Archive for January, 2012

3 Reasons Why You Need To Keep A Diet Journal


If you’re looking to lose fat, gain muscle, or improve performance, you need to be keeping a diet journal.  It’s one of the hands-down best ways to reach your fitness goals fast.

I personally try to measure and log my food for at least a few days out of every month to make sure I’m on track; in fact, I’m in the process of this monthly ritual right now … and it’s inspired this list of three reasons why you should do the same:
1. You’re probably underestimating portion sizes

There’s simply no way you know what ‘correct’ portion sizes are unless you measure them periodically. For example:
  • Do you know what one tbsp of cream and/or sugar looks like?
  • Do you actually know by ‘eyeballing it’ how much is three oz of deli turkey is?
  • How much wine do you pour yourself when you have a glass?
Over the course of the days, weeks, and months, bigger-than-necessary portion sizes can add up … and keep you from reaching your fat loss goals.
2.  You’re probably not eating as ‘good’ as you think you are

There’s no better exercise than keeping a diet journal to expose your eating habits for what they actually are.  For example, you could easily:
  • Be eating more processed carbs and crap than you think you are
  • Not drinking as much water as you think you are
  • Eating out more than you think you are
  • Eating less fruits and veggies than you think you are
Write down what you’re eating for a few days and, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know exactly where you’re at.
3. You’ll get a ‘bird’s eye’ view of your true eating patterns – and can more easily identify obstacles in reaching your goals

A lot of folks have just a handful of obstacles that keep them from reaching their goals.  Maybe you sabatoge yourself at night by snacking on crap.  Maybe you have trouble eating much of anything early in the day – and end up making bad choices later in the day.  Maybe it’s a convenience issue – you have a busy schedule, and planning ahead is your big challenge.  By writing everything down, you can identify what the specific obstacles are in reaching your fitness goals – and more easily come up with some solutions.
In summary, whether you’re looking to lose fat, gain muscle, increase energy, or improve performance, it’s your diet that’ll make or break you in the end.  Keeping a diet journal is one of the best things you can do to fine-tune your diet and make sure you’re on track.  Get started with your diet journal today!

P.S. If you are searching for a healthier eating formula, you need to look at these slow carb recipes at http://www.thefitnessmonster.com/2012/01/slow-carb-recipes.html!

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Instantly Boost Your Kettlebell Pressing Power (revisited)

You’ve just bumped up a kettlebell weight/size for your presses.  You’re getting stuck at a specific rep count and can’t seem to get any higher …

Or, maybe you’re going for a new personal best on the kettlebell press, but can’t quite press the next weight up.

If either of the above scenarios describe you, your press/re-clean technique could be the key to unlocking extra pressing power …

In a post earlier this year, I talked about how to boost your kettlebell pressing power using whole-body muscle tension techniques … this concept is a follow-up on that idea and will further help you get more out of your KB pressing.

The idea is that for light weight/high rep/lower intensity sets, you can do your presses right from the shoulder for reps.  However, for heavy weight/low rep/higher intensity sets, try re-cleaning the ‘bell between each rep.  This will allow you to use some of the kinetic energy you generate with the clean to assist in ‘boosting up’ your press.

It’s amazing the difference this technique (combined with the tension principles discussed in the article I’ve already mentioned) can make in your strength and overall rep totals.

That’s it for today – a simple but very effective technique for boosting your kettlebell pressing power.  If you’re looking for that edge to press more weight and make faster progress, add it to your training technique arsenal and enjoy the benefits!

Keep training hard and talk soon –

Forest Vance, RKC II

P.S. If you feel that this advice will help you in your training, you have to check out Sacramento Personal Trainer at http://www.forestvancetraining.com/personal-trainers-sacramento for more tips.

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