My 1st Month Results Are In…

First, I want to tell you guys I ate 5 tacos today along with oatmeal for breakfast and it was delicious!
Secondly, the 80/20 eating plan is working for me… so far. Why? Because while it has restrictions I’m still able to eat clean along with food that I probably shouldn’t be eating and still be “healthy”.
It’s a good balance. In my experience the reason most people fail at weight loss is because they place their self on such tight restrictions.
Honestly speaking, This is hard, This lifestyle change (I hate the word diet) is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Easily top 3. The hardest part of all of this is deciding if I’m going to have a bad meal or sugar. I generally choose sugar because I’m an addict. And yes you can be addicted to sugar (hello soda and juice drinkers, I’m talking to you).

Have I made progress?

Yes! I’m drinking more water than I use to. That’s saying a lot because while I don’t drink soda/ juice unless I’m out at a restaurant with other people. I generally drink, tea and seltzer. I’m also finding it easier to say “No, ” and for me, that’s something that’s really hard to do. They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit I think it takes me 45 days

Notice any changes?

Wellllll I’m glad you asked. Monday I was doing some cross training and let me set the record straight. Every year during my training I say I’m going to incorporate cross training and never do. This year I did and it’s been brutal. I did 45 minutes using the Nike NTC app and while it did kick my ass I wasn’t  burnt out AND I was finally able to do a modified push up properly. So while running has always been somewhat “effortless” cross training and strength training hasn’t, but it’s getting easier for me. While most people may not count that as progress in this journey it’s a sign that my fitness is improving and that’s a good thing.
I’m also happy and shocked to report that my waist, ahem is now 33inches. (Personally  I think that’s slightly flawed) it could be the result of stress. I haven’t seen any weight loss which tells me that I’m losing water weight in my waist which is a great start( it’s only been a couple weeks ) I’m curious to see the results in another four weeks. I wasn’t expecting this much change within a month but now I’m optimistic.

The Truth About FitTea’s

*puts on bullet proof vest, jumps into armored vehicle, uses the megaphone to tell you all…*
 FIT TEAS DONT WORK! 
Soon as the weather broke, so did my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It went from seeing pictures of my friends, trainers, and classy ladies that worked the night shift at lust to a cesspool of propaganda, and liars( might be the devil).

One thing I’ve realized while being a leader in the fitness industry is that selling hope is as American as Apple pie. Cashing in on the millions of men and women with body insecurities is now a 42 billion dollar scheme. So, just in time, right before the temperature rises to a consistent 85 degrees and the 

bikini bodies are all out on displayed in every Instagram post . The re-emergence of Fit Teas and detox teas are now at an all-time high.

 All showing amazing weight loss transformation photos and (corporate) testimonials about the success of their product.Some of them promote “100% natural” ingredients, “formulated by experts”, and the best one is : 

 “literally drink away your body fat”.

Now, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get the appeal of this ” miracle drug”. We live in a microwave society were we don’t cherish the process as much as we do the product ( I blame Dr. Miami) so when something like this comes along and flashes all the things you want out of your fitness life in a magical tea bag… Why wouldn’t you jump on it ? 

  

Simple, Because your reading this blog post. Here’s the lowdown on why detox teas aren’t all they’re cracked up to be:

They are diuretics
Most detox teas combine caffeine and diuretics. What that simply mean is, you’ll flush out a lot of water weight but it will have zero to little impact on your actually body fat. When taken in strong enough doses they can start removing fluid from organs too. Given that our bodies are roughly 60-70% water there’s a lot of 

potential for fluid loss, so the scales will show you that you’re lighter and you’re a ” new you” but since You’re also likely to find yourself suffering nausea, headaches, dizziness and lack of concentration due to dehydration. It’s a good chance you end up stopping, go back to a normal eating routine, and gain some of that weight back. 

Prepare to spend a lot of your time like this..
  
They are laxatives
We are so hungry for results, we don’t care what we put into our body; irony. Now, If you look at the list of ingredients you’ll notice most detox teas contain senna – a natural laxative. This means that your body will expel whatever is in your bowel; water, faeces and natural bacteria. The intestinal tract contains approximately 2-3kg of good bacteria lining the bowel and anywhere between 2-10kg of faecal matter at any time, which is why “genuine”

testimonials talk about noticing a decrease in bloating – their abdomen is actually flatter because their intestines are now basically completely empty….However removing the beneficial and protective bacteria compromises your ability to digest and 

absorb nutrients and eliminate food-borne pathogens, and unfortunately this can take months to replenish itself. So in short, want a flat stomach, let’s take out your entire stomach. 
  

You have to exercise and eat right for it to work 
The tea companies recommend you do a teatox while following a healthy, nutritious diet. 
* blank stare * 
Soooo, if they diet and exercise… AND TAKE THE TEA!!!!!!! They can lose weight ?

Ohhhh! It’s the tea!! All of life problems! Can be solved with this tea!! You apparently need all three to lose weight according to them. 
* blank stare *
Because, if they just diet and exercise they can still lose Wei… Never-mind 

Your body already has a detoxification system
It’s called your liver, and it does an amazing job of filtering and removing toxins without any herbal help. And while some of the teas may contain compounds shown to stimulate the liver, it would do its job just as well without the tea by simply no longer putting a major strain on the liver by the using – alcohol, illicit drugs, cigarettes, medications and excessive sodium.

What have we learned today? 
Instagram is a liar. You know what to do if you want to lose weight and get in shape, stop settling for 15 seconds of (already) fit chicks telling you to use a product they were paid to endorse and never used. 
* heads back to the explore page… God bless lust entertainment club 

Controlling My Portions, Part III

   

I’m One week into my journey and the first thing I thought to tackle on this  transformation, was “portion control”. And I get it, those tacos you’re probably shoving into your mouth right now are good but you don’t need 4. I’m confident that if you would’ve ate 2 that you would be comfortably full.

We (and I say we because we are guilty of this at some point) tend to overeat because we don’t listen to our body. But the bigger issue for most is ‘what is a proper portion‘? And based on what I see some of your post, you’re not practicing proper portion control. Now depending on your lifestyle obviously you’d make the necessary adjustments. I do tend to eat more carbs because I run a lot. While portion control isn’t a real problem for me it is something that I need to lock in on. When it comes to sweets I tend to over indulge on occasion(them Girl Scout cookies, my god!).

  
 So what have I done to prevent this?  Since my last post I started portioning and pre-packaging my snacks. Since I’m limiting myself to 2 snacks per day, I try to make at least one of them fruits and because I’m training for my race the other snack is generally something salty. (I’m on a low sodium diet). Knowing that I have a  predetermined snack helps me maintain control and I’m also less likely to reach for something sweet.

Portion control is hard, I know. But there are things out there to help you:

  • Put snacks in snack size ziplock bags for the week
  • Use a sectional plate
  • Follow the serving size 
  • recommendation on the back of the package

  


Pro tip: drink a glass of water before you eat to make sure you’re not thirsty.

This week’s progress:

  • I’m cranky because of the sugar withdrawal
  • Weight :159.2 (I’ve lost a half a pound, didn’t expect to lose much in 6 days, I’m drug free)
  • I’m still chunky

But one week at a time. The hardest part is making sure I not only eat healthy but enjoy it. Yes, you can do both!
  

Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 

Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia

And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though. 

Why Do Men Really workout?

  

Six days a week in the gym?

Check.

Spent Sunday prepping meals? 

 Check.
Tight Dri-FIT shirts washed and ready? 

Check.
Preset Instagram captions and selfie ideas for my workout ready?

 Check.
And thus the standard male workout ritual, revealed.
Trust me; I’ve been there–290lbs, 6’1 , 22-year-old, going to the gym two times a day ( yes, I had to cut class for that ), cooking every Sunday, and generally looking like a weirdo as I roamed through college with a gallon of water in my hand. But there was an end goal; I did it for football.
I’ve since retired but I couldn’t leave it alone; I still workout consistently. I guess, once an athlete, always an athlete. But as I think about what led me, my past teammates and other men to the ‘athlete’s life,’ and can’t help but think about what keeps us there, long after the last game was played. So I’ve been wondering, “Why do men workout ? ”

Here’s my theory; we don’t go this hard at the gym hard for ourselves (unless you’re a trainer and your look recruits clients ) we actually do it for everyone else. I know most men couldn’t tell you the last time they got a check-up but sure know what their one rep max is for every exercise. They may not know their girl’s favorite flower, but do know that girls like big biceps and maybe most important, they know that nothing gets the ego going like another man platonically envying your physique—that last one alone may be enough to make sure that dudes are on the bench press line every Monday like clockwork.

    

Buy a Benchpress, Get the Girl Free
The name of the game is simple; the bigger the arms, the more girls like you. (My arms come at 20 inches but…that’s neither here or there). Gents, we know that 90 percent of the things we do are for the sole purpose of attracting a member of the fairer sex and working out is no different. If your frame makes your clothes look good, she will want to see what it looks like when the clothes disappear,assume you can provide, protect, and even fantasize about being the one to “tame” you. So basically, if you commit to getting your heart rate up in the gym, you increase your chances of getting your heart rate up in…ahem…other places. This trade off seems more than fair.

“Based on evolutionary principles, women seek men who will ensure that their offspring will be healthier, so this may be a case of that. But, it also may just indicate that men who are healthy on the inside are hotter on the outside, which, in our unscientific opinion, is generally true. “—Allison Becker
Now that we have a concrete reason for you to schedule a training session with me, let’s put things into perspective; most men only workout their chests, arms and shoulders (because that’s the first thing women notice). It turns out it isn’t really about your size, but your proportions: In 2008, an Archives of Sexual Behavior Study revealed that women are most attracted to muscular men whose shoulders measure 1.6 times the size of their waists. Hence why we often times completely neglect everything else about fitness including the other 60 percent of their body like legs and core, nutrition, and even overall health. This approach goes back to the 80s, the era of California’s muscle beaches and cartoons depicting the muscular guy taking away the girl from the puny one. But those images have an adverse effect on Mr. Muscle Bound–he’s lost sight of what’s important. Afterall, he wonders, ‘who cares if I’m eating right, have twigs for legs , or even risk over training… because that young lady staring at me sure doesn’t.’

  
“I’m better than you… “
If you think ladies make a man want to work out, wait until you see the effect that male envy has on other males. You see, the alpha male (and insecure beta males) have to make sure their chest pokes out more than yours. So they ration, ‘If I bench press more than you then my level of masculinity is higher than yours.’So, in that context, it seems like guys are not working out for the attention of women but rather the attention, admiration, supplication and envy of OTHER MEN. Specifically, to intimidate other suitors, or at least throw other guys off-balance and get the advantage. Like a gorilla beating his chest, the dude who’s got the best physique is sending a message to other men to watch themselves. 
  

Weirdly, I get way more attention from males about my workouts, approach to fitness and how I manage to do pull-ups at 292lbs. Although I gladly engage, I do leave those conversations concerned that we’re only paying attention to the things that culturally are ‘important’ and overall health clearly isn’t one of them.
Maybe it’s not all bad; as you know, I fundamentally believe that when you pair one person’s envy and another’s bold-faced narcissism, you actually can inspire self-improvement. So, is it really horrible that men inspire other men to get to the gym? While it’s not my call I will say that Muscle and Fitness magazines are not selling millions of copies a month because women care to see bulging veins and 6-pack abs.
   

 
 “…Or am I?’ ­­
But what really makes a man want to change himself, literally work to a point of obsession towards the perfect aesthetic and call it ‘healthy?’ Most guys who are in the gym for the ” gains” are really feeding their addiction to glorification. What if you looked in the mirror and no matter how much muscle you saw, it was never enough? YOU were never enough? Low-key, most gym rats aren’t actually trying to gain muscle; they’re actually trying to gain self-esteem. And, when they see that the muscles get them all that they need (and cannot seem to self-generate); love, respect and a commanding presence, why would they ever stop? After all, it seems way easier to pick up something heavy than, you know, feel and process actual feelings.
To be clear, I’m not saying this to discount the idea that some guys really just love working out. I’m only saying that for some, lifting that dumb bell means more than what we see on the surface. We’ve all fallen victim to benching or running towards another person’s approval at the gym and in life. So gents? Let’s stop living in the cage of external affirmation.

In short; Stop caring and keep lifting.
* jumps into a bicep contest in the bathroom of my gym …..once again I win *
What can I say? Old habits die hard.
 

#QLF Presents: Lift The Fork

I’m speechless… Thank you!

A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group

Episode 1 – Calista Superfoods

As I was cleaning out my LinkedIn inbox earlier today, I came across a gentleman by the name of Wize Grazette aka Wize Soul. Wize happens to be the Host and Founder of The Encore Radio Show. While checking out his site, I came across a very interesting video series entitled, “Lift The Fork.” Upon further research, “Lift The Fork” focuses on seeking out and promoting healthy food options within our community. I personally think this is an awesome initiative!

As a call to action, Irv “Zeus” Hyppolite of the Quantum Leap Fitness Podcast teamed up with Kristin Coral, Actress and co-host of the Red Light Special R&B Podcast and Julius Stukes a.k.a. Funny Julius for the launch of the #QLF Lift The Fork Series.

So far, the series has birthed 7 episodes. All of these episodes take place at various eateries…

View original post 231 more words

Are Abs Made in the Kitchen? Part II

  I’m Back! …

We recently explored one of the many reasons why you and I don’t have a flat stomach. Now, I know, from Zeus to every “fitness guru” on the planet there going to give me the old proverb “abs are made in the kitchen”. Now The question is, is that true? Of course there’s  some truth to it. If you eat at Popeyes everyday I wouldn’t expect you to have a flat stomach, let alone abs unless you have the metabolism of a superhero or…a crackhead.
Because even if you have a pretty steady fitness routine it’s almost impossible to burn off stomach fat, or so I’ve heard. Also, you can’t “spot exercise” your way to a flat stomach. So where does that leave us?

Let’s put it to the test. I’m going away in June. I haven’t had a flat stomach since… let’s just say it’s been some years. I want to see if this ” Abs are made in the kitchen” theory is true or if we’ve  been lied to our entire lives.

Here’s my plan: 

Over the next three months I will focus on making my ab(s) in the kitchen. 

I will eat better in addition to working out( Can’t get the ab(s) without a little sweat). 

*No shade but this is a waist trainer free experiment. Listen, I’m not looking to have a six-pack, I’m happy to have just one ab, or just lose a few inches.



My current stats:

  • Height: 5’2 3/4
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • Measurements: 34- 35-44

   
 My workout schedule is pretty concrete (see below), mainly because I’m a runner and currently training for various races, two half marathons to be exact.

Monday Run
Tuesday Cross train
Wednesday Run
Thursday Cross Train & Run (Speed/Tempo/Hills)
Friday Run (trail), Yoga
Saturday Long Run (8 mile minimum)
Sunday REST

Over the next 12 weeks (3 months), I’m going to film, document, and pen my fitness highs and lows while finding out all the reasons it’s difficult for people to make those “abs in the kitchen”.I’ll also test out a bunch of apps to help stay on track of this major lifestyle change. I’ll be posting weekly updates and pictures of my progress, along with what I ate, as well as my meal plans and what I could’ve done differently.

I’m on an 80/20 eating plan. This means that 80% of what I eat will be healthy and 20% will be treats or as some people like to call “cheat meals”. This in conjunction with my “rigorous” schedule will be a real challenge. But this is a complete lifestyle adjustment and I’m willing to a be lab rat for myself and the sake of fitness. With that being said, You’re welcome to take the journey with me. Feel free to tweet me, tag me in your Instagram post or snap chat me with questions and updates.

I’m also going to make this a bit more interesting. Every time I “fall off the wagon” I’m putting $10 in the bank. I encourage you to join in this. Why not get a flat tummy and save some money at the same time. While I’m sure this is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, I’m excited to get started!.

FYI, I’m eating a cinnamon sugar donut as I type this. (Shout out to Dough donuts, best cinnamon sugar donuts I’ve ever had).
 

  

   

Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 
Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia
And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though. 

Why Too Much Cardio Is Bad For You

  

Summer’s around the corner, so it’s time to step the workouts up, but when you want to reach a low level of body fat that you’re comfortable with, what’s the first thing you tend to do? Cardio, cardio, and more cardio. The idea, then, is to put in hours and hours of work on treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, right? That, conventional wisdom says, is how you’ll get the fat off.
Now, there’s a lot of truth to this but there’s also a lot of setbacks and misguided information out there. So, before you get your playlist ready to spend endless hours on the treadmill lets cover all the reasons that this idea isn’t the best one we can employ. 

The Fall
:

When you perform conventional cardio for long periods of time, it’s been found to deteriorate muscle tissue( I’m sure you’re wondering how?) the body is pretty smart, while doing long bouts of cardio the energy stored ( from carbs) will be depleted, so now the body has to tap Into your protein synthesis ( muscle mass) to create more fuel for your workout thus burning said muscle mass.

Random person in the back of the class:

Why isn’t the body taping into body fat for energy ?

Simple, if you’re doing steady state cardio your heart rate is now pretty close to normal, and your not doing enough to effect your fat cells.
That’s bad, obviously, but things get even worse. A recent study in The American Journal of Physiology found that steady-state cardio decreases the ability of muscles to absorb glucose after training. When all of this happens, you’ll burn the same amount of muscle as you do fat. Your body will burn some calories during this kind of workout, but it will pretty much stop burning calories right after you finish. It is also very time-consuming, as you will need to do this type of cardio for 30–45 minutes in order for it to be effective.

All isn’t lost, though. It’s very possible to avoid all of this by doing things in a different way. 

  
*prompts class to turn to chapter 3*

THE RISE
:
The “right” brand of cardio for fat loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This consists, in practice, of a set of bursts of balls-out, massive-output cardio work followed by timed rest periods. Now, I’ve invented many wheels but this isn’t one of them. HIITs been around for years, but it’s resurgence in this “everything-old-is-new-again” era makes it worthy of today’s post. It’s a simple concept, and since we know a lot more about how to program it—in terms of volume, intensity, and duration—it’s a perfect solution for anyone looking to drop fat. Working out this way is a lot more difficult at first, as you are exerting yourself 100% for a short amount of time, instead of 50–70% for a long time. However, it is much more effective in burning fat, increasing metabolism and increasing your body’s cardiovascular fitness.

  
Two easy-to-remember and very effective examples of HIIT training is interval cardio. You can use an elliptical or bike in the beginning – start by selecting a time ratio of 30 seconds on and 1 min off. This basically means you will go full out “balls( or uterus) to the wall” for 30 seconds and then rest with a light pedal for 1min, try repeating this for a total of 30min. The other form is a workout called tabata exercise. You can choose essentially any workout movement—burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, sprints, squats, whatever. One example of is this is: You perform the movement for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds, repeating this cycle for eight rounds. You will get worn out very quickly, get your heart rate up and burn lots of fat with this kind of exercise. Try doing it for 20min straight to go along with your cardio workout. I promise you “ no white T-shirts in the pool this summer “. 

  
Lastly, Strength training is a crucial supplement to your cardio workout because it not only burns fat and builds muscle, but it also increases your metabolism after your workout so your body will continue to burn calories for hours afterward, instead of minutes, like it will with LISS cardio(low impact steady state). It also decreases your chances of having joint problems, osteoporosis, heart disease and even diabetes.
To conclude, cardio is definitely an important aspect of your workout. Just remember that for it to be effective, you must keep it varied, try it at high intensity intervals and mix in some strength training. Now hit the gym!

Why Your Stomach Isn’t Flat? Part 1: The Bloat

  
There’s a few reason why your stomach is not beach ready. One of the most likely is because of what you may or may not be eating. The others could be cortisol, bloating or fibroids (but only if you’re a female). 
What is bloating? To sum it up, bloating is when your stomach becomes swollen with water and/ or gas. Sometimes bloating can be so bad that it causes your digestive track to slow down resulting in persistent swelling. 
What is causing your bloat? All roads lead back to food. What you eat determines how you will look and feel inside and out. 

  • Overeating is often the culprit, smaller portions is the solution.
  • Foods high in fat can make you feel stuffed and are harder to digest, than carbs and proteins. 
  • Most importantly, slow down when you eat! It takes approximately 20 minutes (or longer) for your stomach to get the message to your brain that you’re full!

  

You are what you eat! While Some of your favorite foods may cause gas and bloating, try Eating these foods within moderation to avoid that. I will say, these foods may affect each person differently so speak with a medical professional before completely eliminating these foods from your diet. 

  • Beans and lentils
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage 
  • Cauliflower
  • Prunes
  • Apricot
  • Artificial and Processed Sweeteners: Sorbitol, High Fructose Corn Syrup (this is almost everything)
  • Dairy products (if you’re lactose intolerant, this means you)
  • Whole grains – drink with plenty of water to aid in moving this indigestible carbohydrate through your digestive system
  • Smoking 

While bloating is common, constant bloating is a reason to be alarmed. If you feel you are experiencing constant bloating, you should seek medical advice. However, a balanced diet, lots of water and eating slower will more than likely eliminate your bloating woes. 

Source: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/diarrhea-10/bloated-bloating
  Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 

Follow her antics on IG, Twitter, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia

And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though.

QLF : Lift The Fork ( season Finale) Ep. 7- Dig Inn, New York, New York

  

It’s been an amazing ride so far, and we wanted to close the season out with one of the few seasonal restaurants in New York, so this week we paid a visit to the folks at Dig Inn, located in the flatiron district of New York City! Dig Inn has a great philosophy on food: ” Farm-to-Table” while offering it at a reasonable price. They currently have 11 restaurants across the city and each offers something different ! Needless to say the food that I had was amazing. Every meat was fresh off the grill along with quality veggies. Check out this review and all the food that I got to eat on this visit ! 

http://youtu.be/OgO7pm0EYBk  

  
Dig Inn is located on:
275 MADISON AVE

Between 39th & 40th

New York, NY 10016

Monday – Friday 11am to 9pm