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Fitness

how to get rid of love handles

How to Get Rid of Love Handles

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Getting rid of love handles has always been a challenge for many individuals across all ages. 

Statistics and research even show that exercise and dieting may work, but it takes a very long time before results will begin to show. And the thing is the hustle and bustle of daily living leaves no time for anyone looking to get rid of this annoying belt of fat around the waist. If you belong to this category of people, then read on to find out how to get rid of love handles.

 

What are Love Handles?

Love handles – or “side butt” – is a belt of stored fat that sits around the abdominal area. They lie right on top of a specific group of abdominal muscles known as obliques. This fat is also as stubborn as belly fat and cannot quickly be burned away by performing typical ab exercises. To blast love handles away, you need to target them precisely.

 

What Can I Do to Get Rid of These Love Handles?

The following, if you put them into practice, will help you to get rid of love handles:

Cardiovascular Exercise

One of the most effective ways you can adopt to get rid of love handles is by performing cardiovascular or resistance exercises. The primary goal of these workouts is to increase your metabolism so that the stored fat can be burned off. 

You can start by engaging in 20-45 minutes of moderate physical activities like running, walking, swimming or biking daily.  You can do these up to 5 times every week. Mix these physical activities with basic calisthenics like bench dips, pushups, lunges, and squats.

You need to be consistent and determined to follow through with these exercises as it could take several weeks for you to start seeing the physical benefits.

You will start experiencing overall mental alertness as well as a boost in your energy level as you exercise daily.

 

Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet in addition to consistent workouts can play a significant role in eliminating love handles. You can start losing a few inches of this stubborn belt of fat by doing the following:

  • Drink at least four Litres of clean water every day, i.e. 120 oz
  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Limit the intake of processed sugar via cookies, soda, candy, etc.
  • Limit cheese and fried foods
  • Stop eating red meat. Concentrate on eating lean meats only, about once or twice a week

 

Eat Healthy Fats Only

You can also fill up on healthy fats such as fatty fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds, etc. as these have been proven to slim the waistline.

They will also help you to feel full, thereby causing you to limit the intake of calories throughout the day.

 

Sleep Well

If you don’t sleep well, a hormone known as cortisol will be secreted, and its levels in your body will increase abnormally. Excess cortisol in the human body can result in unnecessary weight gain.

Inadequate sleep has also been medically linked to obesity and diabetes. Therefore, to prevent unnecessary weight gain as a result of lack of sleep, always aim to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

 

You can also do the following:

  • Cut back on the consumption of alcohol
  • Increase your intake of complex carbs such as oats, beans, brown rice, etc.
  • Increase your intake of protein such as legumes, poultry, seafood, eggs, etc.

 

Conclusion

If you follow these tips doggedly, you will start to see improvements in your waistline.

skip leg day

What happens when you skip leg day?

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It’s infamous for being the most dreaded day of the gym – so much so that the social media world is rife with leg day memes.

The thing is, if you’re not a seasoned fitness enthusiast, then it’s most likely you’ve found yourself skipping leg day once or twice. First of all – don’t beat yourself up about it. But, there are many unknown factors as to why leg day is super essential for reaching your fitness goals. 

Don’t skip this article. In 5 minutes, you’ll realise leg day is just as essential as chest day! 

 

What happens when you skip leg day?

 

Your body will look unbalanced. 

Spending all your time building your chest and arms, while ignoring your lower body is running many risks. The most obvious being the unbalanced look. 

Spotting somebody, who hammers their chest and arms every week, but skips leg day is quite easy. The final product is a huge upper body and then the legs of a young boy. It’s not the greatest look. 

The goal here is to keep your body balanced and looking great from head to toe. 

Don’t become THAT meme. 

 

It can affect your performance

If you’re a keen sports player, then legs are essential. The reason for this is that the majority of your power and strength come from the lower part of your bed. This is called the ground force.

That simply means that the majority of your movement starts at the ground, moves up through your feet, then through your ankles, torqued through your knees and hips to create the force in your upper body. 

Your legs are the building blocks for performing at your best. The stronger and more powerful your legs are, the better your performance will be.

 

It counts as 2 of the 3 big lifts

There are 3 big lifts in the gym: bench press, deadlift and squat. 

These lifts all work the major muscle groups, so doing these lifts every week is needed for getting stronger. Not only that, all 3 power lifts help to burn fat, too. 

With this being said, it’s funny how the benches at the gym are always busy, but the squat rack can often be compared to a ghost town. 

Set your priorities right and you’ll see bigger benefits at a quicker rate. 

 

You increase the risk of injury

Bringing all of the above together can result in something serious – injury. Muscle imbalances, poorly conditioned legs and low mobility can lead to many issues, including back pain and torn muscles. 

The goal here is to keep everything running smoothly. Squats, lunges and deadlifts will help to build muscle around your weak joints, improving your stability and mobility.

But, the main thing here is simple – if you’re serious about transforming your body and fitness, then leg day is super essential. 

No more skipping. You’ll thank us in the long run. 

imstrong fitness

How to overcome the dreaded plateau!

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So, there it is – the P shaped wall standing tall in front of you. It sucks. 

The workouts have become the boring “same old” and you just aren’t seeing results like you once were. Is it game over?! HELL NO – you’ve just hit plateau. 

Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at some point. It’s not about it hitting you, it’s how you deal with it that matters. 

We’ve got a number of hacks on how to smash through that wall! Ready? Let’s go! 

 

What is plateau anyway?

It’s probably one of the most hated terms in the fitness world. The reason is because it basically means your gains have come to a sudden holt. 

What makes it worse is that there isn’t just one reason for it, there are many possible reasons. Maybe you’ve overtrained, you’ve been eating badly, or maybe your workout has just become all too predictable.  

So, how do you pass it? No, in fact – how do you smash plateau to bits? 

 

Take that needed break! 

Probably thinking you read that wrong, right? A fitness business telling you to rest?! Well, rest is the way you grow. 

Honestly, it’s not a workout that makes you grow – curling dumbbells actually rips the muscle. It’s when you rest and recover – that’s when your muscles grow. You simply won’t tone up or grow muscle without resting. 

This is the same with all aspects of fitness. If you’re a keen runner, give your body a rest. If you’ve been on a hard diet for 8 weeks, go grab a pizza. A cheat meal is needed to shock your body.

This break and food shock helps to stop your body from getting stuck in the same routine. 

 

Look at your lifestyle

Working out 5 times a week is awesome, but if you team that with a weekend on nights out – with gallons of beer – then it’s just not going to work.  

Firstly, alcohol is considered an ergogenic substance. This means it impairs results and performance. Something a plateau will thrive on!

Hey, we aren’t boring, enjoy a night out like everybody. You only live once! But, try to tame it down a little. One night out a month won’t hurt you. 2 nights out a week will. 

All in proportion! 

 

Add a new workout routine

One of the most common reasons plateau occurs is that you’ve been doing the same routine every week for too long. A great method to beat plateau is by mixing things up! 

Finding a workout routine to match your goals can be tough, so, we recommend trying out challenge workout! It’s made especially for people looking to get results – life long results! 

Click here to find out more on the IMStrong Challenge.

 

Lastly, keep tabs on yourself

Monitoring your body and fitness progress is essential for gaining maximum results. It not only shows you what areas you need to work on, but it also helps to keep you motivated. Seeing how far you’ve come in 3 months can be one of the best boosts to workout moral that you can get! 

Look – plateau happens to all of us. Follow these short simple tricks and you’ll smash through it and be back to seeing gains in no time!

get bigger arms

The IMStrong Tricks To Getting Bigger Arms

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It’s probably the most common goal when it comes to building muscle in the gym – getting bigger arms. Everybody wants the bulging biceps – how does the saying go… suns out guns out? Well, with our tips you can get bigger arms and it will be the gun show everyday – whether the suns out or not!  

Ready? Let’s go! 

 

Things to avoid:

 

Don’t Over Train Your Arms. 

When people want bigger arms they can often fall into the trap of overtraining them. Your arms are muscles, which you work during the majority of all your upper body workouts. Therefore, you can’t train your arms more than 2 times a week. Muscles don’t grow during the actual workout, they grow when they rest and repair. 

 

Neglecting Other Muscles. 

When you focus on a certain group of muscles, the other muscles don’t grow at the same pace. We’ve all witnessed that guy in the gym, whose body isn’t in proportion – big arms, huge back – tiny legs and waist. It looks silly – so silly, in fact that many memes are made of this. 

To avoid this, stick with working your full body throughout the week. Grow all your muscles at the same pace and you will look better, quicker.

 

Not Eating Enough Food. 

When you want to grow your muscles, you need to eat more. The fuel to growing comes from your diet. You must gain weight to get bigger arms. 

 

Things to do: 

 

Up your calories

Following on from the last section, you will need to eat more calories than you burn, during the day, to get bigger arms. 

The recommended calorie intake for most guys is 2500kcal/day. You want to up this. Not by much – just an extra 300-500 calories. If you’re quite skinny and have a fast metabolism, you may need to up them even more.  

 

Get Stronger. 

Size comes with strength. As you progress, you want to up your weights. This isn’t just with your curls either, we are talking throughout all of your workouts – squats, deadlifts. Up them all as your weeks go on. Just make sure you’re using good form throughout. 

 

Track Progress. 

A great way to keep yourself motivated and keep your arms growing is with tracking your progress. Try to measure your arms and your overall weight every 2-4 weeks. Don’t get too obsessive, though. Your body tends to change everyday. 

If – after 4 weeks – you don’t see your arms getting stronger or bigger, then maybe you need to change up the workout or the diet plan.

gym motivation

The best tips for staying motivated to workout

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Losing motivation in the gym sucks. But, don’t think it’s just you. We guarantee that everybody you see in the gym and every fitness influencer you see on Instagram have dipped in motivation at some point. In fact, many of them would have experienced a lack of motivation a number of times. 

But, how does that Rocky quote go? “It’s not how hard you hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep going.” 

It’s very true. Life is going to hit you hard sometimes, but we can come back – and we can come back strong! 

With this being said, we are going to give you our sure-fire tips on how to stay motivated or even how to bring back motivation. So, whether you’re struggling right now, or you can feel yourself struggling, take these tips on board and you will stay ahead. 

 

Challenge yourself

Working out without a real goal is one of the most common ways people lose motivation. It can feel like you’re doing it all for nothing really. Or, it can all feel too casual. 

When this happens, we start losing that motivation. We often skip gym sessions and before you know it, it’s been over 2 weeks since you worked out! 

Setting yourself a challenge helps to inject motivation and keep you on track. You will work harder as you get closer to your challenge and – if you’re like us – you won’t want to lose. 

Knowing you’re doing it for a reason will make you work harder than ever. 

 

Keep track

If you’ve been working out for a while, many of you will feel that this tip is for newbies, but it’s not, many advanced fitness enthusiasts find themselves losing track of their results and progress. Then, before you know it they’re falling into the first thing we talked about – just working out with no clear goal. 

Tracking your progress and seeing it in black and white is a huge motivational booster and will help you to keep pushing harder.

 

Find a workout buddy

Many of you prefer training alone, but if you’ve been doing it for a while, then maybe it might be time to try working out with a friend? The best thing to do is choose somebody who has similar goals to you. This way you can both do similar workouts together and urge each other on. 

Also, having a workout buddy makes it all the more difficult to skip sessions. No longer will your workouts feel casual. 

 

Change your routine

Another common issue is when your workouts feel like groundhog day. When this happens, its very easy to lose motivation and slack from the gym altogether. 

In this case, we suggest speaking with a professional on how to change up your workout plan to maximise your results. It will help to revive your motivation and also shock your muscles into something new. 

If you feel like your workout needs a shake-up, just message our team and we can help!

high protein foods

7 High-Protein Foods You Need in Your Diet

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If you aren’t aware already, protein is the base for building muscle. In fact, it’s the base for many things; boosting fat loss, getting good skin and hair – even for keeping your organs healthy!

So, for this reason – or reasons – protein is a must in your diet plan. It’s a must for each meal actually.

If we are talking science, then the recommended daily intake of protein is roughly 50-60 grams, but, studies suggest that we should take in much more – a study that we agree with. But, eating fish and chicken all day every day, with each meal, can become quite mundane.

So, we’ve got together our favourite 7 foods, which are absolutely stuffed with protein.

Add these to your diet plan and you will be good to go!

 

Greek Yogurt

Protein: 23g per 8-oz. serving

Yogurts are all full of protein, but the most popular one is Greek yogurt, as it tops the table of protein packed yogurts.

We are often told about the benefits of yogurt, including calcium to keep our bones strong. So, next time you’re at the grocery store – opt for greek.

 

Cottage Cheese

Protein: 14 g per 1/2-cup serving

If you find yourself prone to a late night snack, then cottage cheese could become your new friend. It’s super high in Casein, which is a slow-digesting protein, made from diary.

Casein works wonders in feeding your muscles protein slowly throughout your sleep. Perfect if you’re looking to grow them biceps.

 

Beef

Protein: 26g per 100g.

Who doesn’t love Beef, right? From burgers to chilli, beef is a great meat for high protein per 100g serving. The best thing about beef is you have variety, too. So, if you find your diet getting a bit mundane, the many beef varieties can help change things up!

 

Chicken breast

21g per 100g

Probably the most common source of protein is chicken breast. The reason for this is that it’s a great source of lean protein.

For maximum results on your diet plan, you want to choose chicken breast without the skin. This will give you the most protein and less saturated fat.

Perfect for getting lean and burning fat.

 

Tuna

Protein: 25g per 100g.

Tuna is an excellent and widely available source of protein that also has a low calorie count. Tuna is a lean fish with minimal fat. Add tuna to salads, sandwiches, and snacks. Be careful with additional dressings, such as mayonnaise, as these can add additional, unwanted calories.

 

Oats

Protein: 17g per 100g.

Wondering how to get that protein fix for breakfast? One word – oats.

When it comes to growing muscles – carbs are also required and oats provide the best carbs you need – complex carbs. If you’re in need of something quick in the morning, then prepare your oats overnight, so you can grab them on the go!

 

Tempeh

Protein: 24g per 100g.

A popular choice of protein for vegans and vegetarians, Tempeh comes from Soybeans. It’s like Tofu – but with more protein. The only tough thing here is actually finding it. Tempeh isn’t available in every grocery store just yet. We recommend looking around your bigger chains or vegan food stores for this option.

 

Need help with your food plan?

Your diet plays a huge part when it comes to getting in the shape you want. But, it’s also one of the most difficult aspects.

If you need help creating a diet plan that will curb cravings and put you on the right track, click here and we will help you.

5 Proven ways to lose water weight before Summer!

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That time of year again – when the summer holiday has somehow crept upon us and we are in desperate need to shift them stubborn pounds! Losing fat in such a short time is tough and you want to do it in a safe way. But, don’t worry – all is not over. You can boost your beachbody by losing water weight.

Water weight can sometimes be mistaken for fat. In fact, when you gain a pound or two in a couple of days, the usual culprit is h2o.

So, how do you get rid of the water in time for the beach? In this article, we will give you 5 proven ways to shift the water weight – easily and in a safe manner.

Let’s get beachbody ready!

 

Cancel the salt

Adding salt to your dishes may seem harmless, but the sodium substance makes your body hold onto water like you wouldn’t believe. It’s not only adding salt to your dishes, either. You want to avoid any processed foods.

Processed foods are packed in salt, which means the more you eat the more water your body will hold on to.

 

Drink water.

Sounds weird right? If you’re looking to lose water weight from your body, then why would you drink more? But, if you up your water intake, your body will flush out all the water it’s holding onto and stop holding onto as much as normal.

Yes, you will be heading to the bathroom a lot more to begin with, but, remember it’s a good thing. Your body is flushing out all of the toxins – including excess water.

 

Choose foods that hydrate

For the upcoming weeks, we want you to add meals with fruit and veggies that are full of water. This way, your body stays hydrated and avoids any bloated-ness. Opt for the likes of strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, and asparagus

 

Up your cardio

Upping your cardio is a given – something I’m sure you’re already aware of. When you build up a sweat, your body is literally getting rid of excess water and toxins. We won’t bore you with this pointer, as you are already aware of cardio benefits.

 

Choose healthier carbs.

Carbohydrates cling onto water in your body, so, when you reduce your carb intake, it often results in quick water loss. Try not to cut back on carbs too much because it will effect your energy levels, leaving you feeling tired and more likely to fall for your cravings.

Instead of going totally carb free, get your carbs from your fruit and veg. Avoid starchy carbs like potatoes and bread and you will be ok!

martial arts bristol

3 Reasons You’re Not Too Old to Start Martial Arts

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There is a stigma around martial arts right now. That it’s a young persons sport or a tough guy sport. The honest truth is that it’s actually a sport for everybody.

If you’re interested in picking up martial arts, but you’re afraid that you might be a little long in the tooth, then don’t worry. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last. We receive tonnes of enquiries from older adults asking if our Taekwondo classes would be suitable for them.

The first thing we say is, yes. It’s suitable for anybody, who wants to add an exciting new sport to their fitness regime.

But, let’s delve into things a little deeper. In this article, we will give you 3 key reasons why you’re not too old to start martial arts.

 

Lose the UFC misconception

Over the last 15 years, martial arts has become more popular than ever. One reason is the rise of the UFC brand.

The popularity of UFC is great, we love Conor McGregor as much as the next guy. But, it’s brought along a misconception.

People instantly see martial arts as a gruelling sport that should only be practiced by the crazy ‘no fear’ guys that have one goal in life – to kick ass.

But, in fact, martial arts is a beautiful sport, which will help build your strength, cardio levels and transform your body.

Nobody is expecting you to step into a competitive competition. Our Taekwondo classes are for people of all shapes and sizes – at any age.

So, whatever your goal. Martial Arts can help.

 

It’s never too late for a new challenge!

As we get older, physical challenges become less frequent. Ask yourself, when was the last time you pushed yourself physically?

Martial arts isn’t an easy fitness workout, that’s for sure. But, it’s a new challenge. A challenge that you can take one step at a time.

With each obstacle you overcome, you will get stronger. You will get fitter and you will look amazing! It will also help bring new qualities into your mindset, which you can use for the second stage of your life.

 

Self defence is a great life skill to learn – at any age

Being able to defend yourself is an essential life skill, no matter where you are based in the world. We are all old enough and wise enough to know that there is danger out there – I mean, we only have to watch the news to see that.

If we could live in a peaceful world, that would be great. But, we don’t sadly. The world comes with many idiots. Hopefully you never encounter danger, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Martial arts doesn’t just teach you how to defend yourself physically, it also helps transform your mental awareness, too. You will gain the ability to think on your feet and react calmly when faced with such situations.

 

Ready to give it a shot?

We can sit here all day telling you the benefits of martial arts, but, you won’t truly notice how fun and rewarding it is until you start.

So, take a leap and join on our Taekwondo classes today! We will help you every step of the way.

vegainz

VEGAINZ: The 5 best foods for plant-based protein

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It seems like 2019 is the year of the plant, with more people joining the vegan gang every day. In fact, it’s growing so much that even the fast-food chains are taking note, with McDonalds and even KFC looking at vegan alternatives for their menu!

But, enough about the junk food. We want to talk muscle growth.

Obviously, the main ingredient we need, to grow our muscles, is protein. However, there seems to be a stigma with vegans and muscle growth. It seems that a lot of people are confused on how vegans get that much-needed protein.

So, in this article, we are going to list you our 5 favourite plant-based products for them gains- the vegainz!

Each of the plant-based foods, below, have a high-protein content ½ cup per serving (approx 90g):

 

Soy Products (Tofu etc.)

When it comes to vegainz, Soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame are extremely popular. The reason for this is that soy products are among the richest sources of protein in a vegan diet.

Firm Tofu contains around 10g per ½ cup. While Edamame beans reach 8.5g of protein. But, the richest of all the soy family is Tempeh – with 15g protein per ½ cup.

Tofu is arguably the most popular soy product as it works as a meat substitute, especially in salads or curries. However, they’re all great. All are rich in protein and have high levels of calcium – meaning your bones will be strong, too.

 

Chickpeas

While chickpeas can be eaten either hot or cold, to get the most protein intake, you want to opt for the cooked version. Cooked chickpeas contain around 7g of protein per ½ cup.

Add them to your stew or – better yet – create your very own healthy hummus – it’s the perfect alternative if you love butter on your sandwiches.

 

Peanuts

Probably one we vegan product we all know is full of protein are Peanuts. You may have come across many diet plans, which include peanut butter. The reason for this is that Peanuts contain healthy fats and are roughly 20.5g per ½ cup.

 

Almonds

While we are on the nut section, we can’t miss out the tasty Almonds. Some prefer Almonds rather than Peanuts. They contain roughly 17g of protein per ½ cup, which is a little less than the Peanut, but they’re rich in Vitamin E. So, if your skin needs some love, choose Almond!  

 

Seitan

It’s name may sound like the devil, himself, but Seitan is an angel for that Vegan protein fix! The high-wheat content in Seitan means it’s not for the Gluten free people, but, for others it contains a whopping 21g per ⅓ cup.

It tops our vegan list and is a must for building protein!

 

Looking for a diet plan to transform your body?

If you’re looking to transform your body, but, like many you’re struggling with getting the right diet, then message us!

For years, we’ve been helping people curb their cravings and make a new lifestyle that puts them as the best version they’ve ever been. Take a look at our testimonials here.

imstrong bristol

Foods You NEED in your diet

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There are hundreds of articles online that will talk to you on “easy” or “quick fixes” to burn fat and become the most ripped person on the planet. The majority of them are bull.

They will try and bluff their way into saying you can transform into an absolute shredded machine in just two weeks – no matter what condition you’re currently in.

The reality is it takes time. Just like everything worthwhile.

Something that we always tell people is that this is a lifestyle change. Not a diet. Not a two week fix. A lifestyle.

So, with that being said, here are a few key foods that you should add to your lifestyle, in order to help burn fat.

imstrong fitness

Fatty Fish

One of the best foods for shifting fat is fish – especially fatty fish. You have so many options, too – Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel – any fish that is rich in Omega 3.

The beauty about fish is it helps in more ways than one. Yes, this article is focusing on foods that help burn fat, but, fish also reduces the risk of heart disease – something we can all be happy with.

To boost your fat loss regime and to protect your heart, try to add fish into your meals at least 2 or 3 times a week.

 

healthy eating bristolCoffee

We simply don’t start a morning without it. Coffee has been our wakeup call for a long time and with good reason. Not only does it help inject life into our metabolism from the get-go, it also helps enhance our mood and improve mental and physical performance.

For fat burning, aim for between 1-2 cups of coffee a day. Try not to overdo it though, as coffee overload can bring a number of side effects including anxiety and sleepless nights.

 

Green Tea

Green tea has been a popular weight loss and detox beverage for many years. Studies suggest that it may help reduce heart disease risk and protect against certain types of cancer.

We have read a number of articles that go against the Green Tea benefits, but, in our opinion, we only see good things from drinking 2-3 cups a day.

One big benefit is that it helps to clean out your system, adding more water and healthy vitamins into your diet. It will also curb and cravings throughout the day, thus keeping you on track to your goals.

imstrong bristol

Protein shakes

Protein is always mentioned in weight loss articles. The reason for this is due to protein helping to fuel muscle as well as not adding fat.

Something we swear by, with our workout programs, are protein shakes. Protein shakes help combine muscle growth with fat loss – the perfect combination.

Whey protein is also great for minimising any cravings you may have. Within minutes of having a protein shake, you will feel much more full. This helps to curb them bad habits of snacking on sweets and heavy carb foods.

Don’t forget, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn in normal day-to-day activities. So, try not to avoid weight lifting during your fat loss plan. It’s just as effective as cardio in many senses.

 

 

Ready to get started?

Looking to really make this time your time? No more fad diets, no more 2 week workouts. Contact our team and we will be more than happy to help you FINALLY become the bester version of you!