    Weight Training
One way to increase metabolism is through weight training and increasing your lean body mass. However, you'd have to gain quite a bit of muscle for this to really make a difference in your resting metabolic rate. The weight training is crucial either way though. Training does boost metabolism for a short time after each workout, it burns a lot of calories and you need the resistance training just to prevent loss of lean body mass while you're dieting.
2.    Cardio and Increase Daily Activity
Another way to increase your metabolism is to increase ALL your daily activity: In addition to the weight training, add some kind of cardio or metabolic training at least 3-5 times per week. On top of that, all your daily walking, recreation, work and housechores adds up more than you'd imagine (it's called non exercise activity thermogenesis or N.E.A.T.) Don't just think about "exercising more" think about "becoming less sedentary."
3.    Proper Nutrition
  • Eat a minimum of six (and up to eight) times per day. These feedings will consist of snacks and main meals.
  • Make lists of your favorite protein and carbohydrate foods. You should have at least five different protein foods and ten different carbohydrate foods to choose from that include vegetables and fruits.
  • For each meal, mix any one protein and any one carbohydrate food from your lists.
  • Each meal or snack will be eaten approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours after the last one.
  • Eat only one carbohydrate per meal. Never have two different carbohydrate foods (or a double portion of one) at the same time.
  • Keep your sugar intake under 10 grams per serving.
  • Keep your fat intake to no more than 10 grams per meal and 20 to 30 grams for the entire day.
  • Each meal should ideally consist of 60 percent carbohydrates (from grains, vegetables, and fruits), 20-30 percent protein, and 10-20 percent fat.
  • Eat only one serving of each food and one plateful for the entire meal. Never have a second serving.
  • Never skip meals or snacks between meals.
  • Drink at least 64oz of water a day

To receive a personalized Metabolism Reset Program designed by CarolAnn, email her at [email protected] or Leave a Comment Below.

Reset and become a fat-burning furnace.

Skinny People Chew Gum

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 10:08 AM Comments comments (74)
Skinny People Chew Gum
Research from the University of Rhode Island showed that people who chewed gum consumed 68 fewer calories at lunch and did not compensate by eating more later in the day. Chewing gum also helped the participants satisfy their cravings and resist fattening treats. And there’s more: Gum chewers actually burned about 5% more calories than non-gum chewers. 

Another study, from Louisiana State University, indicated that chewing gum was helpful in controlling appetite, decreasing participants' daily intake by 40 calories and reducing snack cravings.  If you cut 50 calories a day or so by chewing gum, then make another small lifestyle change -- like switching from 2% to 1% milk or taking the stairs at work -- you can easily cut 100 calories a day. And that could add up to losing 10 pounds in a year.

According to registered dietician, Kathleen M. Zelman, perhaps the biggest benefit of chewing gum comes if you routinely reach for a stick of gum instead of something more caloric like a doughnut or candy bar. Substitute gum for a snack-size bag of chips once a week, and you could lose two pounds in a year.

Here are some tips for saving calories by chewing gum:
  • Chew gum when you have the urge to eat a snack between meals.
  • Pop a piece in your mouth to signal the end of the meal, or to prevent mindless munching while watching TV or at a party.
  • Keep some in your purse or briefcase to help you resist high-calorie temptations.
  • Keep your mouth busy with a piece of gum while you cook to prevent nibbling.

To learn more about making small changes in your life and getting huge results Click HERE then email CarolAnn at [email protected]

Beets and Exercise Performance

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (18)
Here is a great article that we all should read!!  If you hate the taste of beets, get the nutrients through Limitless Supplement.  Boost Metabolism, Reduce Inflammation, and Have More Energy! Click Here!!  

BEET IT!!: Can Beets Make You Run Faster?
Beets and performance
A number of studies show that beetroot juice improves time to exhaustion during exercise (in other words, you have more energy for a longer period) and reduces the oxygen cost of exercise (1, 2).  Researchers have hypothesized that the nitrate in beetroot juice reduces the oxygen cost of endurance exercise by allowing you to burn less energy (ATP) to produce the muscular force that propels you forward, allowing you to last longer.
So how does this all work?

Beets contain a lot of great things, including phytochemicals like quercetin and resveratrol. But the positive effects of beets on exercise performance are probably due to their nitrate content. The breakdown and use of dietary nitrates in the body is actually pretty cool. It begins in the mouth with your saliva. About a quarter of the dietary nitrate (NO) found in foods like beets enter the salivary circulation after combining with bacteria on your tongue. There, the NO is converted to active nitrite (NO). Neat, huh? Then you swallow the nitrite and it is reduced to nitric oxide (NO) when it interacts with your stomach acid.

It is this form, nitric oxide, that produces the positive effects during exercise. You’ve probably heard of nitric oxide, especially if you hang out in the supplement aisles of your local health food store. Nitric oxide does a lot of things, but in terms of exercise it increases blood flow to the muscles, making it easier for your power generators (mitochondria) to produce energy (ATP). It also governs blood pressure and regulates muscle contraction.

The majority of beetroot studies so far have used time to exhaustion protocols – and those results don’t always translate into actual performance gains. What most enquiring minds really want to know is: will eating beets or drinking beetroot juice help me to run (cycle, swim, walk, etc) faster?

One study showed that drinking beetroot juice improves cycling time trial performance (3), but what about eating plain ol’ beets – and what if you are a runner, not a cyclist? 

Research question 
The study in this week’s review looked at whether eating 200 grams of whole beetroot (containing ~500 mg of nitrates) before exercise improves running performance during a 5 km treadmill time trial. Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R., Weiss, E. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Apr;112(4):548-552. Methods
The participants in this study consisted of five recreationally fit men and six women in their 20s. The study used a double-blind crossover design in which the subjects ate either 200 grams of baked beets or a placebo (cranberry relish) before completing a 5 kilometer treadmill time trial test. All participants completed two trials in random sequence separated by a 1-week “washout” period. The purpose of the washout was to decrease the chances that the intervention effects (eating beets or cranberries) would overlap and interfere with the results of either of the trials.
Trial 1: The subjects ate 200 grams of baked beets (about 2 medium-sized beets) and 75 minutes later ran 5 kilometers on a treadmill.
Trial 2: The subjects ate 200 grams of a cranberry relish and 75 minutes later ran 5 kilometers on a treadmill.

For each of the trials, the subjects arrived at the laboratory after an 8 hour fast. They were asked to avoid eating other nitrate-rich foods (they were given a list), dietary supplements, and medications for 72 hours before the test. They were also told not to lift weights in that same time period and in the 24 hours before were asked not to consume alcohol, caffeine or do any sort of exercise. All these “rules” made for a stronger study by levelling the playing field as best as possible between subjects. While it is pretty easy to distinguish the taste of beets from that of cranberry relish, the researchers kept the portions and calories similar and used the same spices. Because the participants didn’t know what the study was about, the researchers thought it unlikely that the difference in taste would create a placebo effect and change the outcome of the study.
Resting blood pressure was measured before and one hour after eating the beetroot or cranberry relish. During the time trial the researchers recorded average running velocity, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion at one mile intervals and at the end of the 5 km run.
200 g beets = about 2 medium beets

Results Improved running performance
The researchers wanted to find out if eating 200 grams of beetroot (containing ~500 mg nitrates) before exercise improved running times enough to be significant. What they found was that yes, average running velocity (speed in a given direction) was slightly faster (3%) after eating the beetroot compared to the placebo 12.3+ 2.7 vs 11.9+ 2.6 km.
Interestingly, the difference was greatest (5%) during the last mile.
While the difference may not look like much, a 3% faster running velocity translates to about a 41 second faster finishing time. In a short race like a 5 km run, 41 seconds is a lot! For example if your pace is 8 minutes per mile, you would finish a 5 km in 24:51 minutes. But if you ate 200 grams of beetroot before the run you could potentially shave 3% off of your time.
So we know the subjects ran at a faster velocity. But were there any differences in heart rate or did they feel like the run was easier after eating the beetroot?
Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion
Even though the subjects ran at a slightly faster velocity during the beetroot trial, there were no differences in exercise heart rate compared to the placebo trial.
What does that mean?

Well, the most likely explanation is that the nitrate content of the beets reduced the oxygen cost of exercise. Unfortunately, this study did not take direct measurements of oxygen use or of respiratory exchange rate (RER is a measure of the ratio of carbon dioxide produced to oxygen used) so this doesn’t fully prove cause and effect. However, it does support the results of similar types of studies evaluating the performance effects of dietary nitrates.
Perceived exertion was measured using the Borg 6 to 20 point scale. Perceived exertion was rated lower during the first mile of the beetroot trial with no differences later in the run. If perceived exertion was lower during the first mile of the beetroot trial this may have contributed to the faster running velocity later in the run, perhaps because the subjects didn’t feel as tired.
A major limitation of this study is that serum nitrate levels weren’t measured, so there is no way to know how great an increase there was after eating the beetroot compared with the placebo. Also, the nitrate content in the beetroot was not measured. Still, given what we know about the nitrite content of beets, it is pretty likely that the beetroot did in fact increase serum nitrate levels and enhance performance.

Eating 200 grams of baked beets 75 minutes before exercise improved the running performance of recreationally fit men and women. The increase in performance was most likely due to the conversion of the dietary nitrate to nitrite to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide reduces the oxygen cost of exercise by requiring your muscles to use less energy or ATP to produce the same amount of work.
What this means is that eating a couple of medium sized beets at least 60 minutes before a run could help you shave at least half a minute off of your 5 km time! Of course, this was a very small study. If you want to help out with your own science project, why not try it yourself? At minimum, it’s worth a shot to see if it makes a difference. (Just don’t be alarmed if you’re peeing pink for a little while.)

Bottom line
  1. The results of this study have some real value and potential application to the athletic setting. Most previous studies evaluating the performance effects of nitrate-rich vegetables have used time to exhaustion protocols (which test exercise capacity, rather than athletic performance).
  2. You can try this yourself! If you are a juice fan, you could easily juice a couple of beets and drink the juice down before your morning run and see how you feel. Just make certain you stick to real foods. Don’t risk your life by supplementing with nitrite salts.
  3. We still need more research to determine the optimal amounts of dietary nitrate needed to enhance athletic performance.
  1. Bailey, Stephen J., Winyard, Paul, Vanhatalo, Anni, Blackwell, Jamie R., DiMenna, Fred J., Wilkerson, Daryl P., Tarr, Joanna, Benjamin, Nigel, and Jones, Andrew M. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. J Applied Physiol. 2009; 107(4): 1144-1155.
  2. Bailey, Stephen J., Fulford Jonathan., Vanhatalo, Anni, Winyard, Paul, Blackwell, Jamie R., DiMenna, Fred J., Wilkerson, Daryl P., Benjamin, Nigel, and Jones, Andrew M. Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans. J Applied Physiol. 2010; 109(1): 135-148.
  3. Lansley, KE, Winyard, Paul G., Bailey, Stephen J., Vanhatalo, Anni, Wilkerson, Daryl P., Blackwell, Jamie R., Gilchrist M., Benjamin, Nigel, and Jones, Andrew M. Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011; 43(6): 1125-1131.

Article By Jennifer Koslo
of Precision Nutrition

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Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM Comments comments (18)
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