Hey everyone. Coach Jimmy, a.k.a. “Good Squats”, here again with another edition of Last Week in Health & Fitness. For those of you who don’t know, I scour the web every week to bring you the best articles on health and fitness so you can focus on nailing your fitness goals to the wall with a ten inch spike.
This week we touch on your brain craving social interaction, 5 ways to stay on track with your weight loss journey, why it’s tough to stop snacking late at night, get a peek at a deliciously refreshing shakeology recipe, and if meditation can help speed up your recovery from injuries or tough workouts.
Don’t forget, no matter what stage you’re at, we’re all on this journey together. If you have questions or need a bit of motivation, get in touch with me in the comments below or on my social media profiles.
Last Week’s Best Health & Fitness Blog Articles
We’re social creatures, it’s written into our DNA. Human beings need interaction with other human beings and being part of a community, no matter how large or small, can have a profound impact on our level of happiness. A recent study by Dr. Matthew Lieberman & Dr. Matthew Spunt of UCLA’s Brain Mapping Center showed that the part our brain that “comes online” when we’re at rest is the same part of that fires when we’re on Facebook seeing what our friends are up to.
Our brains are always preparing for our next social engagement—be it seeing a friend, logging on to Facebook, or joining a workout group—even when we’re at rest.
Losing weight isn’t easy and it can be just as tough to keep the pounds off. We can stick to our diets, crush our workouts, and watch the pounds fall off, but life has a way of tossing us curve balls that can de-rail our weight loss journey, possibly even pushing us back into bad habits and into a vicious cycle of weight gains.
Feeling like a failure, you ditch your diet and fall back into your old patterns. The weight you lost soon comes back, along with a little extra.
Here’s the deal, this happens to everyone on their weight loss journey. It still happens to me! It’ll happen to you too. What matters is your reaction to the obstacles that life puts in your way because that’s all they truly are, obstacles to be overcome. Whether you’re short on time and have to grab something quick to eat that isn’t on your meal plan or you have a celebratory beer or nine when your friend lands that new job they wanted, are you going to fixate on those two or three pounds you put back on or get back on track to reach your goals?
Quick Tips to Stay on Track
- Focus on the Big Picture
- Become a Mental Endurance Athlete
- Be Realistic About Human Nature
- Celebrate Your Successes
- Develop a Strong Support System
Bingeing on late night snacks is a major contributor for putting on pounds and a recent study shows that some of it might not be your fault, at least not your willpower’s fault. It turns out that our brain’s reaction to seeing and/or consuming snack foods is considerably less in the evening than it is in the morning so our bodies “crave” more of our snacks in the evening to get the same level of fulfillment as it would in the morning.
It’s pretty much common knowledge at this point that I’m a huge fan of shakeology. It was instrumental in my 100 pound weight loss and it’s helped thousands of other people just like me not only in losing the weight, but being healthy. Beachbody’s done it again with this new strawberry, banana, and cherry vanilla shake recipe. I tried it this afternoon and it is fiercely delicious.
If you’ve seen Netflix’s Daredevil series, you’ve seen Matt Murdock take an extreme amount of punishment each week and keep on trucking like it never happened. What’s his secret? Meditation. While this is a TV series about superheroes, there is a fair amount truth to the link between meditation and your body recovering from workouts or injuries. Now, you can’t meditate away a stab wound (Pro Tip: go to a hospital), but you can shave some time off getting back to 100% and shed a pound or two along the way.
Giving yourself a few minutes of meditation each day is a great way to speed workout recovery and to cut through life’s constant stress.
The link is fairly simple, stress slows down your ability to recover and meditation reduces stress. By meditating for at least 10 minutes each day, you can reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol which inhibits healing and can cause you to gain weight in high concentrations. There are a variety of meditation flavors so you’ll need to experiment to find the one that’s works for you.