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5 Tips for a Healthier Smoothie Bowl

They’re trendy and colorful, but are acai and smoothie bowls actually good for you? Exactly how the nutrition stacks up isn’t an easy question to answer: certain ingredient combinations can ratchet up calories and carbs faster than you can say “Nutella drizzle.” Fortunately, with a little know-how, you can make smart choices and avoid creating a sugar bomb.

THE HEALTHY BENEFITS

Acai bowls (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) are based on a puree made of frozen acai berries that may be blended with banana or other ingredients to reach the consistency of a very thick smoothie. Spooned into a bowl and topped with fresh berries, sliced bananas and crunchy granola, it’s the vegan, dairy-free breakfast of champions (and the fodder for a million Instagram posts).

Roughly the size of a grape, the dark purple acai berry is packed with antioxidants (yes, more than blueberries). These compounds help neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause premature aging, heart disease and certain cancers. Acai, which comes from a type of palm plant, has been a staple food of the indigenous people of the Amazon Basin for thousands of years. Health-conscious consumers in the U.S. caught on to the berry in the early 2000s, and its reputation as a “superfood” spread quickly.


READ MORE > 6 REFRESHING SMOOTHIES UNDER 250 CALORIES


Smoothie bowls are built on a yogurt base instead of acai puree. Notable health benefits include calcium, whopping doses of probiotics that may aid digestive health and muscle-building protein (particularly if they’re made with higher-protein Greek yogurt). Like acai bowls, they’re versatile. Options range from the classic breakfast combo of berries and crunchy granola to more adventurous territory of avocado, papaya and pumpkin seeds. Go green by blending spinach, kale or avocado into the yogurt base or opt for healthy but decadent additions like coconut, nut butter or cocoa nibs.

THE UNHEALTHY DRAWBACKS

Watch for bowls that supersize the carbs. The RDA for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day, a number based upon the amount of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) required to fuel an adult’s brain, red blood cells and central nervous system. Some smoothie bowls can clock in at 600 calories or more with over 100 grams of carbohydrates, which exceeds the the calorie and carb budget in just one sitting. Fortunately, if you watch what you order or consume smaller portions, you can avoid a calorie bomb. Work acai and smoothie bowls into your diet as a substantial meal no different than, say, an omelet or scramble — not a drink, small snack or “light” breakfast.


READ MORE > HIGH-PROTEIN CHAI SMOOTHIE BOWL


HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR MAKING HEALTHY SMOOTHIE BOWLS

  1. For a non-dairy option, blend frozen acai with half a banana and coconut water or a splash of almond or soy milk.
  2. Mix unsweetened yogurt into smoothie bowls and puree it with whole frozen fruit instead of juice to avoid additional sugar.
  3. For an extra dose of filling protein, add a small amount of nut butter or Greek yogurt to the bowl.
  4. Go easy on crunchy toppings to avoid excess calories. A scattering of toasted coconut flakes or a few tablespoons of lightly sweetened granola should do the trick.
  5. Try a green version: spinach and kale are nutritious and bulk up the bowl without adding sugar.

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3 Things to Know Before Doing HIIT

If you’ve been reading up on how to advance your workout sessions, you’ve likely heard of high intensity interval training, or HIIT, before. This advanced form of cardio training has you alternate between brief periods of very intense exercise and active rest periods. This process is repeated five to ten times, making up a 15-20 minute workout session, not including the warm-up and cool-down. When done properly, it offers superior conditioning and fat-burning benefits due to the high calorie burn both during and after the workout.

Sounds great, right? Before you dive right into it, there are a few things that you must know.

1. YOU’LL BE AT A HIGHER RISK OF OVERTRAINING

HIIT done right is a great form of exercise that will make a perfect addition to your workout program. HIIT done wrong could lead to injuries, burn out, and loss of motivation to continue.

Realize that your body can only handle so much intense exercise per week. If you attempt to do HIIT and full-body weight lifting sessions 5 or 6 days a week, it’s only a matter of time before your system crashes. Remember that even though you may be working different muscles on successive workouts, your central nervous system will still be working hard, generating the strength and power needed to get these sessions done. It needs rest time, too. Even the most fit of individuals should cap it off at four very intense workouts total a week if you’re advanced, or three if you’re at the intermediate level.

2. YOU’LL WANT TO SELECT THE PROPER FORM OF EXERCISE

The second important point to know is that you must select the right form of exercise.

What’s correct? The key thing to look for is an exercise where you can accelerate quickly. If it takes you 10 seconds to get to top speed and you’re doing 30 second intervals, you’ve just wasted a third of the total time you should be working. Choose an activity that allows you to get to top speed almost instantaneously. Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, spinning, and running are all great choices.


READ MORE > THE ONE THING YOU CAN DO TO OPTIMIZE YOUR HIIT WORKOUT


3. SCHEDULE WISELY WITH YOUR LOWER BODY STRENGTH TRAINING

Most forms of HIIT are going to really stress the lower body muscles, so be mindful of when you do them in relation to lower body strength training. If you’re doing sets of heavy squats, lunges, and dead lifts one day, you’ll wake up the next day seriously dreading attempting a HIIT. Your lower body needs time to recover from the weight days. Skip a day, then do your HIIT workout the following day.

If you keep these points in mind, you should be able to successfully make the transition to high intensity interval training and reap all the benefits it has to offer. Do you have your own HIIT words of wisdom? Tell us about them in the comments below.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

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What To Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?

What To Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?

Hello All!!!!

The ketogenic diet is the flavour of the season! It has climbed the popularity charts in the recent times. Studies reveal that a diet very low in carbs and high in fat is effective for weight loss, epilepsy and diabetes.

Ketogenic Diet And The Science Behind It

Typically, a ketogenic diet limits carbs to 20-50 g a day. This may seem challenging but there are many healthy foods that can easily fit into this kind of eating. Check out the healthy foods that you should eat on a ketogenic diet.

1) Seafood

Tilapia fish benefits

Fish is said to be a keto-friendly foods. Salmon and other fish are rich sources of B vitamins and minerals like potassium and selenium, yet they are almost carb-free. Shellfish like shrimp and crabs have no carbs but other kinds of shellfish do.

Salmon, sardines and other fatty fish are really high in omega 3 fats. To know more about omega 3 read this – Benefits of omega 3.

Ensure that you have at least 2 servings of seafood every week.

2) Low carb veggies

Fruits, vegetables and seeds spelling the word low carb

If you want low carb and low calorie veggies, you must choose non-starchy ones. They have minerals, vitamins and fibre in them. The fibre from plants is not digested and absorbed like other carbohydrates. You must be on a look out for net carbs which is total carbs minus fibre (the digestible fibre). Read this – Counting net carbs.

Most veggies have very less net carbs. A cup of raw spinach has less than 1 gram of net carbs! Low carb veggies like cauliflower and zucchini can be used to replace foods higher in carb content. You can use cauliflower to mimic rice and zucchini to look like pasta!

3) Cheese

Mozzarella cheese- 4 Famous Types Of Cheeses

Cheese is yummy and nutritious. All kinds of cheese in the world are quite low in carbs and have a high fat content. This makes them the perfect choice for a ketogenic diet.

28 g of cheddar cheese has 1 g of carbs and 7 g of protein. It offers 20% of the daily calcium requirement. It also has essential fatty acids and is good for overall health.

4) Avocados

weight maintain avocado

This immensely healthy fruit has 9 g of carbs in an 100 g serving. However, the net carb count is just 2 g, the remaining 7 are fibre. Avocados have a lot of essential vitamins and minerals that you may not be getting enough of.

5) Meat

plan your protein red meat

Meat and poultry are said to have no carbs and are rich in minerals and B vitamins. The protein provided is also of high quality and helps in preserving muscle mass when on a very low carb diet.

Choose grass-fed meat as it has more benefits to offer.

6) Eggs

eggs

Egg is the healthiest food on the planet. One large-sized egg has less than 1g of carbs and about 6 g of protein. Great for those on a ketogenic diet! It makes you stay full for longer and has antioxidants that are good for the health of the eyes.

7) Coconut oil

coconut-oil

Coconut oil is well-suited for a ketogenic diet. It is rich in medium-chain triglycerides that are used up by the liver directly to be converted to ketones or used as a quick energy source. The fatty acid in this oil is lauric acid which when teemed with MCTs can promote ketosis. It helps loss of weight and belly fat.

8)  Cottage cheese

Paneer nutrition facts

Cottage cheese or paneer is healthy and high in protein. 150 g of cottage cheese has 5 g of carbs and 18 g of protein. You can add it in your salads or roast it in a healthy fat and eat it with chaat masala!

9) Olive oil

Which Olive Oil Is Best For You

Extra virgin olive oil is good for the heart as it has monounsaturated fats. Read this – Why olive oil is the healthiest fat? It is the best choice for salad dressings and mayo.

10) Nuts and seeds

health benefits of nuts

Nuts and seeds are both tasty and nutritious. They reduce the risk of several diseases like heart disease, some cancers, depression and other chronic ailments.

Net carb count of nuts and seeds with the lowest count (28 g)

  • Almonds:3 g net carbs (6 g total carbs)
  • Walnuts:2 g net carbs (4 g total carbs)
  • Chia seeds:1 g net carbs (12 g total carbs)
  • Flaxseeds: 0 g net carbs (8 g total carbs)

11) Berries

Berrries for diabetics

Berries are low in carbs and high in fibre content. The tiny fruits are packed with goodness.

Net carb count of berries (100 g )

  • Raspberries:6 g net carbs (12 g total carbs)
  • Strawberries:6 g net carbs (8 g total carbs)

12) Butter and cream

butter_salted

Butter and cream can be happily added to a ketogenic diet. They only have a trace amount of carbs. Contrary to popular opinion, butter and cream are either neutral or beneficial to the health of the heart, when you consume it in moderation.

13) Dark chocolate

dark chocolate health benefits of cocoa

28 g of unsweetened chocolate made out of 100% cocoa has 3 g of net carbs. 70% dark chocolate has nearly 10 g of net carbs. Read this- Health benefits of dark chocolates.

Hope the above list of foods for a ketogenic diet is useful!

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The 14-Day Plank Plan

You already know the plank is a great core exercise. So we’re adding plank variations to amp up your training, target your midsection from different angles to test your muscles (and your mind).

Welcome to the 14-Day Plank Plan that will help you get a super strong core using the ultimate ab exercise: The plank. We’ll show you variations to take your training to the next level with this easy to follow day-by-day plan.

HOW THE 14-DAY PLANK PLAN WORKS

Let’s start by building the foundational strength you need. Because the plan is only two weeks, this challenge ramps up quickly. That’s why we build in “recovery” days. On those days, you’ll still do some core work, but it’ll give your muscles a much-needed break so they can recover. We recommend you do these after your workout, not before your loaded exercises.

The key to success is consistency: All you have to do is show up and follow the plan. Also, remember: It’s about quality not quantity. The times and repetitions here are guidelines. If you feel discomfort or start to lose technique, take a 5–10 second rest and then continue. Scroll down to see the exercise descriptions below.

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

Begin Slideshow

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