Fitness & Wellness

Tips To Lose Belly Fat

Tips To Lose Belly Fat

One of the most often mentioned goals of clients at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, is to lose belly fat and have great looking abs. Belly fat is the most unhealthy type of fat. It’s called visceral fat and the most dangerous type of fat. It crowds organs and increases the risk for several types of serious diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers Just working out is a start, attempting to lose weight in a specific area doesn’t work. So what can you do to get that flat stomach without the belly fat covering your toned abs?

Are you getting enough fiber?

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber can’t be digested, but it does provide bulk and help prevent constipation that causes bloating. Insoluble fiber mixes with the water to form a gel. It helps you lose belly fat. That type of fiber slows the absorption of nutrients. It feeds gut bacteria and helps nurture a wider variety of gut bacteria and more beneficial bacteria that affects how you digest food. Gut bacteria also produces short-chain fatty acids during digestion and that’s linked to a lower risk or reduction of belly fat. It also can fill you up.


While doing abdominal exercises help strengthen the underlying muscles and burns calories, it doesn’t necessarily take those calories from the fat on your belly. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running burns tons of calories, but it takes those calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Strength training not only burns calories, it builds muscles in the process. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. Studies show it’s beneficial for losing belly fat and the combination of cardio and strength training is the most effective technique to achieve the goal.

Learn to deal with stress.

When you’re under stress, your body prepares for fight or flight. However, not all stressful situations require you to do either. That means those hormones aren’t burnt off. Cortisol is one of those hormones. It’s associated with the accumulation of fat in the belly area and increased appetite. Find a way to reduce the effects of stress, such as doing something physical or enjoying a pleasurable activity. Learning techniques, such as controlled breathing or meditation also help.

  • Avoid both sugary and sugar substitute drinks. Sugary drinks add tons of calories without satisfying hunger, while drinks like diet colas with sugar substitutes, are proven to add belly fat and increase waist size.
  • Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day in an 8-oz glass of water. The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar in animal studies shows it does help reduce belly fat and human studies show it helps lose weight.
  • Combine strength training with HIIT—high intensity interval training. HIIT is a technique where you vary the intensity of your exercise, burns calories while you’re doing it and for up to 72 hours afterward.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep causes the body to create more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the one that makes you feel full. Studies show people who didn’t get enough sleep were more prone to weight gain than those that don’t.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Which Grains Are Low In Carbs?

Which Grains Are Low In Carbs?

You’ve probably read how grains are the enemy of weight loss plans, but take heart, there are some that are low in carbs. While some people on low carb diets may give up all grains, there are some, when eaten in moderation, that are good for you. These grains are higher in fiber. Fiber slows the absorption of carbs in your body, which results in fewer carbs being absorbed. Refined grains, which have been highly processed have not only many of the nutrients processed out, but also much of the fiber. White flour, white rice and the products made with those are examples.

Eat some oats for breakfast or as a snack.

Oats contain a lot of nutrients and is a good source of fiber, too. There are 8-grams of dietary fiber in just one cup and 21 grams of carbs your body can use. Oats also contain beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber shown to lower the bad cholesterol levels—LDL. Oats also have 34% of daily magnesium, 191% of daily manganese, 39% of daily thiamine and 42% of daily phosphorus. It also has significant amounts of copper, iron, zinc, folate and pantothenic acid.

Some grains aren’t considered grains but pseudocereal, which is made and used like grain.

When you consider carbs, you have to look at net carbs, those absorbed. The net carbs for a cup of quinoa is 34. Quinoa offers other benefits, too. Antioxidants and polyphenols are two that help protect the body from serious diseases and lower inflammation. Even better, quinoa is a source of complete protein, which is hard to find in a plant based diet. It has all the essential amino acids the body needs. It’s packed with insoluble fiber and has a high content of vitamins and minerals.

Go for other ancient grains.

Quinoa is one ancient grain that is good for low carb diets, but so is bulgar, millet, spelt, barley, All provide a good amount of fiber, so are lower in net carbs. Bulgar, for instance, has lots of iron, manganese, magnesium and B vitamins. Millet is another high fiber, low net carb grain that may be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes because of polyphenols and antioxidants. Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, is associated with reducing the risk for heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. It’s high in magnesium, niacin, zinc, and manganese. Like all other ancient grains, barley is high in fiber and lower in net carbs. It’s a good source of selenium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Always choose hulled barley, not the more processed pearled barley.

  • Enjoy wild rice with your meal. Wild rice is neither grain nor rice, but can be used instead of rice. It comes from a species of grasses and is often called Canadian rice.
  • Have a snack of popcorn, it’s a low net carb whole grain. If you’re counting calories, make it lower in calories by air popping it. You can make your own microwave popcorn by using a paper lunch sack.
  • Brown rice has lots of nutrients and a good amount of fiber. It provides benefits for heart health, prevention of type 2 diabetes and is naturally gluten free.
  • Another ancient grain is teff. You may not have heard of teff. It’s grown primarily in Ethiopia. It’s naturally gluten free. You’ll find it as a whole grain or flour. It’s packed with nutrients and has a nutty flavor.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Balancing Work And Health

Balancing Work And Health

Do you find yourself too busy at work to exercise? Is your job taking over your entire life? Balancing work and health care is one of the most important priorities you should have. There’s an important relationship between body, spirit and mind. Work stress can take a toll on your health and without exercising, can cause changes that actually make you sick. Studies show that work performance declines when you aren’t doing the important things to help you be healthier.

Take time to exercise regularly.

You may not think you have time to exercise, but once you start, you’ll find it helps you get your projects finished at work. Exercise not only burns off the hormones of stress that can cause brain fog and poor performance at work. It also builds your endurance and strength. When you have more endurance, you have more energy and that means you’ll be able to function at top speed. Exercise increases circulation and that oxygen and nutrient rich blood goes to all the brain cells to increase your mental capabilities.

Eating healthy is also important and can affect your work.

Healthy eating provides nutrients that your brain needs to function at its best. You may not think you have time to prepare healthy food, but once you plan meals ahead, find it a breeze. Not only is meal planning a preparation a way to ensure you eat healthy and the right number of calories, it can help prevent stress. Eating junk or fast food consistently not only depletes you of nutrients, it can cause blood sugar levels to spike and drop. Once you start meal planning and prep, you’ll find it’s far quicker and far more satisfying than waiting in the drive through line.

Learn relaxation techniques.

You might not be one for meditation, although that’s a good way to destress and take time for yourself, but simple deep breathing exercises can be done in a few minutes. Once you learn the technique, when work life becomes chaotic, take a few minutes from the day to breathe deeply at your desk or in a quiet area.

  • Learn to say no. If your boss is asking you to go above and beyond on a regular basis and it’s consistently leaving you with less and less personal time, set limits and say no.
  • When you workout, you’ll get another benefit that can help you feel better about yourself. Exercise improves posture and that makes you look and feel more confident.
  • Get adequate sleep. Burning the candle at both ends may sound like you’re doing something noble, but you’re not. You’re only setting yourself up for illness and poor work performance. Get sleep, get done quicker.
  • If you’re at a desk all day, every hour, take a break and walk around or do something physical for about five minutes. Sitting longer than an hour can negatively affect your health.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Can You Diet Without Protein?

Can You Diet Without Protein?

While there are some health conditions that are exacerbated by consuming too much protein, a diet without protein can have health risks for most people. You need protein in your diet. It’s an essential macronutrient that is necessary for building bones, muscle, and skin. It’s necessary for the body to create hormones and enzymes and make repairs to tissue. Too little protein can cause a lowered immune response, loss of muscle tissue, reduced bone density, damaged nails and hair loss and even a propensity to overeat, since protein is filling.

Some people require a diet lower in protein because of health conditions.

There are people who benefit from a diet lower in protein, but there is no benefit from a diet absent in protein. People with liver or kidney disease, homocystinuria and phenylketonuria get help with a lower protein diet. That’s because when the body breaks down protein down during digestion, excess protein is handled by the liver and leaves a waste product called urea. The kidneys then have to excrete the urea. Keeping the diet lower in protein can help prevent this from occurring and lower the work load of both organs. Otherwise, they develop a higher amount of urea in the blood, which causes symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite and even mental changes. It also can increase the potential for Type 2 diabetes, heart failure and some forms of cancer.

It’s hard enough to create a low protein diet that’s healthy, but impossible to go without any protein and still be healthy.

Because protein is a macronutrient and foods containing it, also contain other nutrients necessary to a healthy body, trying to create a diet low in protein that’s healthy is tough and not recommended for most healthy people. It can also be challenging reducing protein intake and requires careful planning to meet your nutritional needs. There are many higher protein foods that contain key nutrients you need to live. Animal products, such as beef, are high in iron, zinc and many B vitamins. Plant proteins, such as beans, contain many minerals like magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, for example. That makes it far more complicated to create and follow and should only be undertaken with supervision of your health care professional.

What types of food would a low protein diet contain.

A no protein diet should never be considered. Even people with medical issues that involve protein need to have some protein in their diet. Why? Because it’s necessary for the body to function and to achieve that, will get the protein from the body itself. It breaks down muscle tissue to do that, including the heart muscle. If you’re considering cutting back on protein, foods low in protein include fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil and olive oil.

  • A lower protein diet uses higher protein foods as a side dish and limits their intake. Since protein is higher in calories and helps fill you up, increasing calories from fat may be necessary to accomplish those things.
  • While some studies show that people on a lower protein diet live longer, other studies show negative effects of this type of diet. For instance, one study showed that increasing protein in the diet lowered blood pressure after four years than those with less protein intake.
  • The body needs protein to maintain the balance between water and salt in the blood vessels, which prevents fluid from filling tissues. When protein levels are lower, swelling of the legs and edema are more likely to occur.
  • Losing weight is all about getting healthier and fad diets or diets that cut out an important macronutrients are not the way to go. 180° Fitness, we can help you learn how to make healthier choices and attain your perfect, healthy way.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

How To Diet With No Carbs

How To Diet With No Carbs

At 180° Fitness in Gloucester, ON, we help you lose weight and become your fittest by aiding you to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We don’t believe in all the calorie counting, strict diets and other severe restrictions, but guide you toward eating healthy and choosing a wide variety of food. It’s a sustainable eating pattern that allows you to eat anywhere, whether at home, at a party or in public, and never feel deprived. Every day we get questions about specific types of diets, such as diet with no carbs. Are these types of diets successful? Are they healthy? Are they sustainable?

Is a no carb diet the same as a low carb diet?

There have been a multitude of low carb diets that have been touted for years, but more recently, a no carb diet has come to the foreground. These diets can be super restrictive and ultimately unhealthy. Consider all the food that contains carbs. You can easily give up some of the foods with no effect on your health and even health benefits. Foods like baked goods, sugary treats, refined flour products and those with sugar are included in that group. If you’re giving up all carbs, it would include food like vegetables, nuts and healthy food that provide fiber and valuable nutrients you need.

No carb diets can affect your health negatively if done for very long.

Cutting out any one of the macronutrients can severely limit your intake of like, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Since many foods contain both carbs, protein and healthy fat, it further restricts the intake of macronutrients, too. Some foods, such as vegetables, contain carbs, but also provide antioxidants that protect the body from the cellular level. Sticking strictly to a no carb diet completely eliminates fiber, which is necessary for good heart health, lower blood pressure and a healthy digestive system.

It’s almost impossible to stick with a strict no carb diet.

Consider all the foods that contain carbs, bread, pasta, yogurt, milk, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, baked goods and grains. That leaves only meat, fish, cheese, eggs, butter and other oils. Some people choose foods with carbs, but that also have a high fiber content, which means most of the carbs aren’t digestible, but it’s still restrictive. It’s hard to maintain the diet, since it restricts so many foods. Whether eating at a friend’s house or in a restaurant, your selection is severely limited. That means most people fail to continue the diet for very long.

  • Whether you’re counting calories or counting carbs, it makes losing weight more of a task. Instead, learning how to choose food wisely is the best way to lose weight.
  • While low carb diets have been shown to provide some benefits, such as weight loss, there are few studies on no carb diets over the long haul.
  • Reducing your carb intake helps prevent diabetes and prevent complications for those who already have diabetes, but it isn’t necessary to wipe out all carbs, just choose those that are healthier.
  • 180° Fitness, we believe that you don’t have to follow ridiculously restrictive diet plans to get benefits, including weight loss. We make weight loss and healthy eating easy, so you can lose weight and keep it off permanently.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Is MCT The Best Fat For Weight Loss?

Is MCT The Best Fat For Weight Loss?

You may have heard about MCT— medium-chain triglycerides— and how this type of oil is the best fat for weight loss, but didn’t know why the sudden interest. Many believe it came from the more recent interest in coconut oil, a good source of this type of fat. However, only about 50% of the fat in coconut oil is MCT. Scientists discovered that medium-chain triglycerides are metabolized differently from long chain triglycerides—LCT, which are more likely to be stored as fat, rather than used immediately for energy.

While MCT is found in coconut oil, it’s also removed from that oil and sold separately as MCT.

That removal of MCT oil from the coconut or palm oil makes it a completely new product with different benefits and drawbacks. It’s considered better for weight loss, since it’s better for producing keytones and encouraging ketosis. Studies also show that compared to coconut oil, it can promote more weight loss by increasing metabolism, while also decreasing appetite and providing a feeling of fullness.

Besides weight loss, MCT oils may be good for athletes for other reasons.

If you find yourself running out of juice in the gym or at work, MCTs can be an instant source of energy, since they’re quickly absorbed and an immediate source of energy that doesn’t require being broken down by the liver. MCT oil may also help prevent the buildup of lactate buildup, too. In one study, athletes took about a teaspoon and a half with their pre-exercise food and found their exercise was easier, when compared to taking long-chain triglycerides.

There are drawbacks to adding MCT oil to your diet.

There are always drawbacks to most weight loss aids. One of those with MCT oil is that it can actually increase your appetite. Your body produces hormones that help regulate your hunger cycle, ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is the satiety hormone that makes you feel full. Ghrelin and neuropeptide Y are the hunger hormones. When anorexic individuals were given MCT, it increased the production of the hunger hormones and stimulated their appetite. There’s also some research to indicate fat accumulation in the liver from use of MCT oil.

  • Using MCT oil before you exercise may help you burn more fat. At this point, studies are mixed. In animal studies, it showed improvement in athletic performance, but not in human studies.
  • There are a variety of studies on the benefits of MCT oil and brain functioning. Some look at the benefits for Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and autism. There is evidence it may improve brain functioning in all these cases.
  • You’re always better off getting nutrients, including MCT, from natural foods rather than using supplements. When you choose whole foods, you get other nutrients and the synergy that boosts beneficial effects.
  • Before starting any exercise or nutritional program, always discuss it with your health care professional. Our program is created by a nutritionist that will create a plan to meet your goals.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

How To Workout Without Using Shoulders

How To Workout Without Using Shoulders

If you’ve had an injury to the area, but still want to stay fit, you need workout without using shoulders. The shoulder area seems quite vulnerable when moved wrong. It’s quite complex. It was created to move in a number of ways from rotation to lifting. It has three bones, four muscles and loads of tendons that have to work together to get the movements you want. One injury can hamper movement completely. Pain and limitation of movement can be a rotary cuff injury, impingement, tendinitis, bursitis, dislocation or separation.

In some cases, exercising the area properly can help reduce the pain.

Before you do any stretches that can help with impingement, make sure you don’t have a more serious problem. If your shoulder looks deformed, you can’t use it at all, is swelling, have intense pain or you can’t use your arm or hand because it’s numb or weak, call a health care professional. You posture can affect shoulder pain, so work on sitting and standing straight. There are stretches you can do to loosen your shoulders.

Find exercises that don’t hurt.

You can substitute some exercises for others, which don’t involve as much pressure on the shoulders. For instance, if lifting your hands over your head hurts or if your doctor recommends against it, replace any overhead exercises with ones that don’t affect the shoulders. In fact, overhead presses can actually aggravate impingement issues. Switch to front raises instead. Focus on your posture and if it hurts either stop or use a lighter weight or kettlebell.

One of the simplest exercises can help relieve shoulder pain.

If you have impingement or an injury, building back strength is important. Start slowly. Do a pendulum. It can help you get back function and heal faster. Lean forward and hold on to a table or counter with one hand and let your other arm swing freely. Rotate your body if you need to let it swing in all directions, side to side, back and forth and in circles.

  • Loosen your shoulders with a stretch if you have an impingement. Lift your arms at your side, bent at the elbow like a goal post and attempt to stretch your arms back and touch elbows together behind your back.
  • Just walking or running doesn’t require any effort from your shoulders and is good for endurance. Increase your walking time to stay in shape.
  • Work your lower body. There’s nothing to stop you from doing leg day exercises, those for your abs or core. Just avoid ones that put pressure on your shoulder. If you’re at the gym, a stationary bike is good.
  • A yardstick is a good tool for working the shoulders. Hold it with one hand at each end and push the stick in one direction horizontally, stretching and then to the other side. Keeping your elbows at your side, do it again, holding 30 seconds in each direction.

For more information, contact us at 180 Fitness

Which Yoga Is Best For Weight Loss

Which Yoga Is Best For Weight Loss

If you want to supplement your online or in gym program, I applaud you. Any type of exercise that gets you moving and burns fat is excellent. One client wanted to try yoga as a supplement and wanted to know if one is better than another for weight loss. One of the features or benefits from yoga of any kind is its ability to increase your mindfulness, which also extends to your eating patterns. Mindful eating can help you lose weight because it makes you think about whether you’re hungry or if something else is making you eat. Any type of yoga is good for that.

Active types of yoga will help burn kilojoules.

There are many different types of yoga that are far more active and strenuous than others are. These active types include, vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga and power yoga. There are many others in that group, and those are the types of yoga you should choose for weight loss, since the more active you are, the more kilojoules you burn. Vinyasa, Bikram and power yoga aren’t as easy to do at home since they’re normally at hot yoga studios where the room is heated very warm and the air is humid.

Restorative yoga is another type of yoga that isn’t physical but helps.

Restorative yoga is the type of yoga that’s extremely slow. It involves stretching and holding a position for a long time. Since much of the session is about stretching, it’s a great supplement to a strength and endurance program. It’s specifically created to slow you down, rest and digest, while kick-starting the para-sympathetic system and relieving stress. That focus on stress reduction improves digestion, slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and lowers stress levels, reducing cortisol levels and helping to eliminate abdominal fat. One study showed that it helped people lose significant amounts of fat, primarily from the abdominal area.

Yoga as a supplement or can be a rest day.

People use yoga for a variety of reasons. Some even use it as their main workout, but not as many as use it as a supplement or a day of rest. It can help DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness—and the stretching can simply make you feel better. It can provide strength, but doesn’t provide a cardio workout and can be perfect for active recovery. Best of all, that extra bit of exercise helps build more strength and aids in weight loss.

  • No matter what type of yoga you use, if it’s used as a supplement, you’ll lose more weight than if you spent that same amount of time simply lounging about and watching videos.
  • Yoga doesn’t require any equipment, which makes it a good addition to your program if you’re working out at home.
  • Yoga provides mental health benefits with its focus on calming the mind and self-awareness.
  • Many exercises from the Western world are similar to yoga poses. The plank is similar to Kumbha asana. The boat pose is much like a crunch. In fact, there’s a boat pose crunch for abs. It never hurts to shake up your workout program a bit and add to it.

For more information, contact us at 180 Fitness

What Running Does For You

What Running Does For You

Whether you’re working out at home with 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, or in the gym, you know that we encourage any type of fitness activity, even running. It’s something you can do on your own, isolated from others and in a safe manner. Running is an aerobic activity that builds your endurance, provides heart healthy exercises and boosts your immune system. It’s all about getting healthier, fitter and stronger so you can avoid illness and be the best you that you can be.

Running is a great way to burn kilojoules.

Running is a great way to lose weight. While it does have its drawbacks, such as burning both fat and lean muscle mass, that doesn’t mean that you can’t combine it with strength building exercises, like those on our streaming video workouts. In fact, it’s a great idea. You can supplement it with running and don’t even have to go a full half hour at one time to get your half hour workout. You can break it down to three ten minute runs.

Running can help your bones.

Running is a weight bearing exercise that builds strong muscles that tug on the bone, causing the body to increase the calcium in the bone to build strength and reduce mineral loss. Some studies have found that weight bearing exercise, which includes activities like strength building, dancing, walking and running, provide just as much benefit or more than some medications for osteoporosis.

You’ll get a great cardio workout.

Running will definitely get your heart pumping and boost your endurance. Just like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs to be exercised to get stronger. Running can increase its rate and is heart healthy. You can modify your run and make it a HIIT workout—high intensity interval training—that creates afterburn and gets you in shape faster. Just alternate between short high-intensity bursts and a recovery pace. You can make running a family affair. It’s perfect. If one member can’t keep up, no problem. Adjust the run for them and you’ll have a HITT workout because of modifying the intensity.

  • Even though your exercising, don’t forget to eat healthy whether you’re trying to lose weight or just get fitter. A healthy, fit body starts in the kitchen and you can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet.
  • Running makes it easy to track your progress. You can use time or distance. If you can run at top speed for a few seconds and that grows to a minute or two before you require a recovery pace, you’ve made progress.
  • Just like any exercise, always warm up your muscles before you run. Walk around, do jumping jacks or stretch and don’t forget a cool down workout. A cool down can be just walking around for a while.
  • No matter what you choose as a workout program, check with your health care professional first, especially if you’re overweight, over 40 or have a health condition.

For more information, contact us at 180 Fitness