5 Dairy free calcium sources every fitness freak needs

While dairy products are admired by plenty for their numerous health benefits at times for some people it just doesn’t gel well. I recently came across a person allergic to dairy products.

So how does someone who’s allergic to such stuff or simply put does hates it get his/her daily need for calcium? And all the fitness freaks out there I am sure you understand the importance of calcium so here’s few alternatives you can switch too.

Almond Milk

Milk is one of the primary sources of calcium but it’s not restricted just to cow milk. Almond milk or even soy milk are equally effective substitutes. A glass of these milks can help cover about 50% of your daily calcium and vitamin D needs.

Though when purchasing opt for brands that offer unsweetened milk and always give it a good shake once. Sweetening agents deprive the milk of its nutritional value.

almond-milk

Dried Figs

Dried figs believe it or not are as good a calcium source as any. 4-5 figs a day can cover 25-30% of your daily calcium needs but that’s not all. These dried bits of goodness are also rich in vitamin K, fiber, iron and potassium.

Chop them up and throw them into a bowl of oats and yogurt or salad to add some sweetness and increase nutritional value or simply grab a few after a tiring and hectic workout.

dried-gigs

Sesame Seeds

Yes even these tiny bits of seeds can pack a punch. You’ll usually come across them spread over your burgers or subway buns but you’ll need more of it to gain its benefits. 2-3 tablespoons in a day can provide about 25% of the calcium requirement.

Sprinkle some of it into your morning salads or bowl of yogurt or even into your fruit or veggie shakes and hummus. Always pick dark unhulled sesame seeds as they are richer.

sesame-seeds

Tofu

For those on a low calorie diet tofu is the best go to calcium source and even as little as 2-3 ounces can make up for half the daily needs but here’s what  you need to know. Only tofu prepared with calcium sulphate is calcium rich.

Be sure to read labels before you pick one. For stir fry or grilling purposes opt only for the firm tofu versions. Those that prefer shakes, soups etc. should opt for the softer one.

tofu

Amaranth Leaves

Not one most of you would have heard of often but its grains are very similar to quinoa but the grains are not what you need. It’s the green leaves that are packed with tons of calcium and other important nutrients such as vitamin A, C and K.

These greens are more likely to be available at an Asian store as they are often used with stir fried dishes and soups. You can also add it to salad and switch it along with some other sources too such as turnip, kale etc.

amaranth-leaves

5 Things I did to lose weight faster and so should you

Weight loss is easier said than done but neither should be an impossible task. While it does require tons of mental and physical strength and grit there’s always a few things you can do to make it easier and faster. Want to know what I did and recommend? Find out below.

While most people experience instant results in the beginning fat burning generally slows down after a while but all hope isn’t lost just yet.

I switched to drop sets

A workout technique not many newbies would have heard of but I personally found dropsets to be way more effective than the rest. It’s simple, you workout using a higher weight till muscle failure and then continue for another 5-10 reps with a lower weight until absolute failure.

Be careful though. Overdoing it can result in instant fatigue and slower recovery. With dropsets getting your carb dosage is important to stay energized throughout. Here’s more in details about dropset workouts,

 

I kept my diet simple

When it comes to diet for newbies it seems to turn into an obsession. Every gram of food needs to be precise. While that seems perfect your chances of succeeding with a diet plan are higher if you take it easy.

Excessive stress can lead to poor choices such binge eating etc. enough to spoil your weeks of effort. Get everything prepped up during the weekends and separate it portion wise into Tupperware boxes.

Sorted out my carb intake

On the days I train I prefer to get the entire carb dosage needed but on my off days or days when I take it easy I prefer to consume only 40-50% of the regular intake. This is useful because it prevents excessive carbs from being converted into fat on off days.  Also it gives the body enough time to adapt and grow according to the new dietary changes.

Got my omega doses sorted

Now whether you opt for it in supplement form or in dietary form is a personal choice but I am sure you’ve heard plenty about the benefits omega oils offer the body. It’s recommended for both bodybuilders and weight loss seekers.

This is because it more importantly improves general health which irrespective of your goals should remain priority. For even better results I would suggest you combine it with CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). For dosage contact your trainer.

omega-oils

I took my days off

Does taking a few days off scare the hell out of you? Worried it will ruin all the effort you’ve been putting in daily? Here’s a golden rule about training most people tend to ignore.

Rest is as important as your workout itself.

So yes if you’re not in the mood or have aches or a bruise, take the day off. For your training to be productive you need to feel fresh and stronger which happens only with good rest.

Keto diet mistakes beginners make but shouldn’t

keto-diet

For those who are new to this term a Keto diet focuses on low carb foods and if done right can be a game changer in many ways. Increase in strength and stamina, better muscle tone, quicker fat burning etc. are few benefits.

The only problem being this sort of diet is easy to go wrong with and while the obvious issue may seem over consumption of carbs there are always other factors you’d want to look at. So here’s what else can go wrong.

Going too easy on the fats

When talking about any diet the first & foremost rule generally is to lower fat intake but not with the keto diet plan. This is low carb other diet in other words is a high fat diet considering you stick to healthier choices such as eggs, avocado, olive oil etc. ( as explained in the above image).

Since fat will now be your major source of energy ensure 70-80% of diet consists of it. Weakness, tiredness etc. are signs of low fat consumption.

Insufficient electrolytes

Feeling fatigued, constipated or simply lazy enough to get out of bed? You’re running low on electrolytes. Magnesium, potassium etc. are a must and irrespective of the source should be part of your daily diet.

For potassium my recommended food is avocado along with some leafy veggies and for magnesium almonds, walnuts, pecans etc. are your new diet buddies.  Taking it as a supplement too is an equally acceptable form.

The secret carbs

This is a no mess around with diet. A 4-5% carb rules means you stick to it which in turn means you’ll be consuming loads of green veggies, eggs, fruits, meat etc. but food companies over the years have become smart and thus you need to be smarter.

Always check out the nutritional value behind every can or food packet. Next also check out ingredients. Sugary substances are often listed as corn syrup, molasses, honey etc. Avoid in case of doubts or contact an expert.

Gulping down too many proteins

Your protein intake capacity will take a boost with time but to begin with I’d suggest you go easy on it. Excessive proteins can lead to what experts call gluconeogenesis. This is conversion of excess proteins into carbs eventually leading to a failed keto diet.

To avoid such situations stick to lesser proteins and more fat rich foods such as chicken, beef, tuna etc. Proteins should comprise of only 10-15% of your daily calorie intake.

You’re too impatient

Yes I understand your urge for quicker more effective results but the body doesn’t work that way. Your carb friendly body will need time to adapt and adjust. Keep check on your cravings and stick to your diet.

The transition is easier said than done but with determination and grit it’ll get better and you’ll soon be in ketosis so hang in there.

 

Here’s a extensive guide on Keto Diet

5 Tips for a Killer workout your trainer won’t tell

gym-tired

Your workout isn’t just about your diet, or the weights you’ve been lifting or your supplements. It’s a combination of it all. Each element plays an equally important role and any lack of focus or misjudgement can lead to an imbalance which in turn results in average workouts or even a rut. If you’ve got that rut feel here’s what you can do improve and kick ass once again.

Get up, get moving

Believe it or not most workouts end even before they begin. Confused?  Well waking up after a 2-3 hour sleep will only result in a wasted day at the gym. While your diet, lifestyle etc. everything plays an important role sleep remains priority.

It’s only during sleep that the body undergoes recovery and release of hormones that instigate growth and development. Shut out the distractions, find the most comfortable of mattress and get a good sleep.

gym-tired

Always warm up

Well it’s not something you’d get too thrilled about at first but trust me it’s as crucial as any of your upcoming weight or cardio exercises as it helps set a strong base and gets the blood moving. There are plenty of ways to warm up.

Dynamic stretches are often the most recommended form but you can also opt for some light cardio such as cycling, rowing using a concept2 rower, jogging. Just avoid static stretches as it lowers performance levels. Here are some dynamic stretches to try.

 

Find the right partner

If you’re looking for a workout partner my suggestion would be you ‘look up’ i.e. find someone better and stronger than you. No it need not up the big guy next to you. It can even be your friend that started few months ahead.

With the right person at your sides you’ll be able to pull of the extra reps and sets, get on hand tips and corrections, pull of a new move etc.

Find your motivation mantra

Believe it or not the gym itself can be both a motivation as well as a demotivation. Watching the guys lifting tons of weight, do stuff you’d have never imagined can be intimidating at first and that’s why staying motivated is important.

It need not be confined just to your looks or clothes or your trainer, that’s a recipe for disaster. Music is a super-agent. Grab onto anything that keeps on your toes and yet happy.

gym-music

A good pre-workout diet

Well sooner or later it all had to come down to your diet. After all those big guns are made not just built at the gym but cooked in the kitchen too and the most important meal you’ll have is right before you hit the weights and machines.

These meals should be high in carbs and proteins. So grab onto some chicken, fish or even oats and have it 25-30 mins before you begin. Don’t leave it too late or too early, timing is important.