Can I Still Drink?

Can I Still Drink?

With St. Patty’s day coming up I’m sure we’ll be seeing many of you at the bar. I mean the gym. And probably the bar. Although we don’t encourage participating in drinking holidays, we know you will. Here’s a few facts about alcohol’s effect on the body you might want to keep in mind before taking that extra shot for a strand of green plastic beads.

·      Any way you slice it, alcoholic drinks are loaded with empty calories. Unlike food that fuels you in some way (even the not so macronutrient dense foods), alcohol does not. Beer and mixed drinks are heavy on the carbs, which if not used as energy, will be converted into fat. If that’s not enough to combat the urge to binge drink

·      Excess drinking can weaken the immune system. It’s already been a tough winter for your body to cope with the dramatic daily weather changes, so I’d keep the drinking to a minimum for a little while.

·      Alcohol causes neurotransmitters in your brain to relay info much slower than it typically would, which attributes to the drowsiness, slurred speech, and lack of motor coordination most people notice soon after drinking.  Alcohol also can cause you to lose your memory, which can put you in some scary situations so be careful!

·      It’s DEHYDRATING.  Alcohol sucks all of the water from your organs, the biggest one being your skin. If you struggle with dry winter skin, try more water and less alcohol. Rule of thumb, drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. Chances are, you wont’ be as dehydrated, you won’t be hungry, and you won’t be terribly hung-over in the morning.

·      You know alcohol is full of calories, but that’s the not only thing that’ll put weight on you quick. Alcohol affects the decision making part of your brain and it also lowers your inhibitions. Ever find yourself eating Taco Bell at 2:45am after a night of drinking? You know you shouldn’t eat that but somehow you justify it. Remember, drunk people don’t make good decisions, so stop listening to your drunk self. Consuming a few hundred excess calories from alcohol is one thing but eating a couple thousand calories because you’re drunk is going to put a huge dent in your physical fitness goals.

·      This last fact coincides with the binge eating on junk fact. Alcohol reduces your body’s ability to metabolism sugars and fats. Not good when your drinks are full of carbs that turn into sugar, coupled with a high fat “cheat meal.”

Don’t let these factors deter you from having fun (reevaluate what you call fun maybe). Now that you’re armed with some knowledge, keep some of these things in mind the next time you go out. Our best advice? Drink in moderation. You can still enjoy your life, be healthy, and have a drink too!

Food Labels for Weight Loss

Food Labels for Weight Loss

We all know nutrition is the key to seeing your fitness goals in to fruition (if you didn’t know, I’m telling you now!).  Whether it is losing weight, gaining muscle, or training for an endurance sport, food is the fuel that will truly change your body. Start thinking of your body as a luxury car. You would never put low-grade gas in a Rolls Royce, now would you? You are a Rolls Royce. Eat accordingly! Lean proteins, leafy greens, complex carbs, and minimal sugar are some basic rules to remember when cleaning up your diet.

 

Ok, so what do you do when real life starts and you need food fast? How do I pack my kid’s lunch? Although, I’m not an advocate for processed foods, I understand they are a modern convenience that is nearly impossible to completely cut out of your diet. Becoming a master at reading nutrition labels is your biggest defense against. Most of us are in the habit of at least checking nutrition labels to see how many calories we’re eating. Calorie checking is step one. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when checking the nutrition labels on your favorite snack foods:

·       Check the calories. If something seems too high in calories, itis. Put it down and walk away.

·       CHECK THE SERVING SIZE. Food companies are excellent at tricking us into thinking we are eating much less than we are. Be careful that you aren’t eating or drinking more than the serving size that’s listed on the label. You’re favorite soda may only be 160 calories, but if you read the serving size there are 2 servings in each bottle. You just consumed 320 empty calories. Be careful!

·       Check the macronutrients on the label, aka check the fats, carbs, and proteins listed. Look for foods high in protein and low in fat. Carbs and protein are 4 calories/gram and 9 calories/gram of fat. 10+ grams of fat for a packaged item with a tiny serving is a lot of fat so even if it seems “low carb,” it’s not the best use of fat calories. Don’t be afraid of carbs and fat either. Carbs give you energy, but if you have excess fat, you got that way by eating too many carbs so be wary of high carb processed foods. Not all protein bars are made the same! Sure it has 25g of protein, but it also as 8g of fat and 30g of carbs. That’s equivalent to a full meal. I don’t know about you but I’d be a lot more satisfied with a meal on a plate than a “healthy” bar that’ll never taste as good as real chocolate.

·       Check the fiber. Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer and it’s necessary for smooth digestion.  A lot of packaged food is skimpy on the fiber.

·       Look at the ingredients! If there are a ton of ingredients, none of which you recognize, put it down. Processed foods are full of chemicals that can create hormone imbalances. Many chemicals found in processed foods can negatively affect estrogen levels in the body, making it harder for you to lose weight. 

Should My Kid Box?

Should My Kid Box?

We get this question a lot from parents? It’s a tough one to answer since you know your kid better than we do but here’s a few things to consider to:

·      You’re child won’t start boxing and immediately be put in the ring to spar. A lot of kids train every day just for fun! All fighters, kids included, need extensive technique training and an appropriate conditioning regime before they can ever get in the ring.

·      Hyperactivity, ADD, anger, grief, and a slew of other issues kids can face can be remedied in the gym. Boxing cultivates discipline and is a positive outlet for kids to let out any negative emotions, not to mention the workouts are sure to exhaust even the most active child (you’re welcome parents).

·      Obesity and weight related diseases. Concerned about the physical health of your child? Take the iPad away and put him or her in the gym. Fun and intense workouts will cause any excess weight to slide right off, without the typical gym routine that may be boring to young kids. Please be aware that sports aren’t a complete problem solver. A colorful diet, frequent activity, and a loving home are really going to propel your child into a lifelong healthy lifestyle!

·      TRUST YOUR COACH! If boxing seems like it would be a positive thing for your child, please make sure that you trust your child’s coaches. Be sure that your child is working out in a safe environment with positive people. Coach Dave has been in the boxing game for 35 years and has trained elite fighter Manny Taylor since childhood all the way to a World Title fight. There is no telling what you child’s future may be. Who knows, you may have a World champion on your hands!

Realistic Tips For Becoming a Morning Person

Realistic Tips For Becoming a Morning Person

As we get deeper into fall, the mornings are getting cooler and cooler. It’s getting harder to get out of bed without the sun shining through the window.  We’ve got this morning thing down to a science, so here are some tips to help you conquer the early a.m. hours.

·      GO TO SLEEP EARLIER. This may seem obvious but “early” is relative.  Aim to be in bed by 9:30 to allow your body and mind to relax before falling asleep. Going to bed earlier and getting an adequate amount of sleep every night reduces the grogginess that sometimes plagues us in the mornings.

·      Wake up earlier. There is nothing worse than rushing around in the morning. Doing a hundred things within the first 20 minuets of your wake up call is not only stressful, which can affect your whole day, but you are often much more prone to forgetting things when you are rushing. You forget to eat, forget your lunch, forget to pack your presentation for work, forget your kid’s homework.  Having more time in the mornings will definitely cut down on the stress.

·      We’ve touched on the importance of meditation in a few blogs before, but seriously it’s important! Sometimes we get so busy throughout the day that we can’t imagine sitting and “doing nothing” for 10 minuets. It’s hard for us too, but making the time to meditate is so worth it! Allot yourself 5-10 minuets before you have to get up to sit in bed and meditate.  New to meditation? Get an app! We love guided meditations on the “Headspace” app.

·      Pack your stuff the night before. Work, school, gym, etc. It seems we have to bring more with us for our busy days than on a weekend vacay. Pack your bags the night before so you can easily grab it and go in the morning. Don’t forget to have your breakfast and lunch ready to go. *Bonus Tip-I’ll admit, laying out your clothes for the day the night seem be a bit juvenile, but have at least an idea of 2 outfits that you can wear that you know is clean, fits, and is appropriate for wherever you’re going. Outfit planning cuts down on the time you spend to get ready in the mornings.

·      Have a morning routine. Meditate, shower, skincare, get dressed, coffee/tea, breakfast, go. Having an enjoyable morning ritual gives you something to look forward to so you’re excited in the mornings.

·      Set a positive intention for your day! Say to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day,” even if you’re morning isn’t running as smoothly as anticipated (although if you follow these tips you should be on your way to a stress free morning).  If you’re happy in the morning, why not be happy for the rest of the day?

We love early mornings at Sweet Science. Use our tips to get to one of our 5:30am workouts. Nothing wakes the body up better than a good sweat!

 

Easy Ways to Recover After a Weekend of Indulgence

Easy Ways to Recover After a Weekend of Indulgence

It's always hard to get back into the swing of things after a brief stint of binge eating and drinking. We are all about working hard and playing harder, but don't ever let "having fun" derail you from your goals. Here are a few tips to get you back on track after a few days of living it up.

  • REHYDRATE-Have you ever noticed an insatiable thirst after a night of drinking? That's because alcohol is dehydrating to the body. It's essential to drink plenty of water to flush out the alcohol in your body and replenish your water supply. Pro tip-Be sure to moisturize your hair, skin, and nails as well! Drinking can literally suck the life out your skin. Moisturize!
  • SWEAT-Chances are you have over done it on the calories. Use the excess energy to fuel your workouts for the next few days. Train a little harder and longer than you normally do. Lift heavier. Run an extra mile or two. Whatever your workout of choice is, up the intensity to burn off the burgers and fries.
  • CLEAN UP YOUR DIET-This one is a bit obvious. The longer you eat crap, the harder it is for you to get back in your routine. Plan out a few basic healthy meal options that you can eat to aid in your recovery phase. Incorporate protein, lots of veggies, and cut the carbs to a moderately low level for the next few days.
  • GINGER-Overindulgence often causes stomach aches and bloating. Skip the over the counter drugs and opt for some natural remedies. Ginger is full of antioxidants, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and it helps moves things along the digestive tract. Natural ginger can be a bit difficult to eat so we suggest ginger tea.
  • MEDITATE-No need to be sad that summer is ending or that you have to get back to the work grind. Get excited! Take a few mins to remind yourself what your goals are and how you are going to accomplish them. Mindset is everything. Having a healthy and positive mind is the first step to achieving long-lasting physical wellness.

No Time? No Problem! 15 Min Workout Routine

No Time? No Problem! 15 Min Workout Routine

With so many exciting things happening in the fall it is hard to find time to get to the gym everyday. We get it. That's why we've created a 15 minute high intensity workout routine to tide you over on those crazy days when making the trek to the gym just isn't an option. Do this routine once in the morning and again a few hours before bed for optimum results. Did we mention it's a full body toning workout with no equipment needed?

  • Jumping jacks-3 mins
  • Squats-3 mins
  • Skater Lunges-30
  • Walking Lunges-30
  • Close Grip Push ups-25
  • Arm circles-1 min forward, 1 min backwards
  • Leg raises-25
  • Mountain Climbers-1 min 

keep the intensity high by taking minimal breaks (no more than 30 seconds). Good luck!