The benefits of circuit training: torch calories without getting bored

Circuit training, much like we practice in boot camp, is an excellent way to keep your workout interesting while maximizing calorie burn and fat loss. We work outside during our BootcampSF workouts, which gives you the added benefit of soaking up the sun’s rays to boost Vitamin D and put you in a good mood.

There are other important benefits to circuit training; we’re able to achieve intense results in a relatively short amount of time. Our workouts last an hour, which is an optimal amount of time to combine cardio, resistance training and flexibility. You’re able to challenge your entire body during a class, and it’s proven that high-intensity interval training combined with lifting increases metabolism and leaves you with an awesome after burn effect that causes your body to torch calories for hours after the workout has ended.

According to the European Journal of Applied Physiology, circuit training workouts “prompt a higher degree of post-exercise excess oxygen consumption, or EPOC, than traditional cardio workouts. EPOC refers to the metabolic boost your body retains in the hours and days after your workout, and it can be a significant source of additional calorie burn.”

This type of training is also proven to burn more fat by improving insulin sensitivity – this type of training helps keep insulin levels low so that fat can be mobilized and burned.

As with any high intensity workout, post workout nutrition is key to recovery and reaching your fat loss and strength goals. It’s important to consume a source of carbohydrates such as a piece of fruit within 45 minutes of completing your work out. Be sure to replenish with a 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein for ideal muscle repair.

We recommend a super food packed green smoothie as a satisfying post workout meal. The raw cacao is full of antioxidants and may help lower bad cholesterol and decrease inflammation. Try out the recipe below and let us know in the comments what you think:

Post Workout Superfood Smoothie

Ingredients:
2 handfuls spinach and/or kale
½ banana
1 Tbsp. raw almond butter
12 oz. almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
Water as needed
Ice, optional

Directions: Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth & enjoy!

Good Mood Foods: Nutrition to Balance Hormones

We all have our ups and our downs, it’s natural. Those days where we feel lost, unmotivated, heavy, and maybe even sad. We are humans after all, and you’re allowed to feel these things. However, while you are going through these occasional downs, there are ways to help your body, and your mind, feel better. By eating natural foods and healthy fats instead of turning to sugar and processed carbohydrates, you’ll begin to feel reenergized in no time, and the list below includes some of the top nutrition powerhouses.

Who doesn’t love an avocado? In guacamole, on toast, on a salad, as a salad dressing, they’re great for all meals! But what you might not know about avocados is that the healthy fat content helps your brain run properly by balancing your hormone levels, ensuring that the correct amount of each is being produced without interference. By including avocado in your diet, you can be sure that you will not only receive the proper amount of fat intake, protein, potassium, and various vitamins, but you will feel better while consuming it.

Raw nuts such as brazil nuts, almonds, and cashews all have high levels of serotonin, which is the feel good chemical in your body known to increase happiness and motivation. So, if you’re feeling down, eat some raw nuts of your choice! Look for the unsalted varieties on the shelf. Also, avoid eating too many as the body utilizes quite a bit of energy to digest them. Enjoy in moderation!

You always hear about the health benefits of leafy greens. Swiss chard is a top pick, as it’s loaded with magnesium. A majority of Americans are magnesium deficient, and it is a nutrient that is responsible for the biochemical reactions in the brain that boost energy levels. It’s best to get on the green bandwagon and start enjoying Swiss chard in salads and smoothies.

Speaking of greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts aid the liver in ridding the body of excess estrogen. Throw kale, cabbage and bok choy in the mix and you have a wonderful source of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Last, but definitely not least, is asparagus, which is actually one of the best sources in the plant kingdom for tryptophan, a prime nutrient involved in the creation of serotonin. Which is, of course, that feel good chemical in the body we talked about earlier. By having asparagus in your meal plan for the week, you are indeed increasing your happiness by upping the key nutrients in producing feel good hormones.

It’s always best to keep a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats and carbohydrates in your diet. Remember, the more color you eat the better you will feel!

Delinquent with your food log? Try the Eat and Tweet!

congrats, you are two weeks into bootcamp and if you are reading this blog, chances are you still coming to class everyday(or close to it)!

now that two weeks are done, i’ve got a question for you… how’s that food log going? if you are like me, you are facing a few problems. one, you can’t find your food log. two, you can’t remember what you ate through the day. three, that food log we get on the first day is spaced so tinily that it only fits breakfast. four, when you do remember you are slightly ashamed at what you ate for the day (hello accidental 3 pieces of fried chicken for breakfast).

whatever your reasons are, sometimes it’s tough to keep an accurate log. i have two options for you: facebook and twitter.

facebook is generally public and all your friends can see what you eat as you post it. the only problem is whether or not knowing people will see your log will keep you from reporting your food accurately. positing on facebook could be a positive if it helps you not eat that extra cookie(or five), for example “that chicken fried steak looks like it would be yummy as a dessert after dinner… but darnit, i’ll have to post it on facebook. guess i’ll stick with an apple.”

for those of you are that are shy like me, i find twitter is the best bet. unless you have people following you (that is up to you), twitter can be your own private food log. if you feel like sharing with me or directly with bootcamp, feel free to add us(@foxbehungry and @bootcampsf). i personally love seeing what other people are eating and also as a bonus, if you see what i’m eating you will probably think “at least i’m eating better than that guy!”

below is an example of what my food tweets look like. i’m a big fan of waiting till the end of the day to post what i eat, but if you have time, after every meal is good too as you can keep a log of when you eat along with what you eat.

and if you have a droid or iphone, you can download a twitter or facebook app so that you can never use the excuse of not having your paper food log on you!

hope you get a chance to try the “Eat and Tweet.”

have a good one and “see you outside!”



p.s. i’m not sure if it’s taro or tarot. and cib = carnation instant breakfast. twitter teaches you to abbreviate as much as possible when you try to cram a days’ worth of eating in one post.