Articles about building lean muscle

Lose weight and build muscle with the Ketogenic Diet

Low-carb vegetables

The main objective of low carb, Ketogenic diet plan is to improve health by switching the metabolism to burn fat rather than burning glucose or sugar. This is gained through a metabolic stage called ketosis. Ketosis is a normal process in which body cells burns ketones which are molecules used to make energy instead of depending on carbohydrates or sugar. When the body is in a Ketosis metabolic state, the lipid energy metabolism is complete or intact. The body will start breaking down your body fat to get the fuel required for everyday functions. Ketogenic diet helps to build muscle, and usually adopted by the athletes and wrestlers.

Benefits of ketosis

1. Utilization of fat fuel
Ketosis helps in increasing the body’s capability to utilize fat fuel. During high carb diet, the body usually supposes an outside source for energy provision. But in the state of ketosis, the body becomes efficient at activating the inside fats for energy.

2. No need for oxidization
During the ketosis process, your body moves towards protein sparing effect assuming you are consuming a sufficient amount of protein (0.7 gram of per pound of body weight per day) and calories. Also in this process the body prefers ketones over glucose. Since the body has abundant quantity of fat, there is no need to oxidize the protein to produce glucose through gluconeogenesis.

3. Low level of insulin
This process lowers the insulin in the body which is reason behind greater lipolysis and free glycerol discharge as compared to typical diet plans in which insulin level is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect constraining the use of fatty acid as energy. Also, when insulin is low, useful hormones are released in the human body. These hormones include growth hormone and other powerful growth related factors.

4. Squash the appetite
Another hidden secret behind Ketogenic diet is that when in the state of ketosis, ketones due to high protein intake seem to subdue the appetite. On the other hand, a high carb diet increases hunger levels. This is because you have lot of fat intake on a Ketogenic diet which contains 9 calories per gram. It’s not necessary to be hungry on a reduced calorie diet. Ketosis is a valuable process the human body developed as an altered system when food is unavailable. The Ketone body condition has been observed as a cure to many diseases and prevents the body from infections. It has now been used to treat medicinal condition such as epilepsy, autism, cancer and diabetes etc.

Gluten-free, Vegan Muffin ‪‎recipe‬ designed for ‪weight loss‬ and ‪‎building muscle‬‬

I ate these muffins exclusively for two days straight and lost 4 pounds. I know my weight fluctuates from day to day, but I hit a new low after two days. Just to make sure, I did it the next week and hit another low.

I designed the recipe to provide an excess of the amino acids necessary for weight loss and building muscle. The dark chocolate and vitamin C were added to lower cortisol levels.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 pound strawberries
1/2 pint blueberries
2 medium sized bananas
1 tablespoon honey (replace with maple syrup for a vegan recipe)
5 grams dried seaweed
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ounce baking square unsweetened dark chocolate
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon flax seed meal

I use a blender to dice all of the wet ingredients into a smoothie before adding them to the flour.

Dice strawberries and add honey. Let them set for a few minutes and then mash or chop with blender

Add blueberries and bananas chop with blender

Finely chop seaweed and add the the mix with the olive oil

Chop in blender

Melt chocolate in microwave for 90 seconds

Preheat oven to 425℉

Add chocolate and almond butter

At this point my blender doesn't mix the ingredients very well

Empty contents of the blender into a large mixing bowl

Add flax seed meal

Mix in almond meal

Fold in walnuts

Grease or line muffin pan

Add baking powder and mix

Spoon the mixture into the cups and put it in the oven quickly

Once in the oven, lower the heat to 275℉ for 45 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test

The benefits of Zinc: burn fat, build muscle, anti-aging, reduce hair-loss, and fight acne

Zinc is often a forgotten mineral, but it plays an important role in proper immune system function and hormone regulation. Studies have shown that a lack of zinc will cause a decrease in metabolism. In addition, an increase in zinc production leads to higher levels of fat burning hormones. Zinc is essential for cell repair which is vital for rebuilding muscle after a workout and it is well known in the bodybuilding community that zinc increases testosterone. Now we know why Casanova ate oysters for breakfast.

Because zinc is essential for cellular repair, it is good for the hair and skin as well. Repairing hair follicles quickly as we age slows or reverses hair loss. Repairing skin cells quickly can help to fight sun spots and wrinkles.

There are types of acne that are caused by zinc deficiencies. Also, as many of us already know, acne is also caused by tiny bacterial infections. A boost in your immune system from increased zinc intake will help your body fight off these bacteria from the inside-out.

Foods that are high in Zinc

Oysters
Crab
Peanuts
Dark Chocolate
Watermelon Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Squash Seeds
Roast Beef

Avoid alcohol if you are trying to increase your zinc levels. Your doctor can tell you if you're zinc deficient with a blood test. As always, we view supplements as a last resort and only when instructed by a physician. If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, it's time for a change in diet.

A Gluten-Free, Meat-Free Pizza that's high in Protein, Iron, and Zinc. Really?

Gluten-free Pizza Recipe

I was craving pizza and had to try something. I used the gluten-free flour that we use in our muffins. It's a mixture of sunflower seed flour and pumpkin seed flour. That's where the iron, zinc, and most of the protein comes from. It's a work in progress. Here's what we have so far:

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seed flour/meal
1/2 cup sunflower seed flour/meal
3 tbsp flax seed meal
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 minced cloves garlic or garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp tomato sauce

Optional:

Sun-dried tomatoes
Roasted peppers
Fresh veggies
Shredded cheese
Grated cheese
Herbs/Spices

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin seed flour, sunflower seed flour, and flax seed meal.
Oil a cookie sheet.
Stir in water, oil, garlic, cayenne pepper.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, grated cheese, and herbs to suit your taste.
After stirring make a ball with the dough.
Kneed the dough by folding it over it self for about two minutes.
Adding more water, oil, or flour will change the texture to make it easier to work with.
Place the dough on the oiled pan.
Using only your fingertips, press the center of the dough to flatten and work your way to the outside.
It will soon resemble a pizza.
Make sure it is fairly thin all the way around to allow even baking.
Put tomato sauce in the center of the dough and spiral it around to the edges with the bottom of the spoon.
Add shredded or grated cheese, fresh veggies, and/or herbs.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Half way through, I like to separate it from the pan and spin it to keep it cooking evenly.
Cut in six slices and serve.

Enjoy!

What to eat and when to curb cortisol spikes: Tips to lose weight and build muscle.

Curb your Cortisol Infographic

As discussed in a previous post, cortisol is released in stressful situations. Many people do not realize that cortisol is causing them to store fat and burn muscle. This happens daily whether stress exists or not. It can be curbed using the tips listed in our previous post, but cortisol is somewhat predictable at certain times:

First thing in the morning
Second half of the evening
After a workout

What can you do? Plan your meals and workout routines around these windows. Avoid the foods that increase cortisol production at these times. For example, skip that morning cup of coffee until you've had sufficient time to wake up and feed your body what it needs to lower cortisol.

What does your body need during these periods? Everything :)

Protein will provide the amino acids necessary to switch your body from a catabolic to an anabolic state. Meaning that instead of feeding on existing muscle, you will create new muscle.

Simple sugars will spike your insulin release which counteracts cortisol. Insulin release after a workout is also believed to release Human Growth Hormone.

Vitamins C and E have been found to lower cortisol levels.

As always, we recommend getting your nutrients from natural sources and not supplements. This is why our first product launch is made from fruit, nuts, and seeds. All of the details regarding the launch will be on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Testosterone and cortisol combat each other. Both are increased in the morning upon waking up. Increasing testosterone will lower cortisol levels. Training in the morning will relieve stress and be more productive than workouts at other times. Scheduling your workout for later in the evening is the next best thing.

Some of us dread the thought of waking up early to train before work. There are some simple things to do in the morning to start your day right:

Yoga power poses (Warrior series, et. al.)
Squats
Lunges
Push-ups
Pull-ups
Curls
Chair dips
10 Minute ab workout
Short cardio session
Yoga flexibility poses

Try to increase the intensity of your morning workout routine as it becomes easier. It should be quite easy to find enough variety when the workout is 20 minutes or less.

"Pay yourself first" by starting your day with a focus on being healthy and happy. A healthier and happier you will more successfully and productively help others.

Foods that Lower Cortisol Levels:
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Avocados
Dark Chocolate
Salmon
Spinach
Almonds
Pistachios
Walnuts
Black Tea

Foods to avoid:
Caffeine and Other Stimulants
Excess Sugar
Refined Carbohydrates
Animal Fat/Cholesterol
Grapefruit

How Much Protein to Eat to Maximize Results from Exercise

Protien Intake Infographic

If you’re like most people, you don’t want to spend extra time in the gym. Sadly, because many of us are not taking in enough protein, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Whether you’re trying to burn fat or build lean muscle, ensuring that you get enough protein is vital to maximizing your results. If you’re not maximizing your results, YOU ARE WASTING TIME WORKING OUT!

Burning Fat
If your goal is to burn fat, you’re most likely trying to burn more calories than you consume. This energy deficiency will help to burn fat. However, if you’re not eating enough protein, you could be breaking down muscle. Less muscle burns fewer calories during the day. You should be eating .82-.91 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

Building Muscle
Most bodybuilders will tell you that protein is the key to building muscle. There are conflicting views as to how much to eat and where to get it. Typical bodybuilders need .59-.82 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. The range is wide because it depends on your meal plan and experience. More seasoned weight lifters need less protein because they are less likely to experience massive gains in muscle mass. If you’re not consuming enough protein, you’re breaking down your muscles to be rebuilt at the same size and strength. Why?

Lean Body Mass
Lean Body Mass = Total Body Weight – Body Fat
Lean Body Mass = Total Body Weight – (Total Body Weight x Body Fat Percentage)

Solution
Eat plenty of protein throughout the day. Find protein-rich snacks to have in between meals. Make sure to eat protein after a vigorous workout. Protein powders are very popular and possibly effective. However, we always recommend getting your nutrients from natural food sources so that your body can break them down naturally. All-Natural, Protein Muffin

Reference
Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38

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