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Training Tips

  • 3-4 hours before a workout you should eat foods high in carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and smoothies to give your body the energy it needs for an intense workout.

  • Keeping a food journal can help you monitor your eating patterns and pinpoint what you are doing right and what you can improve on to help you modify your diet. Make sure you put in everything you consume including drinks!
  • Your body has “muscle memory” so if you consciously stand tall with perfect posture and keep your abs firm throughout the day they will tend to stay firm even when you’re relaxed!
  • Eating low-fat yogurt in the morning jump starts your metabolism and helps you lose weight . The calcium along with the other bioactive compounds in yogurt slows down the process of making fat and increases fat burning!
  • A recent study found that people who drank 2 1/2 cups of coffee a few hours before exercising were able to do more reps during the course of a workout, (skip the coffee if you have a history of high blood pressure though).
  • Skipping breakfast is the worst thing you can do for your body. When you don’t eat breakfast you lower your metabolism, starve your muscles, and wind up eating more calories later in the day. Regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk for obesity by 450%. Try to eat 30%-35% of your calories early including protein, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Soy beans contain high amounts of protein, and all essential amino acids. They are also a great source of calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber!
  • Eating your fruit and vegetables first during a meal will help you consume fewer calories from other foods, and all the fiber will help reduce blood-sugar swings that lead to hunger in between meals.
  • A study found that people that ate salads regularly lost 8.5 times more weight than people that didn’t; the reason is leafy greens contains folate and vitamin B which help tremendously with weight loss. To add to that benefit try using a salad dressing made with safflower oil. Safflower oil contains linoleic acid which helps prevent fat storage!
  • Licorice contains an ingredient called glycyrrhetinic acid that has been shown to help reduce body mass by blocking an enzyme which plays a role in fat accumulation and also helps reduce appetite. Make sure you get licorice with licorice extract as one of the first ingredients to get the benefits, (you can find it at grocery stores). Make sure not to eat to much; a handful is about 100 calories!
  • You should allow yourself a small treat every once in awhile; just make sure you be mindful about the frequency and quantity. Completely cutting out your favorite treats usually lead to binge eating.
  • Sodium causes us to eat unconsciously which can add up to much more unhealthy snacks and overeating before you know it. Salt cravings go away after a few weeks if you slowly start cutting down the amount of sodium you take in. If you want the salty flavor; try adding a little on your food but avoid salty snacks with salt already in them so you can control how much sodium you consume.
  • A cup of cooked pumpkin only has 50 calories and has 3 grams of fiber. This delicious fall treat is also full of beta carotene which is good for your immune system, and fights many chronic diseases!
  • Legumes and beans build muscle, burn fat, and regulates digestion. They also fight colon cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure!
  • Eating 500 less calories a day than what your body needs equals losing a pound week!
  • Muscle is made up of about 80% water and a change of even 1% in body water can impair exercise performance and recovery so try to consume at least 8 glasses of water a day plus 24 ounces of water for every pound lost during your workout. An easy way to figure out the amount of water weight lost during your exercise routine is to weigh yourself before and weigh yourself again after your workout.
  • When starting a new diet gradually ease into it; small changes are easier to stick with than drastic changes. Smaller, behavior  changing eating habits are more likely to remain with you, such as, drinking water instead of soda or leaving a little food on your  plate.
  • Berries, (of all sorts), prevent food cravings, improves balance, coordination, short term memory, and eyesight. Berries also help protect against heart disease, cancer, and obesity!
  • Peanut butter not only builds muscle, burns fat, and boosts testosterone; it also fights obesity, muscle loss, wrinkles, and cardiovascular disease!
  • When your blood glucose levels drop, (which happens after only a few hours of not eating), your prefrontal cortex deactivates and craves high-calorie food; the best way to keep that from happening is to eat healthy snacks throughout the day and to incorporate more fiber into your meals, (which helps you feel full longer).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t only necessary for brain health; they are also is important for development and growth, lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, inflammation and arthritis, and helps with dry skin, mood swings, depression, and poor circulation. Fish, (including shell fish), is very high in omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t consume fish very often you can get fish oil in supplement form to compensate.
  • Flaxseed oil helps inhibit weight gain, balance blood sugar and hormones, is a natural anti-inflammatory, is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and helps you feel full/ satisfied after eating. You can get flaxseed oil in softgel form or in a bottle, (if you get it in the bottle don’t use it for cooking because heat diminishes the benefits).
  • Vegetables that are non-starchy, (like broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower), can be eaten in unlimited quantities when you are trying to lose weight. Other benefits of these veggies are: they are high in folate and vitamin C, (which help with weight loss), and have the phytonutrient sulforaphane, (which s linked to help fight cancer)!
  • Chia seeds are not only full of iron, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, fiber, molybdenum, and omega-3 fatty acids but they are also a fat flusher!
  • Studies show that Wild Salmon helps speed up your metabolism; it is also a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids!
  • Some easy ways to burn extra calories, (without even realizing it and that we all know but need to be reminded of sometimes), are: park in the first parking spot you see, (instead of driving around to find the closest spot), take the stairs, walk instead of drive, take your dog for a walk, or even change the channel on the television instead of by remote control. Get creative and think of ways that can get you moving and not take the easy or lazy way out!
  • The high levels of vitamin C in cranberries help increase the livers ability to break down fat efficiently, contains arbutin, which helps flush out toxins and excess water weight), and decreases hunger pains.
  • When starting a new workout it’s best to start with lower weights so you can perfect your form, but once you have form down the most efficient way to get results is by switching to a heavier weight.
  • The high essential fatty acids in almonds helps raise your metabolism. A daily serving size consists of about 1 ounce, (20- 25 almonds).
  • Adding ginger to your meals may help with weight loss. Ginger is a vasodilator, (which widens blood vessels), making blood flow more freely, and increases body heat as well as your metabolism!
  • Olive oil has been linked to lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, skin cancer, osteoporosis, (as well as many other benefits), but now has also been found to build muscle by lowering levels of  “bad” cellular protein, (tumor necrosis factor-a), which has been linked to muscle weakness. So, when you can, try adding extra virgin olive oil to anything that it would taste good with like a salad, pasta, or even use as a bread dip!
  • An apple a day not only keeps the Dr. away but also keeps the weight off according to Penn State researchers. They found that people that ate an apple 15 minutes before lunch consumed almost 200 calories less than the people that didn’t eat an apple beforehand.
  • Unless you’re one of the  less than 1% of people that have celiac disease then don’t opt for gluten-free products. There aren’t more nutrients, don’t have less calories than the regular counterpart, and gluten-free products are usually more expensive. In fact, a group of people with celiac disease were followed around for 2 years and 81% of them gained weight according to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • Yogurt isn’t only a great source of calcium and protein, (which stabilizes blood sugar and controls appetite), it also contains pro-biotics which helps regulate your digestive tract, (minimizing a bloated stomach).
  • Consuming spicy foods such as red peppers, habaneros, jalapenos, cayenne, etc can boost your metabolism by up to 25% and lasts for up to 3 hours after eating.  Capsaicin, the active ingredient, improves digestion and increases the rate at which fat is burned. So, try adding a little spice to your food not only for taste but to help burn calories!
  • Cocoa is a plant based food filled with flavonoids that increase blood flow, releases endorphins, is full of antioxidants, and contains stearic acid, (healthy fat), which increases your good HDL cholesterol level. So, when you have a chocolate craving make sure you get dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa in it, (the higher the percentage of cocoa the more health benefits), and not milk chocolate which contains more sugar than cocoa.
  • Drinking a protein shake within an hour before exercising will give your body the energy it needs for an intense workout. There are many ingredients you can throw into the blender with the protein powder to make a delicious shake and at the same time adding nutrients, such as, put in peanut butter or almond butter to make your shake more creamy, use nonfat milk instead of water for more protein, fresh fruit (we all know the benefits of fruit), or even frozen fruit to make it colder! Whichever your flavor be creative!
  • The average person eats more in any given day than they realize, (therefore consuming more calories than they realize), so an easy way to monitor how much food and what you are eating is to keep a food journal. Writing down everything you eat will help you monitor what/ how much food you are putting in your mouth and you can adjust your eating habits if need be.
  • Within an hour of finishing a workout you should eat a nourishing well balanced meal and drink plenty of fluids to help your body properly rehydrate, repair tired muscles, and to reduce inflammation to keep your body running at its peak performance!
  • Scientists found that eating half a grapefruit a few times a day will help you lose weight. Grapefruit contains high levels of naringin which stimulates the liver to make fat burning enzymes.
  • An easy way to consume less amounts of food without feeling deprived is to chew your food properly and eat slowly. The “feel full” hormones, ( GLP-1 and PYY), takes 20 minutes to kick in. Not only will you consume less calories/ fat but you will also have time to savor your food making your meals/ snacks more enjoyable!
  • When eating out ask your server if they have the nutritional facts available. You may think you’re making the healthiest choice on the menu but at a lot of restaurants the salads are higher in fat, (some over 100 grams), and calories than a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonalds.
  • Incorporating nuts, (with the skins intact like almonds), into 3 of your major meals or snacks of the day will help build muscle and reduce food cravings. Nuts will also help fight heart disease, wrinkles, cancer, and high blood pressure!
  • A study found that drinking small amounts of caffeinated coffee throughout the day not only decreases your appetite but also increases your metabolism, (by 16%)! Make sure to only consume 8 ounces or less at a time to achieve this as well as keep you focused and alert during a long day!
  • Consuming 25% calories from complete protein, (pork, lamb, beef), will help you lose twice as much weight as consuming 12% calories from complete protein. If you don’t eat red meat because of heart disease then rest assured; researchers found that the risk of heart disease was only associated with processed meats such as deli meat, sausage, bacon , etc.
  • Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system but it also helps build collagen and helps your metabolic efficiency. Some good sources of vitamin C are strawberries, broccoli, red bell peppers, oranges, brussels sprouts, and papaya!
  • A 16 ounce can of energy drink contains more calories from sugar than a 16 ounce can of soda and the only ingredient proven to give you energy is caffeine. So, if you need a little boost of energy, go for a cup of coffee and save yourself from consuming extra unwanted sugar and calories.
  • Watermelon is not only a delicious summer snack but is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, lycopene, and the seeds are high in protein and beneficial unsaturated fats.
  • Skipping meals DOESN’T help you lose weight. When you skip a meal your metabolism slows down because your body thinks you are going into starvation mode and needs to slow down to adjust.
  • Packaged foods are processed and contain higher levels of sodium and fat than fresh food. So, if possible, make a lunch to bring to work, (or any other outings), and see the pounds drop off.
  • During a long workout you lose salt in your sweat which can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium), if you don’t consume adequate amounts of salt during exercise. The symptoms are the same as dehydration, (nausea, headaches, muscle cramps, and disorientation), so make sure you choose higher sodium sports drinks during and after a workout to avoid getting the symptoms.
  • Consuming at least 5 cups of green tea daily speeds up your metabolism, regulates blood sugar, improves cholesterol levels, helps protect against liver disease, helps protect against many types of cancer, and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Drinking 8 ounces a day of pomegranate juice helps ease muscle soreness after heavy lifting, (it contains an antioxidant called ellegitannin which protects muscle fibers from damage).
  • Don’t exercise on an empty stomach; you will not be able to workout at your highest level. Try eating carbs that are easily digestible, (such as a piece of fruit, whole grain toast with jam, or oatmeal with berries in it), 30- 60 minutes before your workout to ensure that you are able to workout at peak performance.
  • You should try to consume 20- 30 grams of protein with breakfast. By getting your biggest dose of protein in the morning you feel full longer and have less chance of overeating later in the day.
  • Eating “low-fat” or “diet” products cause more weight gain than products that have regular fat/ calorie content. The body doesn’t know how to properly digest sugar/ fat substitutes which causes an inadequate release of digestive hormones and causes you to eat more.
  • Getting enough sleep not only helps you look and feel better, but it also helps you stay leaner. Researchers found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep a night made poorer eating decisions throughout the day compared to people who had more than 7 hours of sleep.
  • Lycopene, (found in red fruit such as tomato products, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit), wards off hart disease as well as certain types of cancer such as prostate, breast, lung, cervical, and digestive tract.
  • If 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables is too hard for you to consume then go for 3 servings of different colored produce to get the same benefits.
  • Energy bars aren’t as healthy as they claim; they are filled with sugar, oil, empty calories, and the fiber comes from additives which don’t have the same healthy benefits as fruit or vegetables.
  • Ursolic acid, (found in the skins of cranberries, pears, apples, and blueberries), can help you grow bigger muscles.
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