Everyone these days is talking about squats. Whether it’s lifting your glutes or creating a shapelier behind, it’s one of the best ways to tone your buns and thighs. But did you know there’s also a ton of other benefits to this simple exercise that you can do nearly anywhere?
1. Cardio.Squats aren’t just good for your glutes. When done with the proper form and technique, squats can really get your heart racing. I recently committed to a trending fitness challenge online called the 30 day squat challenge. Let me tell you, squats are no joke. After just 20 in a row, I found myself huffing and puffing. When you squat you are lowering and lifting almost your entire body weight. There’s a reason you’ll feel it in your legs almost immediately.
2. Strengthen your stabilizer muscles and prevent injuries. Squats are a great way to get your muscles, connective tissues, and ligaments stretched out, warmed up, and activated. Squats can help with your balance and coordination to help improve your performance when you are more active.
3.That feel. Within just two days of regular squats, I started to notice a difference in my legs, my butt, my thighs, and my stomach. You feel toned! It’s amazing how much using your own body weight can really make a difference in how you look but more importantly how you feel.
4. Increased flexibility. You’ll notice yourself feeling more limber, balanced, and flexible over time.
5. Jump and feel higher. It may sound corny, but all those squats are going to make you feel great! They will also improve your agility and ability to jump and return back down to the ground, decreasing your chance of injury when you make that final impact.
The key to great squats lies in your form and technique. Improving lower body strength is a great way to project your knees from injury later on in life but there are few key points you need to remember when doing squats.
Ever notice how some days you can eat and eat and STILL feel hungry? What we choose to eat has a huge impact on our bodies but also on our hunger levels. Plain and simple, most people don’t eat enough fiber even though it’s like a magical key into keeping your blood sugar levels stable and suppressing out of control cravings.
What is dietary fiber?
Fiber is a plant compound that comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as nuts, oatmeal, beans, and apples and can dissolve in water. It helps slow down the digestion process, making you feel fuller, longer while helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water and helps move food along through your digestive system and can be found in vegetables, roughage, and whole wheat foods. Notice how you feel the next time you eat something full of fiber compared to something sugary, you’re less likely to experience that energy drop and instead, maintain a more stable level of hunger. Munching on raw veggies and fiber filled protein bars is another great way to keep yourself satisfied during the day so you’re not famished and ready to stop for a cheeseburger on your way home.
How much fiber should I eat?
Most people aren’t getting enough fiber in their diets, we know this. White breads, sugary snacks, and other nutrient-lacking foods don’t provide the fiber needed to sustain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. While a lot of people are getting around 12-15g of fiber daily, most adults should be eating around 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Increase this suddenly and you may find yourself spending more time in the bathroom than you’d like. It’s a good idea to let your body adjust to the fiber intake gradually. You’ll notice that you feel a lot fuller for longer, and as more food and toxins are moved through your body, you’ll also notice positive improvements in your overall mental clarity and the appearance of your skin.
What are some other benefits of fiber?
Insoluble fiber has also been shown to lower the bad (LDL)cholesterol, help to prevent heart disease, and stabilize glucose levels. Along with reduced cravings due to a stronger feeling of fullness, fiber also aids in overall bowel health and regular bowel movements. Fiber is an important and healthy tool in helping you achieve weight loss and a desired health and fitness level.
By focusing on choosing whole wheat and whole grain foods over white rice and breads while eating more raw vegetables and fruits, you’ll help your body reach its health potential and feel less drained and ravenous during the day.
The Fastest Ways To Lose Weight
Obviously diet and exercise are the best ways to consistently lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, if you're just starting out, or just want to lose a couple quick pounds, there's a few things you can do right away.
1. Purge All The Bad
Take some time to look over your fridge and pantry. Look for things you overindulge in. Unhealthy snacks, ice cream, pop, candy all need to go. Replacing these things with healthy snacks or alternatives like almonds, walnuts, even flavored water, can make a big difference .
2. Smaller Plates
Sounds crazy, but its been proven that placing your food on a smaller plate will "trick" you into eating less.
3. A Simple Breakfast
Its well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it energizes and kickstarts your metabolism at the beginning of the day. As your morning progresses, your metabolic rate decreases. However, eating a simple breakfast will energize your metabolism and burn calories rather than hoard calories.
One of our favorite simple meals for breakfast is a peanut butter sandwich. Adding some bananas is also a great way to add some flavor. Peanut butter is a great "healthy" fat, and will keep you full throughout the morning.
4. Almonds And Water, Walnuts And Water
A great way to keep your hunger away and help lose weight is this little trick. Keep a bag of almonds and walnuts handy. Eat a couple of each, then drink some water. Eat a couple, then drink some water. This little trick is so helpful for keeping hunger away and keeping your metabolism going between meals. Use whenever you get hungry.