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  • Ketogenic Diet 101: 8 Things You Need To Know

    Ketogenic-Diet-Cover (1)

    The Ketogenic Diet has been doing the rounds on the blogosphere lately, and for good reason.

    In all corners of the interwebs, you'll see "keto" this and "keto" that flying around, with some seriously astounding health claims, all stemming from eating copious amounts of butter, bacon, eggs, coconut oil and steak?!

    So what is this crazy diet, and is it just another fad diet, or something more?
    We've rolled out our 8 things you need to know to induct you into the world of Ketosis, and to find out if it holds up to the hype!

     

    #1: What Is Keto?

    "Keto", the "Ketogenic Diet", or being in Ketosis, refers to an altered metabolic state, where the body burns ketones, rather than glucose, for fuel.

    "Ketones", the byproduct of the liver processing fatty acids, act as an alternate source of fuel for the body and brain. If you've ever fasted for a long period of time you might have even entered a low level of ketosis at some point in your life!

    Once you go long enough without eating, and the body runs through all its stored glucose, it needs another energy source to continue to survive. We all know that "hangry" feeling when we haven't eaten after a few hours, but deep down, we all know that it won't kill us if we don't eat every 3-4 hours, right?! In fact, the human race most certainly wouldn't be here today if we had to eat that often in order to stay alive.

    If you'd like a little more of the science behind how ketosis occurs within the body, these videos sum it up much better than we ever could!

    • Thomas Delaurer Keto Crash Course:
    • Domanic D'Agostino Joe Rogan Experience:

     

    #2 What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

    The ketogenic diet is a nifty way to manipulate your body's metabolic state to stay in ketosis, while still consuming ample calories to live a healthy, productive, day to day life. There is conjecture over the specific macronutrient ratio and carb allowances which will allow for long term ketosis, check these out.

    Strict Medical Ketogenic Diet
    90% Fat, 8% Protein, 2% Carbs (woah!)

    Standard Ketogenic Diet
    80% Fat, 15% Protein, 5% Carbs

    Modified Atkins Diet
    65%-70% Fat, 30-35% Protein, 5% Carbs

    what is the ketogenic diet

    As you can see, the common denominator here is the borderline lack of carbohydrates all together. By keeping your net carbs (Total Carbs - Fibre) to between 20g-50g, depending on activity level, you can keep your body in this "fat burning" state to reap the benefits! The difference, between the amounts of fat and protein depend ultimately on who you ask, your goals and how your body individually responds to being in ketosis. For medical reasons, an extremely high fat content is encouraged, as excess protein can convert into glucose via a process called gluconegenesis.

    However, for fitness, longevity and general wellbeing, more ample protein amounts (around 20-25% is a good start!) will keep you in a state of nutritional ketosis, without impacting performance or causing muscle wastage.

     

    #3 Why On Earth Would I Eliminate Carbs?

    Well, it depends on the individual. See, some of us absolutely thrive on carbs. Carbohydrates provide us with a quick, powerful source of energy which fuels the body's metabolism and keeps us functioning in tip-top shape!

    Others, on the other hand, are not so lucky. Some of us run much better, or even thrive on a fat-for-fuel diet. If you're feeling sluggish and not at your best, notice whether carbohydrates tend to trigger an energy rollercoaster for you. You might do better cutting down, or even eliminating them all together!

     

    #4 What's The Difference Between Ketosis and Low Carb?

    Low Carb diets, again, depending on who you ask, will generally allow for 10-20% of daily calorie intake from carbohydrate sources.

    This may cause the individual to cycle in and out of a state of mild ketosis throughout the day, depending on how they distribute their carbohydrates, but generally, the body will be fueled via a combination of fatty acids and glucose.

    Therefore, ketosis is actually very different, as it's an entirely different metabolic process all together, in which your body becomes conditioned to.

     

    #5 Can I Gain Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

    can i still put on muscle in ketosis

    Absolutely. However, it is a slower and more gradual process than a carbohydrate rich diet. 

    One thing that ketogainers often note, is that while muscle gain is a bit slower, it comes without the added fat, or the need for bulking and cutting cycles.

    As it takes a while for the body to become "keto adapted", it's not uncommon to see a loss of strength and performance in the gym for the first few months, as the body has to build an entirely new metabolic pathway for the utilisation of energy.

    However, once this pathway is established, users often report increased strength, performance and endurance.

     

    #6 How Do I Get Into Ketosis

    There are three ways to enter Ketosis:

    1. Nutritional Ketosis. By eliminating carbohydrates and keeping protein modest (100g-150g max), the average individual will enter ketosis within 3-7 days. This is a murky experience as the body will go through sugar withdrawal, and the user will often experience "keto flu", which is a combination of sugar withdrawal and low electrolytes.
    2.  Fasting. By completely eliminating ALL calories, Ketosis will be entered within 24-48 hours, with deeper ketosis achieved at around the 60 hour mark. This will be dificult if your body is not conditioned for fasting, which is why we recommend:
    3. Keto SupplementsIf you want to get a taste of what Ketosis has to offer, we reccomend consuming ONLY fats for a period of 24-48 hours with very minimal protein, as well as a ketone salt supplement. This will accelerate your body into deep ketosis, and will provide the fuel you need until your body catches up, and begins to produce ketones on its own accord!

     

    #7 What Do I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

    Generally, you want to focus on foods and meals which have a minimum of a 2:1 ratio of fat to protein + carbs. 

    Keeping your carbs to around 20g on rest days and 50g max on training days can be tricky, but you generally want to avoid any sugars, grains, fruits and starches. Eating out can be tricky, so we recommend planning ahead when eating out, otherwise prepping your meals at home.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious foods which you can enjoy in abundance on a ketogenic diet! Our favourite keto friendly meals include:

    • Steak smothered in butter, served with salad with your choice of high-fat dressing
    • Whole egg omelette served with avocado, organic sausage and mushrooms
    • Chocolate protein shake with organic coconut milk
    • Blueberries with heavy whipping cream
    • Coconut chicken curry with cauliflower rice
    • Big Breakfast with fried eggs in butter, bacon, chorizo and spinach
    • Coffee blended with butter/ghee + coconut oil
    • Ketogenic Meal Replacement Supplement

    Yum!

    What Do I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

     

    #8 Is The Ketogenic Diet Bad For Me?

    No!

    It's actually incredibly healthy, when performed correctly. While there are questions relating to long term usage of the ketogenic diet, it's a fantastic tool to improve your metabolism, decrease stored body fat, and improve cognitive function.

    While it will take some getting used to as we've been conditioned to think eating fat makes us fat, a big dose of healthy fats in the absence of carbohydrates (namely sugar) is an incredible source of energy, hormone precursors and fat soluble vitamins.

    The healthiest sources of fats on a ketogenic diet (or just in general!) are:

    • Macadamia Nuts
    • Olive Oil
    • Avocados & Avocado Oil
    • Coconut Cream, Milk, Flesh & Oil
    • Grass-fed Butter & Ghee
    • Animal Fat
    • Fatty Fish

    So there you have it! Now that you know everything there is to know about all things Keto, are you ready to drop the carbs and up the fat?

  • Want To Eat Healthy On A Budget? Steal These 16 Shortcuts

    Healthy-On-Budget-Cover

    Eating healthy sucks, right?

    It's bland, it involves giving up the majority of your weekend to arduously pack the same monotonous grub into a mountain of Tupperwear week in, week out...

    ...or does it?

    Here at ASN, we like to think, nay, we KNOW that eating healthy doesn't have to be a death sentence for flavoursome, delicious and satisfying meals!

    So pull up a chair young padawan, because we're about to lay on you our 16 Secret Shortcuts to eat healthy while keeping your sanity and not blowing the bank!

    Here we go...

    eating healthy sucks

     

    1. Plan, plan, then go ahead and plan some more.

    Once you've got your macros and micros dialled (think protein, fat and carbs + vitamins and minerals), it's time to map out your meal plan for the week.

    We highly recommend only planning 5-6 days per week, to give yourself a bit of freedom on the weekend of course! Gotta live it up, ya know.

    How many meals per day are you going to eat? Do you need to leave room for eating out in the evening? How many snacks do you eat per day? What will said snacks comprise of?

    Once you work out a plan, things will make a lot more sense and become a little easier. Our top tip is to save some calories for the evening, so that you can enjoy a heartier meal or some healthy dessert, without blowing your calories!

    Patrick planning

     

    2. Buy in bulk

    The more you buy, the cheaper it is!

    Got a freezer? Of course you do. Use it.

    Buy in bulk

     

    3. Shop around

    Shopping exclusively for groceries at IGA? You're gonna have a bad time.

    Shop around between Coles, Woolies and the farmers markets to get some bargains and stock up! 

    shop around w patrick

     

    4. Eat seasonally

    Do you know what fruits and vegetables are in season, right now?

    If you plan your meals (see step 1 incase you've already forgotten) around imported fruits and vegetables, you can expect the number on your grocery receipt to climb way higher than expected.

    Stick to what's in season locally, shape your meals accordingly and save!

     

    5. Hug the outside walls of the grocery store

    The easiest tip to treat yo' body right is to only shop around the edge of the shopping centre.

    The closer your venture into the middle, the more processed junk you'll come by.

    Sure, the canned packaged stuff may be cheaper on the wallet, but your body is paying the price!

     

    6. Invest in a slow cooker

    Slow cookers are seriously freakin' legit when it comes to eating healthy on a budget.

    Why? Well, aside from delicious, fall-in-your-mouth tender meats, you'll be able to stock up on cheaper cuts of meat and have them be absolutely delectable.

    Scotch fillet steak every night would be dandy, but if you slow cook some brisket or tri-tip at the start of the week, you'll save plenty of hard earned moolah and your taste buds will be in flavour heaven!

    invest in a slow cooker

     

    7. Be a leftover legend

    Hate meal prepping on the weekend? We feel you!

    Our fave alternative? Cook a big, healthy meal for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day!

    This will ensure that all important variety, plus you'll be practicing those master chef skills on the daily!

    Be a leftover legend

     

    8. DIY frozen meals

    Pulled a late night at the office, roll in the front door at 7:30pm, and you feel the UberEats app calling you from your home screen...

    Don't blow $30 on a calorie dense feast that will blow your budget and have you feeling lousy come the AM! Next time you've got some surplus leftovers, pop a serve in the freezer in case of emergencies! 

     

    9. Eat more vegetables

    *snore*

    Do we sound like your mum yet?

    It sounds boring we know, but not only are veggies chock-a-block with micronutrients, they're cheap, filling and can be prepared a variety of ways to keep you satisfied!

    Eat more veg = save more dollars. Easiest equation ever.

    eat vegetables

     

    10. Give Boost Juice a run for their money

    Smoothies are what you make them!

    Go beyond the scoop of protein + water + banana and make these bad-boys something to look forward to, and keep your body and mind fuelled!

    Get creative and think greens, veggies, yoghurt, avocado, coconut oil, fruit, juices and much more!

    The possibilities are endless, and it's easy to whip up an incredibly healthy and nutritious liquid meal for cents on the dollar.

    Give Boost Juice a run for their money

     

    11. Promote satiety

    Did you know that calories consumed and satiety (the feeling of fullness and satisfaction) don't go hand in hand?

    It's important to consume fat (yes, you heard us) with every meal in order to promote satisfaction and to quell your appetite.

    If you're eating clean, try finishing your chicken and broc' with a handful of almonds or macadamias, or don't shy away from a bit of olive oil here and there on your salad.

    Your rumbling tummy will thank you, we promise.

     

    12. Try fasting

    Intermittent fasting is all the rage, haven't you heard?

    While it may not be for everyone, limiting your "feeding window" to only 8 hours a day takes a lot of the guess work out of a day's worth of eating, and can save you some serious dollars once you remove that morning latte and protein bar.

    Give it a whirl!

     

    13. Cut down on sugar

    Sugar isn't all bad. It's delicous, provides fast burning energy, and makes a lot of people very happy!

    However, sugar is also extremely addictive.

    The more sugar consumed in a meal, the less satiety and the more you'll crave more and be hankering for dessert once you've cleaned your plate. If you're struggling with portion control, here's your culprit!

    cutdown on sugar

     

    14. Eat out less

    Who DOESN'T love a meal out here and there?

    Whether it's a date night dinner or Sunday morning big-brekkie, we all look forward to having someone else do the cooking, and indulging in a seriously awesome bite to eat.

    But here's the problem: For a healthy, nutritious dish, you're looking at at least double, if not triple the cost of cooking yourself!

    Plus you don't know what the chef is putting into the dish, so don't expect it to be too macro friendly, and always account for some extra calories in the sauce!

    eat out less

     

    15. Sneaky snacks, done right

    Make. Your. Own. Snacks.

    Protein balls are absolutely wicked. They're quick, easy, delicious, freezer friendly and (depending on your choice of ingredients) guilt free!

    Stuff playing $5 for one when you're out, stock up and save!

     

    16. Don't forget to indulge

    These tips are all well and good, but don't forget, you've gotta live a little!

    Enjoy a cheat meal, or day here and there depending on your goals, and don't ever be "that guy" who will only eat out of their tupperwear container! Food is one of life's greatest pleasures after all, so don't deprive yourself and enjoy a healthy lifestyle balance! 

    Indulge

  • 12 DEALS OF FITMAS AT ASN

    General

    On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love swole-mate gave to meeeeeeeeeee...

    It's that time of year again!

    Right before the new-years resolutioners crowd the hack squat machine, and right after you've spent the winter months hibernating with more uber-eats and Netflix than you could throw a shaker-ball at, it's advent!

    Rather than indulging 50 of your precious daily macros on recycled easter-egg chocolate from a $2 Coles advent calendar, we thought we'd bring you some seriously amazing Christmas Fitmas deals that are worth getting a pump over.

    So without further a-do, check out ASN's 12 DAYS OF FITMAS stocking stuffers to pick up for the fam, swole-mate, or just treat yo-self. 

    You've earned it after all!

     

     

    1. International Protein

    IP-3kg-4kg

    Score a FREE Pro-nut with any 1.25kg, a FREE Shaker with any 907g, or a FREE T-shirt with any 3kg or 4.5kg bag of International Protein

    Is all you want for Christmas a big-ol-santa-sack chock full of sweet, sweet gains?

    Then look no further, International Protein has you covered!

    Who's it for: Your "hard-gainer" mate who's just as scrawny this year as he was last year.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    2. Prana Power Plant Protein

    Prana-On

    SAVE $10, $15 and $30 on Power Plant Protein in all shapes and sizes!

    Prana's Power Plant Protein is an incredibly delicious, nutritious and environmentally friendly source of protein for your post-workout shake.

    Plus, it's scientifically proven to be the most Instagramable protein on the market.

    Who's it for: Your vegan girlfriend, or anyone who hashtags #fitspo on the reg.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    3. Optimum Nutrition

    ON

    Score 5lb of Gold Standard Whey and 30 Serves of Amino Energy for only $99.

    2kg(ish) of the most delicious and highest quality protein powder on the market PLUS 30 serves of versatile, energised amino acids to fuel your workouts (or gruelling Monday mornings) for under 100 bucks? Staaahhhhp.

    Who's it for: Anyone. Snag this one for yourself and say it's from Santa!

    Shop Now.

     

     

    4. Blackstone Labs

    Dust

    Score 2 30 serve tubs of Dust V2 for only $90, + a FREE ASN Shaker.

    If you haven't tried Dust V2 from Blackstone Labs, you're seriously missing out. This supercharged preworkout could wake the dead, and have those zombies smashing your 1RM in 30 minutes flat.

    Who's it for: Old mate who drinks 16 cups of coffee just to make it through the morning.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    5. ATP Science

    ATP

    15% off the ENTIRE ATP Range.

    ATP are responsible for not only some of the best sports supplements on the market, but also some absolutely incredible, premium quality vitamins and health supplements too!

    Who's it for: Mr Supplement Junkie who takes 5 different pre-workouts, 4 different protein powders, but still can't find a place in his regimen for a damn multi vitamin.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    6. BSC

    BSC

    Score 2 60 serve tubs of Hydroxyburn Shred for only $119, + a FREE BSC Towel.

    "Forgot" to get shredded for summer AGAIN?!

    We hear you brudda. No sweat (lol jks, there will be sweat), this killer thermogenic from BSC will incinerate your love handles once and for all! (lol jks, until winter rears its cold, ugly head again)

    Who's it for: You and your netflix-and-chill-partner-in-crime

    Shop Now.

     

     

    7. XTEND

    Xtend

    Score a 30 serve tub of Xtend for only $39.95 + a FREE Funnel, or 90 serves for only $74.95 + a FREE Water Jug.

    EVERYBODY loves Xtend. Just like Raymond, Xtend is guarenteed to put a smile on any dial this Christmas, as the perfect, delicious intra-workout hydration fuel that ticks the box for any fitness goal.

    Who's it for: Your swole-mate! But keep the bonus gift for yourself...

    Shop Now.

     

     

    8. X50

    X50

    Score FREE Broccoli Chips, Sweet Potato Chips and Mini Shaker with any Lean Whey Protein.

    Just like you can rely on Santa hauling his fat-ass down the chimney every year, you can rely on X50 to bring you some of the highest quality, and healthy supplements on the market!

    Who's it for: Your missus who just got into lifting #winning. Give her the protein for Christmas, and save the snacks for next time she's hangry, you conniving, sly genius, you.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    9. EHP Labs

    EHP-Labs

    Score 1 Oxyshred & 1 Oxysleep for only $129 + a FREE ALC.

    Wanna get shredded 24/7? Well, look no further than this incredible stack from EHP labs, combining a powerful thermogenic energy supplement for the AM hours, with a relaxing and sedating fat-loss night-cap.

    Throw in some extra Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and you can throw out your cheese grater and just reach straight for those abs!

    Who's it for: Your swole-mate who swears that 2018 is the year he's gonna compete.

    Shop Now.

     

     

    10. ASN Swag

    Clothing

    Score an ASN Backpack,. Shaker, Muscle Tee and Water Jug for only $60.

    Don't want to spend much money on your gym buddies this year? Those leg-day skipping jerks bail on you one too many times, did they? We feel you homie.

    Look after them with these "thoughtful" gifts, without breaking the bank. 

    Who's it for: That one mate who needs to let everyone know he's started working out, or four buddies who already have everything!

    Shop Now.

     

     

    11. Gen-Tec

    Gen-Tec

    Score 3 tubs of Gen-Tec Protein Custard for only $89.95, plus a FREE Shaker and FOURTH Protein Custard!

    Protein Custard, you say? This delicious, macro-friendly goo will satisfy even the sweetest of toothes, guaranteed.

    Who's it for: That one mate who can't stop blowing his macros on dessert, or 4 human beings who love chocolate (a.k.a. anyone)

    Shop Now.

     

     

    12. Evolve

    Evolve

    Score 2 400g Lipowhey for only $60, + a FREE ASN Water Jug.

    3 gifts in one? You betcha! Lipowhey is one of our favourite Evolve supplements, designed to deliver all the benefits of a high quality protein powder, with the addition of some amazing thermogenic effects. Goodbye stubborn tummy fat!

    Who's it for: You, you've run out of gift ideas!

    Shop Now.

     

    Click here for many more Merry Fitmas Deals...

  • 5 Fitness Tips For Blokes Who Want To Get Ripped, But Can't Get Started...

    fitness-tips-for-men

    The first step is always the hardest. Fact.

    Whether it's joining your first gym, rocking up for your first group fitness class, or even dusting off your old runners and smashing a run for the first time in yonks, it's seriously intimidating stuff.

    Especially as dudes, even the idea of this isn't fun at all. 

    There's nothing worse than sizing yourself up against the other guys in the gym, worrying you're not going to make it through the boot camp class or even overcoming the mental barrier of not being able to run as fast, as far, or for as long as you used to.

    But do you know what everyone has in common? We were all beginners once!

    We're not going to lie. It isn't easy. But do you know what it is? Humbling and rewarding.

    Anything in life worth having takes work, and fitness is one of the best examples. Here's 5 tips to help you take the first step on your fitness journey.

     

    1. Start Small

    If it's been a few years since your last gym session, or you haven't done any cardio since footy in high school, it's probably not the wisest thing to jump straight into your buddy's gruelling power-lifting program.

    homer

    Okay - it's definitely not the wisest thing.

    The human body is a fickle thing, and while it adapts well to change, these changes need to be introduced gradually and sustainably.

    Thinking about joining the gym for the first time? Start with a 30 minute walk every day. 

    Looking at getting started with resistance training? Get into the routine of doing some push ups, squats and sit ups at home for a week beforehand.

    Take everything as it comes, keep moving forward and ease your body into training. It'll thank you later!

     

    2. Compare Yourself To Yourself

    One of the most important things to realise is that you will never look like anyone else.

    Everyone's body proportions are unique, and no matter how much training you do on any specific muscle groups, you'll never be able to emulate the fitness models you follow on Instagram, or Zac Effron in Bay Watch.

    What you will be able to become is the best possible version of yourself.

    giphy

    Take regular progress photos and measurements to hold yourself accountable and so that you can start to see the results. Although they might not be visible in the mirror for a little while at first, they'll be visible on the scales and measuring tape.

    Or, you might find that while your weight remains the same, the reflection staring back at you is leaner and healthier. This is because your body weight isn't the deciding factor of your fitness!

    With each workout aim to one up yourself from last time, whether it's an extra rep, an extra 100m on your run, or a better sense of wellbeing at the end of the session.

     

     

    3. Nutrition Is Key

    If there's one thing that's going to put a road block up in front of your results, it's poor nutrition.

    healthy

    Processed foods, too many/too little calories (depending on your goals), inconsistency and nutritional deficiencies will stall your weightless, put a stop to your gains and will sniffle your motivation fast.

    Your body is a machine and you need to fill it up with the right fuel for the best performance!

    You can still enjoy burgers, but opt for a fresh, wholesome lean beef patty on a fresh wholemeal bun instead of a Big Mac. Enjoy your fish and chips, but go for the grill'd option and a few less chips. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate protein shake instead of a Mars bar!

    There are plenty of ways to enjoy your favourite foods while staying accountable to your goals and not getting off track!

     

    4. Audit Your Health

    As long as we're still alive at the end of the day, we're healthy, right?!

    Blokes are notorious for not going to see a doctor until the problem becomes serious, so it's not uncommon to see guys let their health fall by the wayside, and then find committing to the gym to be just too difficult.

    homer jiggle

    And when it's just too difficult, we're inclined to throw in the towel rather than risk failing, aren't we?

    Make it easy for yourself. Get 8 hours of sleep a night, try to eliminate as much stress as possible, walk as much as possible, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of lean meats and unprocessed food. Oh, and look after your mental health as well!

     

    5. Drink Less Beer

    The easiest and most instantly actionable out of all these tips, lay off the piss!

    beeeer

    A pint of full strength beer has 200 calories on average. That means going out for a few beers with the lads after work quickly stacks up to a whopping 600 calories - and they're not good calories either.

    Alcohol is one of the worst things for lean muscle gain and fat loss, so while avoidance is the best option, we don't expect you to completely give up alcohol!

    Try switching to whisky neat or mixed with diet cola. There's nothing more manly than whisky.

    Or for the ultimate low calorie alcoholic drink, vodka, fresh lime and soda water. But if you cop any flack from the boys, don't come crying to us!

     

    WANT TO COMPLETELY TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE AND BODY IN 2018?

    WE ARE JUST ABOUT TO LAUNCH OUR

    2018 BODY TRANSFORMATION

    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TRAINING, SUPPLEMENTS, NUTRITION & MASSIVE PRIZES UP FOR GRABS IN WHAT WILL BE OUR BIGGEST NATION WIDE FITNESS TRANSFORMATION TO DATE.

  • 6 Fitness Shortcuts All Men Can Use To Get (And Stay) In Shape

    dadbod

    The Dad-Bod epidemic is on the rise.

    And while the temptation to embrace the belly and live the couch potato life may feel overwhelming at times, summer is just around the corner and this is the year to stop procrastinating and start making some headway on your fitness dreams.

    Fortunately, we're here to help.

    The world of fitness, nutrition, training and health may be daunting and a tad overwhelming at first, but we can assure you, it's definitely worth it in the long run!

    We've put together our Top 6 Tips to help you get started, to make small, positive changes to your diet and lifestyle, reducing your risk of contracting the dreaded dad-bod-itis, and put you well on your way to both looking, and feeling great.

     

    1. Audit Your Nutrition

    Does your diet suck?

    If you're maintaining at least a moderate level of physical activity and the beer gut is growing, or if you're trying to put on some muscle and things just aren't going in your favour, your nutrition is most likely the culprit.

    donut

    For a few days, input everything you consume into a calorie tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal.

    It may feel a bit strange at first, but give it a go.

    And when we say everything, we mean everything. Snacks, drinks, coffees, you name it. If you're consuming it, input it.

    What this will do, is give you an insight into where you might be going wrong. If you're consuming way too many calories for your activity level, or your macro nutritional ratios are way out of whack, this is going to make things clear, and put you onto the right path.

    Now that you know where the problem lies, move onto Tip 2...

     

    2. Create Consistency In Your Diet

    Sorry lads, but the "whatever I damn feel-like" dinners are out, and portion controlled, planned meals are here to stay.

    giphy-1

    Nutrition is a battle for a lot of us, and it's hard to even know where to start. The easiest and quickest solution is to eliminate variables.

    Start by pre-planning your meals (or even preparing on a Sunday) for the week. A source of lean protein is a must, such as chicken breast or lean beef, combined with a carbohydrate source such as wholegrain pasta or sweet potato, and some greens is a great starting point.

    Diversify your protein sources to prevent things getting old fast, and invest in some low sodium seasonings and low sugar sauces to make bland meals a thing of the past.

     

    3. Sleep More

    Wait, what?!

    You heard us. Get more ZZZ's every night to lose weight.

    And no, that is NOT a permission slip to skip the early morning workout in favour of a snooze fest. It means hit the hay earlier every night and get (at least) a full, restful 8 hours.

    Sleep is one of, if not the most crucial lifestyle components to a healthy body, healthy mind and staying in shape.

    giphy-3

    Once you dip into the 5-7 hour range which a lot of blokes do, your body starts to go haywire.

    Not only is your mental clarity going to suffer, but your recovery is going to hit a dead end before you know it. If you're hitting the gym hard, you need to recover just as hard, and sleep is the most important time for your body to do so. Turn Netflix off, get to bed early and wake up feeling fantastic.

     

    4. Drink More Water

    And less soft drinks.

    You'd be surprised how many problems can be solved just by drinking more H2O.

    Seriously, it's an incredibly simple solution that reaps some fantastic results.

    Blokes need to drink at least 3 litres of fluids per day. And that's before exercise. 

    water

    All fluids count towards this goal, but when you start introducing soft drinks, excessive amounts of fruit juices or other flavoured beverages, calories (in particular, sugar) start adding up fast.

    Hydration is absolutely vital to human health, and being sufficiently hydrated can quell hunger, provide energy, improve cognitive function and even improve fat metabolism.

     

     5. Strength Training

    There's lost of awesome ways to exercise and kick start your fitness journey. However, the most efficient, enjoyable and effective form of exercise for getting in shape is strength training. Most particularly, compound lifts.

    Focus your training on compound exercises - multi joint movements which activate more than one muscle group at a time (as opposed to isolation exercises).

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    The best, go to "staple exercises" to construct your gym sessions around are the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Overhead Press. Other fantastic additions include Chin Ups/Pull Ups (or Lat Pulldowns to work up to these), Leg Press, Incline Chest Press and Bent Over Rows.

    Train smart, and if you can't get to the gym as often as you like, focus on full body training sessions as opposed to body-part splits, blasting your entire body at least twice per week.

     

    6. H.I.I.T.

    Say goodbye to hour long gruelling jogs, and hello to High Intensity Interval Training.

    H.I.I.T. revolves around short, intense bursts of exercise, followed by a resting or low intensity recovery period.

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    H.I.I.T. has some amazing benefits on fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning, and the best part is that you can slog out a H.I.I.T. session in under 15 minutes, with more benefit than an hour of steady state cardio training.

    Try heading down to the park and doing some sprints, or jumping on the spin bike next time you're at the gym and working with 30 seconds hard, 60 seconds recovery to get started. Perform 4-5 intervals for your first session (don't forget to give 110% during your sprints!) and aim to increase the amount of intervals you perform each session, up to 8-10. You'll feel and look great before you know it!

     

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  • 6 Reasons Why All Girls Should Lift

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    For some, weight lifting is synonymous with masculinity.

    The idea of a gym paints a horribly unappealing mental image of a pack of jacked-up alpha dudes, dominating the weights floor, marking their territory akin to a sign of dominance.

    While this stereotype unfortunately does ring true in some cases, it is now few and far between. Gender ratios in gym's have never been more balanced, and it's because the truth is out;

     

    Weight lifting is good.

    The benefits of resistance training are truly staggering. With ladies often opting for routines consisting solely of cardio, yoga and the odd HIIT class, it isn't common to see frustration arise when despite exercising day in and day out, your body just isn't looking the way you want it to.

     

    6 Reasons Why All Girls Should Lift

    If you've never tried resistance training, there's never been a better time to hit the weights.

     

    And guess what the missing link is? Believe it or not, it's lifting weights. Read on for our Top 6 Reasons why you should ditch the joggers and hit the iron:

     

    Related: See how Bridgette lost an incredible 7kgs in 10 weeks... while working FULL TIME and taking care of her TWO KIDS in primary school!

     

    1: Fat Loss

    The facts are in ladies, resistance training is an incredibly effective method of losing body fat.

    Depending on your style of training and the intensity of your session, an average lifting session might burn approximately the same amount of calories as your cardio of choice. However, it's actually after you rack the bar and leave the gym that the benefits of resistance training shines.

    After finishing a weight lifting session, especially when focusing on developing strength by moving heavy weight, your body's metabolic rate stays heightened for hours, and sometimes, even days. This increased intake of oxygen as part of your training recovery actually increases the amount of calories burnt in your day to day life, and therefore is an incredibly efficient and effective weight loss tool!

     

    Learn how Mel went from CORPORATELY STRESSED TO FITNESS OBSESSED, dropping 11.5kg and 12% body fat over the course of last year's 10 Week Body Transformation Challenge.

     

    2: It Doesn't Stop There

    While building and developing lean muscle mass is a fanastic way to blast calories and get into shape, once the muscle is there, it continues to improve fat loss.

    How? Your body's resting metabolic rate determines how many calories are expended doing day to day activities. Anything from scrolling through Instagram in bed to driving to work, as long as you're living and breathing, your body is burning calories. However, the more lean muscle your body is comprised of, the higher your metabolic rate is, and the more calories you burn. Win win!

     

    3: Brain Gains

    You won't just become physically stronger, but you'll become mentally stronger too.

    Especially if you're someone who has shied away from the weights previously, or if pummelling iron is something that you could never see yourself doing in your wildest dreams, the strength your muscles will gain will translate into other areas of your life too. You can expect your self confidence and mental strength to grow as you continue to train and master your craft, as the only thing you're competing with every time you step into the gym is, you guessed it; you.

     

    6 Fitness Hacks All Mums Need To Know

     

    4: You'll Drop A Dress Size. Or Two.

    Worried that lifting weights is going to turn you into a bulky, ripped body builder? Think again.

    For starters, women produce a fraction of the testosterone men do, only about 5-10%. This drastically limits women's potential to build and gain muscle mass, meaning the more time you spend training and sculpting your physique, the leaner and more trim your appearance will become, rather than bulking on size.

     

    6 Reasons Why All Girls Should Lift

    You'd need a lot more than a few weights sessions a week to end up like the ladies on the left....

    Getting "huge" and having a body builder physique is definitely not something that will happen by accident, and is a massive misconception which couldn't be further from the truth. You would have to spend all day, every day smashing the weights, and eating an absolutely insane volume of food for this to even be a possibility. Don't worry about it!

     

    Related: See how love bird's Lana & Jason dropped 9 & 14.5 kilos respectively in last year's ASN 10 Week Body Transformation Challenge

     

    5: Your Cardio Will Improve

    We're not saying to completely ditch cardio exercise in exchange for weights training, infact, they go perfectly hand in hand for sculpting the physique of your dreams!

     

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    Stronger legs won't slow you down, they'll send your endurance through the roof!

    Better yet, working to strengthen the muscles involved in physical activity, such as increasing the strength in your leg muscles to boost your running performance, will carry massive benefits to both your speed, stamina and endurance. Even better, resistance training actually increases the muscle fibres that burn calories during exercises, therefore, the stronger you are, the more calories you will burn while doing cardio!

     

    6: Increased Vitality

    While exercise is renowned for making you "feel good", weights specifically will make you feel great.

    It's not common to feel completely drained and wiped out after an intense cardio session. However, after a session in the gym (maybe give it a couple of weeks for your body to get used to it first), you'll walk out feeling refreshed, revitalised and on top of the world.

    The increased psychological sense of wellbeing and boosted vitality is a result of increased plasma beta-endorphin concentration in the brain as a result of heavy weights training, resulting in a better mood and more positive outlook.

    And that's before you even notice the physical changes!

     

    WANT TO SUMMON YOUR INNER FEMALE STRENGTH?

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  • The Top 5 Reasons Why Women Need To Lift Heavy

    TOP 5REASONSWHY WOMEN NEED TO LIFT HEAVY (2)

     

    So you've read our 6 Reasons Why Girls Should Lift Article and you've applied the principles preached as your new gospel. You've wised up to the undeniable truth that resistance training is the bomb, and you're having a blast toning and sculpting your hot new bod' day in, day out.

    Have a pat on the lats, you've eared it. However, this is just the beginning.

    While you've done an amazing job so far applying the principles of resistance training, you can take this to the next level with strength training, specifically focusing on heavy, compound movements.

    Now, if you're a regular to the <5kg dumbbells and know every machine in the gym like the back of your hand, this is going to be unfamiliar territory, but don't fret! We're going to outline the Top 5 Reasons why scrapping the high rep isolation work is going to become counter-productive sooner or later, and why the squat rack and olympic bar will be your new best friend in the house of iron.

     

    1: You'll Torch Fat

    You've probably realised by now that lifting weights kicks trudging on a treadmill's ass ten times over. But did you know that strength training, in particular working with heavy weight in a lower rep range, can also have amazing fat-blasting benefits?

    Remember that "heavy" is a completely "subjective term", and it's a great idea to find out what your 1RM (One Rep Max) is so that you know what you're working with, and can track your increased strength. Try working within sets of 6-8, or even for going for 5 sets of 5 reps, with plenty of rest in between to push out that last rep every set.

     

    2: You're Not Going To Get Bulky

    If worrying about putting on too much muscle is what's holding you back, then think again. The huge dudes and bulky ladies didn't get that way just by doing compound lifts, it comes from a consistent calorie surplus, hormones and training volume.

    Favouring movements such as Deadlifts, Squats, Overhead Press and Pull Ups aren't going to turn you into the incredible hulk overnight, you'll simply be recruiting more muscle fibres to build a better, stronger you!

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    3: You'll Get An Awesome Butt, Toned Legs & Sexy Arms

    Do you think those amazing glutes and those toned quads and hammies are built on machines? Think again.

    The tried and true best way of building a perky booty and the legs of your dreams are with squats and deadlifts. Heavy ones. Not only do these lifts activate more muscle groups than any other lower body movements (let's not forget the lunge too!), but the nature of these movements allows you to move more weight, and therefore, build more strength.

    Plus don't neglect the upper body! Rows, presses and pulls are great movements to not only build a well toned upper body, but your arms will be assisting with every set, developing your biceps, triceps and forearms and keeping them lean.

     

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    4: You'll Develop A Strong, Stable Core

    If you're doing the majority of your workout seated or isolating specific muscle groups on machines, you're probably switching your core off. Core strength is absolutely vital to overall body health, posture and wellbeing, and particularly if you work in a seated job, the last thing you want to do is neglect the core!

    While bridges and leg raises are fantastic ways to target your core specifically, focusing on standing compound movements is a great way to keep that core firing for your whole workout, and build a firmer and tighter midsection while you're at it.

     

    5: You'll Feel As Amazing As You Look!

    We've talked about the physical benefits in the above points, but we haven't even begun to touch on the mental benefits of strength training!

    Other than how unbelievably satisfying it is to throw around an olympic bar with a couple of plates, the endorphins released after a gruelling strength session will leave you feeling fantastic for hours. You'll often hear of runners and cyclists talk about the "runner's high", an endorphin release after a long period of cardio vascular exercise, but a similar endorphin rush can be triggered by strenuous weight training, work with heavy compound movements!

    And that's not to mention the added confidence and self esteem that comes after a seeing strength increases you never thought were possible!

    ShannonLawrencePhotography-19 (2)

     

    WANT TO SUMMON YOUR INNER FEMALE STRENGTH?

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  • 11 Arnold Approved Lifting Hacks

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    For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

     

    Arnie is a man who needs no introduction. From his on-screen stardom, catalogue of bodybuilding titles, as well as just casually being the governor of California, he is well beyond what most would consider a "household" name.

     

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    "Hasta La Vista, Baby"

     

    From incredibly humble beginnings, Arnie's presence in the bodybuilding community is virtually unparalleled. His 800 page best selling book "The New Encyclopedia Of Bodybuilding" is a gospel of iron, and features knowledge and insight from one of the world's most groundbreaking bodybuilders. Originally published over 30 years ago, the knowledge and practices of the Austrian athlete have stood the test of time, and we have compiled and summarised our Top 11 Lifting Hacks straight from Arnie himself, to give you the most out of your training.

     

    Focus on Multijoint Movements

    Arnold has always been renowned for his appreciation of multi-joint, compound lifts. Building his workouts around the bench press, dead lifts, rows, presses and squats, The Governator considers these a staple in any bodybuilder's routine, due to the sheer weight and overloading potential possible.

    Beginners to bodybuilding should focus on learning and understanding these movements, to allow for an increase in both strength and size.

     

    Warm Up, Then Train Every Set To Failure

    Arnold has always been as strong advocate of training every set to failure. In reaching complete muscle failure with every set, being the inability to complete another rep due to muscle fatigue, Arnold was able to continue to challenge himself, reach new heights, and most importantly; grow.

     

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    "I'll be back."

    Arnie recommends starting with multiple warm up sets, before pyramiding up with each working set, meaning increasing weight and decreasing reps, taking each set until you physically can't perform another repetition. Arnold also favoured keeping his sets within the 6-12 rep range, to increase pump and hypertrophic growth.

     

    Don't Overtrain

    While Arnie increased training frequency and volume to bring up his lagging calves, he is quick to warn that sometimes, the aforementioned technique can be counter productive.

    "There will be times when a body part lags behind because you are overtraining it, hitting it so hard, so often, and so intensely that it never has a chance to rest, recuperate and grow" he wrote in The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.

    His answer? Listen to your body, and never be afraid to try a different approach.

     

    Attack From Different Angles

    While different variations of an exercise will utilize the same muscle groups, they will place different emphasis and focus on particular muscles. Arnold was a major fan of using slightly different angles or approaches, to keep his body guessing, push past plateaus and to challenge himself with every session.

    Arnold would often substitute barbels for dumbbells on movements such as the bench press and overhead press, to allow for a longer range of motion, and greater stretch, or would slightly adjust the angle of the bench to shift the focus of the exercise.

     

    Utilise Cheat Curls Effectively

    While the "cheat curl" certainly gets a bad wrap in most gyms, Arnold was a major supporter. However, he would utilize the cheat curl in his bicep routine to push past muscle failure, and allow him to overload his biceps with a heavier weight, after fatiguing using stricter form and a full range of motion.

     

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    "Do it. DO IT NOW!"

    Just like a bigger chest is grown from overloading with heavy weight on the bench press, Arnold applied the same principal to his staple bicep exercise, the standing barbell curl, and would strive to overload his biceps with as much weight as possible.

     

    Related: 6 Quick Tips To Help You Lose Your Dad Bod

     

    Vary Rep Ranges

    Although Arnold favoured the 6-8 rep range for multi joint movements, he would often follow these exercises with single joint or "isolation" exercises, within the 8-12 rep range.

    While performing these higher reps on an exercise such as the dumbbell bicep curl, Arnold would hold and squeeze the peak contraction at the top of every rep. The combination of this squeeze, with a muscle-mind connection and higher rep range allowed for the best pump possible.

     

    Understand Your Muscles

    Simply going through the motions didn't cut it for Arnie when he was building his iconic physique, and he believed it was of prime importance to not understand which muscle group you were recruiting, but specifically which head of the muscle, and how it was working.

    The best way to do this? Arnold learnt from the legendary Vince Gironda "Do 20 sets of a particular movement, then nothing else from that part".

    There's no doubt that tomorrow morning you will understand exactly which part of the muscle group was used.

     

    Superset for a Killer Pump

    When focusing on small muscle groups, such as arms or delts, Arnold would often superset complementary muscle groups such as biceps and triceps by performing back to back exercises, to maximise the pump.

    This would increase the volume of blood carried to the muscles in the arms, carrying oxygen and nutrients for growth, and result in an inflated look and fuller feeling. Although larger muscle groups such as legs or back were more demanding, Arnold would utilize super sets for isolation exercises in these larger muscle groups prior to competing to maximise results.

     

    Related: At Last, The Secret Of Work-Life-Fitness Balance is Revealed

     

    Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths

    It's easy to hide under developed calves and hamstrings under trackies, or neglect your back in favour of the "mirror muscles", such as chest, biceps and abs.

     

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    "Come with me if you want to live"

     

    Arnie however, didn't believe in this, and did the polar opposite. He was renowned for cutting the bottoms off pants to constantly be reminded of his lagging calves, and used that as motivation to train his calves more frequently, sometimes even during rest periods for other multi joint movements.

    While it's easy to focus on your strengths and pump them up to make them even more eye catching, Arnold promotes a well rounded and balanced physique.

     

    Build Abs Indirectly

    Arnie's core and mid section was always one of his major strengths. His training secret? Utilise them indirectly by performing heavy, multi-joint movements.

    Arnold's ab routine consisted of high rep go to movements such as the crunch, but he used ab isolation exercises to enhance and chisel his already strong and powerful midsection. As he trained legs and back three times weekly, his core was getting a major workout day in and day out, so much so, that direct ab training was a luxury, rather than a necessity.

     

    Related: See how love bird's Lana & Jason dropped 9 & 14.5 kilos respectively in last year's ASN 10 Week Body Transformation Challenge

     

    Focus on Reps As Well As Well As Sets

    While working towards a desired number of sets, Arnold also placed importance on working towards a total number of reps, and performing however many sets necessary to get there.

    Arnie favoured this approach for improving bodyweight exercises such as pull ups and chin ups, setting the goal of 50 reps, and using as many sets as required to achieve this goal, even when the final sets only consisted of 1-2 reps.

     

    WANT TO SUMMON YOUR INNER ARNOLD?

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  • The Top 6 Workout Ideas For Couples

    6-couple-workout

     

    Those who train together, stay together

     

    There's more than one way to strengthen your relationship. If some quality couple time is just what you need, there's no reason why you can't hit two birds with one stone and kickstart your fitness progress; together.

    We've compiled the Top 6 Workout Ideas For Couples to make exercise a fun, exciting and beneficial experience for you both. Read on and learn to enjoy each other's company, while chipping away at the bodies of your dreams.

     

    RELATED: SEE HOW LOVE BIRD'S LANA & JASON DROPPED 9 & 14.5 KILOS RESPECTIVELY IN LAST YEAR'S ASN 10 WEEK BODY TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE

     

    1: Fitness Dates

    Make your sweetheart your sweatheart. Too cheesy?

    But really, fitness doesn't just have to be something that you fit in around your commitments, it can be a part of your relationship just as much as everything else! Rather than squeezing in a run in the morning before work, set aside a date night with your partner, just to do a workout!

     

    6 Workout Ideas For Couples BTC2018

    What would you rather, this, or a spin bike at the gym?

     

    You'll have all the time in the world, and who said exercise has to be alone time? Have a walking date up the coast or around the park, and once you're caught up in conversation, don't be surprised if you've covered some serious ground and burnt a tonne of calories!

    This is a great place to start for couples who are new to exercise, or makes that tedious cardio for you gym junkies out there a whole lot less of a drag!

     

    2: Teach Each Other

    A healthy part of every relationship is trying new things and breaking free of your comfort zones. If you're interested in trying Yoga, start out with a couple of Youtube videos or bring your man along to a class. There are plenty of beginner classes out there which move slowly and are open to all experience levels, and you're sure to have a few good laughs here and there if you're both having trouble finding your balance!

    For the blokes who have experience in weight lifting, why not bring your lady friend to along to the gym for a casual session to teach her the basics? There's every chance that she might fall in love with resistance training, and this will give you both a challenging new hobby which opens a world of opportunities. There are many personal trainers who will train couples together which is a cost effective way to learn the ropes, and get some bonding time all at once!

     

    3: Partner Workouts

    While gym's are like a second home for some, for others, they can be an intimidating dungeon of pulleys, dumbbells and miscellaneous contraptions. Whether you've had a bad experience or if they're just not for you, there's nothing wrong with shying away from the conventional "gyms", in favour of exercising at home or out doors, and you can still get some great results!

     

    6 Partnet Workouts for Couples BTC2018

    Training with a partner adds a whole new level of intensity!

     

    When you put a partner into the mix, working out at home can be incredibly productive and effective, utilizing each other for various styles of circuits, partner exercises and much, much more. If you want to go beyond bodyweight, medicine balls are incredibly versatile and affordable, and open up a vast array of core and full body exercises, perfect for partnering up to ramp up the intensity!

     

    4: Swap Movie Night For Activities

    Rather than cuddling up on the couch with Netflix and popcorn, why not set aside one date night a week to try a new activity together?

    Rock Climbing, Hiking, Paint balling, Kayaking and Boxing are just a handful of ideas to get you both moving, while having fun and enjoying each other's company. Bonding and having a blast over something new and exciting is sure to break up the latest season of Jessica Jones, and these types of activities are a painless (well, maybe not paintball) way to burn some extra calories while having fun! You'll be releasing endorphins, finding out new things about each other, and have plenty of stories to tell next time you're catching up with your mates.

     

    RELATED: SEE HOW LOVE BIRD'S LANA & JASON DROPPED 9 & 14.5 KILOS RESPECTIVELY IN LAST YEAR'S ASN 10 WEEK BODY TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE

     

    5: Accountability

    It's definitely easy to skip the gym after a long day at work, snooze the alarm to get a bit of extra shut eye, or ditch the salad for a serve of fries with your Friday night dinner. But if you and your special someone are in it together, you'll be accountable to one another, not just yourselves.

    Along with a bit of healthy and fun competition here and there, having your partner by your side on your fitness journey carries a wealth of benefits, to keep you motivated and to bring out the best in each other. Never forget that no two bodies are alike, and you're bound to progress at different paces, but encourage one another, enjoy your partner's success and know that you're not just becoming a better you, but you're building a "stronger" (ha!) relationship.

    Want to take things one step further? Pick up some matching his and her fitness trackers, and challenge each other to increase your daily activity! Who knows, maybe you can even find something fun to do to burn off a few extra calories at the end of the night... ;)

     

    6: And finally... Whatever happened to long walks on the beach?

    It may be one of the oldest and most cliche dates in the book, but this romantic classic is the perfect way to spend some alone time with your partner, but did you know how beneficial a twilight stroll can be for your health and fitness?

     

    6 Partnet Workouts for Couples BTC2018

    Take your loved one for a stroll on the beach and you're sure to earn some (low calorie) brownie points.  

     

    While the sand provides resistance, the sinking of your bare feet with every step allows for a full range of motion with every stride. This translates to requiring 2-3 times for energy with every step, burning approximately 50% more calories than walking on a hard surface.

    Not only are you getting an efficient cardio workout, you're getting away from the hustle and bustle while spending time together. Time it right, and you can even enjoy a breathtaking sunset or sunrise while you're at it. And it's free! Doesn't sound too shabby at all.

     

     

    WANT TO BUILD A FITNESS LIFESTYLE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER WILL LOVE?

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  • 6 Quick Tips To Help You Lose Your Dad Bod

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    If Leonardo Di Caprio rocked it, why can't I?

    For some reason, the "Dad Bod" just doesn't carry the allure in the mirror that it does in gossip magazines. So what exactly is "The Dad Bod"?

     

    The Bod Of The Dad

    Although a subjective term, "The Dad Bod" generally involves a man in his 30's or older, who is "softly round". Once carrying an athletic body in his youth, the Dad Bod is often perceived as the result of trading the six pack of abs for a six pack of beer, as the responsibilities of parenting and supporting a family have become the priority over maintaining a sculpted physique.

     

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    And the Oscar for Best Dad Bod goes to...

    The worst thing about Dad Bods are that they're a lot more fun to get than they are too lose. A few years of free flowing beers at weekend barbecues, an extra couple of slices of pizza here and indulging in dessert more often than you used to definitely wasn't anything to complain about.

    Before you knew it, you felt the couch's seductive call after a hard day at work loud and clear, and the running shoes started to get dusty.. For a lot of us, this is just a part of life. Having a family and a busy schedule quickly eats into "me" time, and a fitness regime rapidly loses its appeal.

    However, losing the Dad Bod may be easier than you think. Read on for 6 easy tips you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help shed the kilos, while still enjoying the Dad life!

     

    1: Sleep More!

    Sleep is absolutely vital to a healthy mind and bod.

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    Sleeping that Dad Bod away.

    Did you know that if you're tired, your body is going to crave carbs?

    On top of that hunger for bread, pasta sugary treats and beer, the body simply doesn't perform as it should when you're tired. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is vital for healthy natural testosterone and human growth hormone production, offsetting estrogen imbalances in men, which is particularly important in those 40 or over.

    But hold up, that doesn't mean skipping the morning jog in favour of a sleep-in!

    Get in the routine of going to bed an hour earlier every night, and better yet, give yourself a break from the screens an hour before you hit the hay.

    Stick to a morning exercise routine and a break from the screens in the evening and you'll be in bed before the kids before you know it.

     

    2: Simple Nutritional Tweaks

    Diets are intimidating, complicated and are just about the least "Dad" thing ever. You didn't get to where you are today by counting carbs or eatings salads after all!

    Fortunately we're not talking fad diets, radical detoxes or strict guidelines, we're just about some simple health conscious tweaks, which are by no means to drastic, and are totally sustainable. This means that you'll be able to notice a gradual drop on the scales over time, and make a long term lifestyle change, which will keep the Dad Bod at bay for years to come!

    Try to steer clear of processed foods, especially white bread, white pasta and white flour. If you're less physically active than you should be, (but you'll get there!) these foods get converted to, and stored as fat. Try to focus on lean meats, healthy fruits and vegetables, and healthy non saturated fats from coconut oil, almonds and avocados. If that all sounds too drastic, simply start with switching to wholemeal options, reducing portion sizes and keep the treats to a minimum. Simple!

     

    Related: See how love bird's Lana & Jason dropped 9 & 14.5 kilos respectively in last year's ASN 10 Week Body Transformation Challenge

     

    3: Change Your Drinking Habits

    An average bottle of Australian low carb beer such as Toohey's New, Pure Blonde or XXXX Gold contains about 100 calories. A full flavoured beer such as VB, Little Creatures Pale Ale or Carlton Draught contains about 150 calories.

    "So I can just swap to low carb beer, and problem solved, right?"

    A quick way to burn 100 calories is to do 40 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 squats and 10 push ups.

    All of a sudden having a few beers at night sounds exhausting!

     

    6 Quick Tips to Help You Lose Dad Bod Stress Less BTC2018

    Mmmm... Calories....

    When every calorie counts in kicking that Dad Bod to the curb, a few beers is definitely an easy way to fast track undo your hard work.

    So what's the answer?

    If you love your beer, switch to a low carb beer and try to reduce your intake. Whiskey and other spirits also contain significantly less calories than beer and wine, and there's nothing more "Dad" than a glass of whiskey!

    However, no alcohol is necessarily good for weight loss, and the reality is quite the opposite. Remember, the less booze the better, but if you must indulge every now and then, stay accountable!

     

    Related: At Last, The Secret Of Work-Life-Fitness Balance is Revealed

     

    4: While We're Talking About Drinking, Drink More Water!

    Your body is 60% water, and it is vital to replace fluid that is lost continually throughout the day.

    The benefits of being well hydrated throughout the day are well founded. Adequate intake of water energises muscles, rejuvenates the skin and improves organ function, particularly your kidneys and bowels.

    While drinking more water alone won't help you shed inches off your waistline, the increased wellbeing from being adequately hydrated throughout the day helps make exercise much easier. Plus, if you've been a bit of a couch potato as of late, you're definitely going to work up a sweat, and you'll want to replace all those fluids lost.

    On the upside, there's no calories in water!

    Switching soft drinks, fruit juices, or any other caloric beverages for non caloric beverages such as water and black coffee can have a drastic influence on your daily calorie intake. If you're the kind of Dad who likes a can of Coke or two and won't hesitate to grab a milkshake here and there, opt for water instead and you'll notice a difference before you know it!

     

    Related: 11 Arnold Approved Lifting Hacks

     

    5: Strength + Cardio = Weight Loss

    Here's the good news, the secret to weight loss isn't just cardio exercise.

    Resistance training burns calories throughout the day, by increasing your body's resting metabolic rate. By focusing on compound movements (exercises that use more than just one muscle group), you'll increase your efficiency in burning calories and building up strength.

    This means that once the fat begins to drop off, you'll have a foundation of lean muscle mass underneath, which will create a much more appealing physique.

    Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, so take it slow and ease into it!  Work towards a couple of jogs or extended power walks a couple of times a week as well as a couple of resistance sessions and you'll be good to go.

    And don't forget to stay active throughout the day! Take the stairs, stay on your feet, and keep your body working to burn extra calories without even trying.

     

    6: And Finally, You've Got To Stress Less

    The body is hardwired to put on weight when it feels stressed. Don't waste all your hard work by stressing out over the little things, take some time to look after yourself mentally, as well as physically.

     

    6 Quick Tips to Help You Lose Dad Bod Stress Less BTC2018

    Stress less and live more!

    Not only will you enjoy a better relationship with your family, you'll feel better and look better too. There are a tonne of ways to reduce stress, and going for a walk is simple, effective and has a secondary benefit of burning extra calories too!

    If you haven't tried it already, give meditation a go. There are plenty of apps you can try, otherwise if you're feeling daring and are up for a challenge, try a Hatha Flow Yoga Class.

    Increased cortisol production will hamper your fat loss efforts pretty quickly, so if you're feeling under the pump when you get home from work, go for a steady walk and focus on breathing in and out, rather than reaching for a beer as a quick escape.

     

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