IIFYM: Part 2 Are you doing it right?

images4MRCJONZWe have all heard the phrase “IIFYM brah!” and have seen the endless number of Poptart pictures on Instagram. IIFYM has been huge in the diet and workout industry as of lately. Even my first post on IIFYM has seen the most hits out of all the ones here on my blog. I personally shift back and forth from eating things I WANT to eat and eating things I SHOULD eat when it comes to macro tracking. First let’s start with the three macros one tracks when dieting or bulking: Fat, Protein and Carbs. There are a ton of sites and ways to calculate your macros and calories. From IIFYM.com to the plethora of google results you can get just by typing it in, it might be hard to choose the right formula.

Fret no more! Direct your attention to this article written by a good friend of mine: Scott Herman Fitness Now this isn’t a shameless plug or a bit of spam. I’ve known him since we were in high school and his fitness success has exploded on the internet. You can find him on Youtube as well and follow all his free workout videos.

By calculating the correct number of calories and macro percentages based on your goals, you will find that losing weight or gaining weight can be very easy.

One of the biggest takeaways from IIFYM however is what you put into your body. Many of these IGers will swear by IIFYM and because they are lean and “make gainz” IIFYM and eating poptarts and pizza must be right. Here is where I disagree. There are so many chemical in today’s foods that by eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros, can set your body up for self destruction later on. Why do I say this? Another good friend of mine recently beat cancer by changing his diet and incorporating raw greens juicing and healthy organic foods into his diet. He is a professional bodybuilder and admits to eating fast food at least once a week as his cheat meal before his cancer diagnosis. After cancer, he realized that more should go into what you put into your body. Forget about all the conspiracy theories and people who go for media drama and hype, there are a number of chemicals that are banned in other countries but not here in the US (for those readers who are outside of the US, check online to see if any other chemicals your nation might use are considered harmful).

By raw juicing and eating organic, grass fed beef and chicken, you can rid your body of the harmful chemicals that are snuck into your foods. While it’s great to look lean and cut, what good is that going to do you if you decrease your future quality of life? Be smart about this folks!!

Now I don’t claim to have vast amounts of knowledge in dieting and nutrition. However I’m sure this photo will prove that I have made great progress in trying to understand health and fitness:

 

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While it might be fun to eat poptarts and pizza, please consider the damage you may be causing to your body. Instead, focus on clean foods that will round out your macros while allowing yourself to cheat once and a while so you don’t binge on snack foods. If you have any questions on counting calories or macros, comment below and we will get back to you right away!

As always, following along on Instagram and come on over to our Facebook page Fitness by Claire

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Many people question the validity of Apple Cider Vinegar having as many health benefits as scientists say it does. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some information I came across on apple cider vinegar and why you should incorporate this into your diet daily!

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Apple cider vinegar is purported to treat numerous diseases, health   conditions, and annoyances. To name a few, it kills  head lice, reverses aging, eases digestion, prevents flu, prevents acne, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, kills fungus, regulate pH balance, dissolves kidney stones and helps relieve allergies, migraines, asthma, nausea,  heart burn and wash toxins from the body.      Can it really do all these things? You bet it can and more! But what does science say?

  • Diabetes. The effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels is   perhaps the best researched and the most promising of APV’s  health benefits. Several studies have found that   vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, a study (White, A. Diabetes Care, November 2007)  of 11   people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple   cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. In another study from Arizona State University, subjects took a drink of 20 grams of apple cider vinegar and   40 grams of water. Those with insulin   resistance who drank the vinegar had 34% lower postprandial (after-meal)   glucose compared to controls. Vinegar may be the most cost-effective medicine in history, but most people with diabetes still aren’t taking it.
  • High Cholesterol. A 2006 study reported in Medscape General Medicine, showed evidence that ACV could lower cholesterol.  In a study published in a foreign medical journal, scientists found an   apple cider vinegar-enhanced diet may increase in HDL (good   cholesterol), and reduce levels of triglycerides. Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help  control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011).
  • Blood Pressure and Heart Health. Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood   pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil   and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates   of heart disease than people who didn’t. Researchers   have suggested that ‘this reduction in blood pressure may be caused by the   significant reduction in renin activity and the subsequent decrease in   angiotensin II’. Potassium in   the vinegar ‘balances sodium levels in the body, which aids in   maintaining blood pressure within healthy limits’ and ‘apple cider   vinegar also contains magnesium, a mineral that works to relax   blood vessel walls and thus lower high blood pressure’.
  • CancerA few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be   able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. One study found that eating vinegar was   associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another   associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.   In recent trials, pectin, which can be found in ACV, has shown promise   in helping to slow the growth of cancerous cells within the prostate (http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100702/Modified-Citrus-Pectin-holds-promise-against-prostate-cancer.aspx).   In addition, apple cider vinegar’s acidity aids in detoxifying and   cleansing the digestive tract and cleaning out the colon, which supports   the health of the prostate as well.
  • Weight LossFor thousands of years, vinegar has been used for   weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people   feel full. A  study (Ostman, E. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005) of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of   bread along with small amounts of  vinegar felt fuller and more   satisfied than those who just ate the bread. A 2009 study on mice showed that consuming acetic acid (the active component in ACV), upregulates the expression of genes for   fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver causing a suppression in body   fat accumulation. In a double-blind experiment, obese Japanese were assigned to three different groups based on similar body weights, body mass indexes (BMI), and waist circumference. Each group drank a 500 ml drink   containing either 30ml, 15ml, or 0ml of vinegar daily for 12 weeks.   Those in the 30ml and 15ml groups had lower BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, serum triglyceride,   and body weight to the control group of 0ml. The 12-week weight losses   were modest: 1.2kg in the 15ml group and 1.7kg in the 30ml group.   These two groups consumed a similar number of calories to the control   group and also performed a similar amount of exercise, so the effect is   not likely to have been due to an impact on appetite or other lifestyle   changes. It was concluded that consumption of vinegar might reduce   obesity.
  • Alkaline Acid Balance: Some alternative practitioners recommend using apple cider vinegar to   restore alkaline acid balance. The theory behind the alkaline diet is   that our blood is slightly alkaline (with a normal pH level of between   7.35 and 7.45) and that our diet should reflect this pH level.   Proponents of the alkaline-acid theory believe that a diet high in   acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous   production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat,   nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and increased risk of   conditions such as arthritis and gout

Read the full article here: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/071113_Is-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-That-Powerful-of-a-Health-Tonic-Science-Says-Yes.shtml

Citation:

Summerly, J. (2013, July 11). Is Apple Cider Vinegar That Powerful of a Health Tonic? Science Says Yes. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://preventdisease.com/news/13/071113_Is-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-That-Powerful-of-a-Health-Tonic-Science-Says-Yes.shtml

 

Juice of the week

Recently I got into the world of juicing and have enjoyed the process so far. Most of the foods are bought organic at whole foods and the rest at costco. Here is a standard green, alkaline juice recipe we currently use. Later this week I’ll go into more detail about maintains an alkaline diet and why it’s beneficial to you!

Recipe for 2 people
6-8 carrots
2 oranges
Handful of dandelion greens
2 lemons
1″ of ginger
1 medium beet

Juice together and enjoy! We add a tsp of spirulina and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to our drinks!

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Treat Yourself Thursday: Dessert Pins!

As an advocate for healthy eating, sometimes I realize you need to treat yourself. I know most readers out there know how to substitute the unhealthy ingredients for the good ones, for example, apple sauce instead of oil. So here are a few dessert pins from pinterest to use to treat yourself this weekend, or anytime really! If you can swap out ingredients for healthier ones, go for it! And let us know which ones you substituted by commenting below! Have a great Thursday Everyone!

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies!

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (no flour, no butter)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (no flour, no butter)

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins

If you are not on pinterest you need to be on it! If you are then please click on this link and follow my boards! http://www.pinterest.com/levyii/boards

Chicken Salad without Mayo

Chicken salad is always a great go to for quick sandwiches for both kids and adults. Many recipes though call for the use of mayo in chicken salad. Well the other day I combined my cool avocado cream sauce (link to recipe down below) with the rest of the ingredients for chicken salad and it was amazing!! Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts or tenderloins, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews or pecans
  • 1/2 dried cranberries or chopped grapes (or both)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cool Avocado Cream Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Boil chicken in a pot of water until cooked. Once cooked through, strain and shred with fork or hand mixer, or chop into cubes
  2. Mix chicken in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the Cool Avocado Cream sauce, and rest of ingredients.
  3. Chill in refrigerator and enjoy on it’s own or in sandwiches!

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This makes a great quick sandwich especially on some whole wheat bread or a whole wheat pita. I don’t have the nutritional value of a serving of this chicken salad but if enough request it I will figure it out and add it to the post. Thanks so much! As always follow along on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy new year everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts and vow to make more this year. I took the last two weeks to relax with my husband as he had lots of time off which was wonderful! Because we spent the holidays lounging around, we found ourselves with a craving for sweet treats. I don’t usually buy treats when grocery shopping as we are trying to monitor calories and macros (this will be a post coming soon so stay tuned). I searched the internet and found a recipe for peanut butter cookies that did not include flour! Below are the ingredients and instructions for these cookies that only lasted 2 days:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter. I used Crazy Richards chunky which was good but I think just natural Skippy or Jiff would be better.
  • 1 cup sugar. Some of you may not like sugar since it’s not as healthy and Stevia for baking is a great alternative. I used Dominos brown sugar here.
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (so your cookies aren’t flat)
  • 2 teaspoons of flax meal (optional but a great source of omega-3 and highly recommended).

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. spoon 1 tbsp of mixture onto cookie sheet.
  4. Push a fork into the dough to get the classic peanut butter cookie look.
  5. cook in oven between 10-15 min until golden brown.
  6. take out of oven and transfer to cooling rack *warning: since there is no flour I found the cookies broke apart a bit when transferring them so either be gentle or wait until they cool before transferring.

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I hope you all enjoy them and as always come follow us on twitter and Instagram

How to Beat the Thanksgiving Day Bulk

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Most Americans love the holidays. It is a time we get together with family, enjoy great food, and catch up on all that went on during the year. This is also the time where most Americans put on the most weight. With a spread like that pictured above, how can one NOT want to indulge during the holidays? Well if most of you are on a healthy diet or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then these tips will surely help you avoid the holiday weight gain many of us dread.

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Tip #1: Drink Responsibly

This seems like a no-brainer however, when we get together with family, there seems to always bee alcohol available, especially around the holidays. Sam Adams has their pumpkin brew and I’m sure many other companies have similar beers. But, did you know that for example, the carbohydrates found in one pint of Guinness are 100% sugar! Sugars are simple carbs, used up faster by the body and can create unwanted insulin spikes! This can cause you to eat more than you wanted and crave more of the sugary sweet stuff you’ve worked so hard to avoid.

Tip #2: Drink H2O

Drink a full glass of water before you sit down to your Thanksgiving day dinner. Many times it is hard to differentiate between hunger and dehydration and that second and third helping you have, may have been better served with just another glass of water.

Tip #3: The 70/30 Rule

70% of the food on your plate should be protein in the form of turkey, chicken, or any meat of your choosing. Preferably the meat should be the white meat as it is lower in fat, but if you must have the dark meat (let’s face it, it tastes much better) just even it out with a mix of white and dark. Your protein should be no larger than approximately 4oz (basically the size of your fist or a deck of cards). 30% of the food on your plate should be from complex carbohydrates in the form of green beans (NOT the casserole), wild rice, or sweet potatoes (again, NOT the casserole).

Your carbs should equal no more than 2-3oz (the size of the inside of the palm of your hand). And that extra 10% we haven’t covered? Enjoy a small helping of the item of your choice. It IS the holiday season and that DOESN’T mean you can’t enjoy a small taste of Grandma’s homemade stuffing! Just make sure it’s ONLY 10% of what you’re eating!

Tip #4: Dessert

Beware! This is where you can really pack on the calories! Restrict your dessert to an item no larger than the palm of your hand, or no bigger than the size of your thumb. (So that 7 layer cake is OUT of the question!) Many of you may not like this suggestion. Hell, I’m known in my family to eat two slices of pie with ice cream before everyone is done being served their own slice! However, desserts are filled with sugar, butter, and are so calorically dense, that you could take all the precautions during dinner and throw it right out the window at dessert. Remember what you are working for and use your wits when it comes to these sweets.

Tip #5: No Round-Trips through the Table!

No going back for seconds or thirds… yet. Get enough in the first pass to keep you from going back. Many times, you’ll attempt to fill the plate in your hand again, either wasting food you’ll find you’re too full to eat, or an additional meal’s worth of calories you didn’t really need to eat. Stay where you are and catch up with family you might not have seen for awhile. Many times you’ll find a 2nd trip unnecessary if you’ve followed some of the tips above.

Tip #6: Wait 20 Minutes…

You’re allowed a trip back to the buffet… IF you wait 20 minutes first.

Wait 20 minutes after you’ve eaten your big holiday meal. If you’re still truly hungry, go back for a smaller version of whatever you’re hungry for.

However, chances are, after that 20 minute wait you’ll find you’re pleasantly satisfied. Why? It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to get the message to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Scarfing down a 2nd helping of Aunt May’s sweet potato casserole before your stomach has had time to get that memo to your brain can result in the top button of your pants relieving itself from the buttonhole without you even realizing it!

Tip #7: The Workouts

Try to get a good workout in the morning of Thanksgiving if your gym is open. If it’s not, go for a run. By burning off some calories you can increase your caloric deficit, helping you when it comes time to eat. You can also use Thanksgiving dinner as a refeed option and won’t have to feel as guilty or watch those calories so closely. The day after thanksgiving, while everyone is fighting each other in lines for Black Friday, go to the gym again. I’m almost positive they will be close to empty the day after, but not so much the Monday that follows. (Everyone feels guilty about the weekend they just had and all rush to the gym to work it off in one workout, we all know that won’t work!)

Tip #8: Diet Wisely Leading Up to Thanksgiving

Since weight loss or gain is determined based on calorie balance over time rather than day to day fluctuations, if you can create a decent calorie deficit during the week leading up to the meal, after you have that higher calorie meal on Thanksgiving, you’ll actually just set yourself back closer to baseline.

For example, even if you can remove 200 calories from your daily diet starting on Monday leading up to Thanksgiving that will be 600 additional calories you can add. Depending on where your calories are, 200 may seem like a lot. I know for me, if I eliminated 200 a day, I’d be down to 1100 calories a day, and I’d be hungry all week, which could be dangerous. Those of you on a bulk during the winter months, this might be a bit easier for you to do. If you are already on a caloric defict, try reducing by 50-100 calories a day.

Given a typical dinner meal of 500 calories, this allows you to eat 1100 calories that meal without gaining any weight (note that you may have typical dinner meals of more or less calories than this so the number would have to be adjusted).

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I know we won’t be doing much for Thanksgiving this year, I may cook a turkey, haven’t decided yet. However, I hope these tips will help some of you avoid feeling so guilty during the holidays. Family should understand your healthy lifestyle and help you rather than hinder you during this time. I know I love the holidays. In fact, it’s hard to go grocery shopping now as all the ingredients for ginger bread houses and pumpkin pies are screaming my name as I walk down the aisle (or atleast that’s how I see it!). By staying motivated and allowing yourself to relax a bit during the holiday, it will allow you to reduce your stress levels, which we know creates cortisol and increases body fat all on its own.

5 Halloween Treat Myths You Should Know!

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Halloween is fast upon us. Most of you have picked out your costumes, RSVP’d to your parties and have purchased candy to hand out to trick or treaters. For those of you trying to maintain a strict diet and weightloss program, this particular day may be difficult. With so much chocolate and sweet treats floating around, it could be difficult to pass it all up. Here we will provide you with 5 Halloween Treat myths to help you stay on track.

1. The Sugar Free Candy Myth

Just because it says “sugar free” it does not mean to go ahead and indulge in these candies. If you are looking at the sugar free hard candies, then you would be right in your assumption that they have fewer calories per piece. However, it is the sugar free chocolate candies you should watch out for. They tend to contain plenty of fat calories and can be worse in total calorie consumption compared to a sugar filled gummy candy.

2. The Size Illusion

Halloween candy is all about those cute fun sized little packages that make you think because it’s small, its ok to have. Let’s look at it this way: If you were to eat a full sized candy bar you probably would feel a little guilty after cosuming it, no? It wouldn’t impact your diet too much unless you are really cutting out sugar and you would continue about your day. This fully sized chocolate bar might contain 250-400 calories depending on what you ate. Now lets look at the bite sized candies. They typically have 70-100 calories per mini bar. The problem is, you might find yourself reaching for another an hour later, and then another, and then another. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a good 8-10 of the tiny candies, giving you 800-1000 calories to your day….at night! OH MY!

3. Dark Chocolate

When comparing dark chocolate to milk chocolate, yes, dark chocolate is the lesser of two evils. It will never be as healthy as an apple, a bowl of oatmeal or chicken breast. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of consuming large amounts of dark chocolate on Halloween. Keep your portions in check!

4. Raisins

Many people opt for the chocolate covered raisins over the chocolate covered peanuts. They seem to think that since raisins are fruit, they must be the better choice…..right? Well if you look at the macros, 20 grams of raisins have 90 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, 14.4 grams of carbs (13.6 of them from sugar) and 0.8 grams of protein.  20 grams of chocolate covered peanuts on the other hand, contain 109 calories, 6.7 grams of fat, 9.8 grams of carbs (only 7.6 grams from sugar) and 2.5 grams of protein. The fats in the peanuts are healthy fats and if you maintain good portion control, the peanuts get the win in this one!

5. How to Avoid Snacking

The trouble people have is reaching into that bowl in between the trick or treaters. One trick to ward off those cravings is to buy candy that you are not a fan of. Don’t go and buy your favorite peanut butter cups and butterfingers (I am guilty of this one!) but instead buy the candy you don’t really like, this way you are less inclined to reach into the bowl and snack!

Happy Halloween everyone, be safe, keep the diet in check, and we will see you again for how to maintain a good diet during Thanksgiving! Follow along on Twitter @levyii

Halloween ABS: 13 in 2013!

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Most of you have heard this before. Diet is 70% of your weight loss or muscle growth journey. While this is true, today we are going to give you 13 fantastic abdominal exercises that you can do right at home or in the gym. I get questions from people all the time about how I get my abs to show, and while they aren’t quite at the 6 pack formation I want just yet, they are coming along quite nicely:

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I try to maintain my diet as much as possible but usually on the weekends I let it slack a bit as I don’t go to the gym either those two days. That being said, here are 13 exercises that might make you feel a little bit better after eating all that Halloween candy!

1. Body Weight Bridge

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Lie down on the floor. Keep knees bent and feet on the floor. Wrap arms around your upper body. Lift your hip upward. Hold for one second. Return to starting position

2. Body Weight Crunch

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Lie down on the floor. Feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent. Position hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Raise your upper body upward while keeping your lower back on the floor. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

3. Body Weight Bicycle

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs so that your thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Put hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Move left elbow and right leg toward the body until they touch. Move left elbow and right leg back to starting position. At the same time, move right elbow and left leg toward the body until they touch. This is one repetition.

4. Body Weight Crunch Reverse

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs so that your thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Position hands at your sides to stabilize position. Lift lower body towards the ceiling. Stop when only upper back is touching on the floor. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

5. Heel Touch

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Lie down on the floor. Feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent. Position arms to your side. Lift shoulders off the floor. Touch your left heel with your left hand. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. Touch your right heel with your right hand. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. This is one repetition.

6. Plank

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Lie prone on the floor. Raise yourself up so that only your toes and forearms are on the floor. Keep your back straight. Hold for as long as possible.

7. Side Plank

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Lie on your side. Make sure one leg is on top of the other. Position your forearm on the floor perpendicular with your body. Use your forearm to lift your upper body off the ground. The other arm is placed on the side of your body. Hold for as long as possible.

8. Body Weight Pull In Seated

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Sit at the end of the bench and hold onto the bench with both hands. Lie back and raise your legs until you reach a position of balance. Keep legs straight. Bend Legs toward your upper body while you simultaneously move your upper body towards your thighs. Hold this position for one second before return to starting postion.

9. Scissor Kick

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Lie down on the floor. Place hands next to your sides. Extend legs fully and slightly elevated. While keeping legs straight, raise one leg up. As you lower leg, raise the other leg up. This is one repetition.

10. Sit-Up

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Lie back on the floor. Put hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Knees are bent and feet are on the floor. Raise your upper body upward. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

11. Body Weight Toe Touch

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs until legs are pependicular with the floor. Fully extend your arms above you. Reach for your toes with your hands. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

12. Bodyweight Twist

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs until thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Keep legs straight. Fully extend your arms to your sides. While twisting the upper body, lower your legs to one side. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. While twisting the upper body, lower your legs to the other side. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

13. Russian Twist

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Sit down with your feet flat on the mat. Your knees should be bent. Lean back slightly. Position your hands together and keep your hands in this position for the rest of the movement (you can also hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball for more advanced exercise). Your arms should be perpendicular with your upper body. Twist your torso in one direction. Hold for one second. Twist your torso in the other direction. Hold for one second. This is one repetition.

So there you have 13 abdominal exercises to add to your arsenal. Complete each one 25-30 times. If you can not do them without stopping, take a break as many times as needed but complete 25-30 reps, 3 sets for each exercise. You don’t need to do all 13. Pick 3 for lower abs, 3 for your obliques and 3 for upper abs and this will round out your workout. Next week we will post a sample diet to follow while you try to bring out those abs! Happy Halloween everyone and be safe!

Follow me on Instagram at Fitnessbyclaire or on Twitter @Levyii Join us on Facebook at Fitness By Claire

Fat Kid Living Inside of Me…

That’s right. You read that correctly. I have a fat kid that I keep stuffed deep inside. Don’t believe me?

Circa 2008 In Maine! OMG!

Circa 2008 In Maine! OMG!

Yeah that's me on the left

Yeah that’s me on the left

Yeah that’s right. 5 years ago I tipped the scales at 160lbs! I’m only 5’1″! My diet consisted of pizza, 6-8 regular sodas a day, cheetos, chinese food, and I could totally clear a pint of Ben and Jerry’s icecream in one sitting (actually I think I could still do that if I tried today). Thankfully the military would not allow me to remain at this weight much longer.

I'm bigger than the snowman?!

I’m bigger than the snowman?!

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Long story short in less than a year I dropped 30lbs and gained muscle! 5 years later and I’m steady at 120lbs! I’m MUCH healthier, my diet is so much cleaner than it used to me. I no longer drink sodas unless its a special occassion. I follow the Primal or Paleo diet lifestyle and I have to say it has done wonders for my energy level and overall well being!

Me 2012 in Washington DC

Me 2012 in Washington DC

So how did I do it you ask? well that’s the whole point of this blog! Stay tuned for the diet that changed my life!