Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
From lunges to overhead presses, our do-it-all workout routin gets your heart rate up, builds muscles and burns calories.If you're exhausted just thinking about what you need to accomplish at the gym—get your heart rate up, build muscle, protect your bones—you're not alone. This dynamic routine from certified personal trainer Justine Keyserlingk, owner of Toronto's Just Get Fit, lets you target all of your health goals in a single session.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is important, of course, but quick fixes and flashy diets that you hear of online aren't the way to go. These trend diets, advertised to work wonders, can actually bring more hassle and danger than benefits to your health.
With flashy food shots and pictures of fitness gurus posted on social media pretty much every second of the day, it’s no surprise so many of us are scrambling to keep up with appearances through strategic self-branding and unhealthy diets.
“People are willing to try and pay anything in the hopes of losing weight. There are many self-proclaimed ‘experts’ on the internet providing health advice that may not be safe or even science-based,” says Andrea D’Ambrosio, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians of Canada. “It’s crucial to be critical of information that we find on the internet to avoid being misled by false, unsubstantiated claims.”
D’Ambrosio says she reminds her clients that despite what personalities like Dr. Oz say, there’s no magical food or diet for weight loss.
Here are five popular diets to be wary of.
Juicing encourages dieters to juice their plant-based meals. It’s based on the idea that nutrients from foods such as fruits and vegetables can be absorbed quicker, and fresh juice gives our systems a rest from digesting fibre. While some claim this helps in weight loss and the removal of toxins, the truth is that the amount of sugar from the fruit you eat to maintain a feeling of fullness can equal more calories, which contributes to weight gain.
“Diets that remove entire food groups run the high risk of leading to nutritional deficiencies unless you make up the lost nutrients in other foods or supplements,” D’Ambrosio says.
2. Low-carb diet.
A low-carb diet requires the restriction of foods high in carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and certain fruits and vegetables. Although dieters don’t need to cut high-carb foods from their meals entirely, the suggested limit being advocated on social media, is 60 to 130 grams of carbohydrates per day. That’s less than three plain bagels.
3. No fat diet.
A fat-free diet sounds tempting, but is it really? When we think of fat, we often think of the bad kind that’s found in junk food, but we can also find it in nuts and seeds, fish and fruits like avocado. According to a publication by the Harvard Medical School, unsaturated fats (the good kind!) supply the body with energy and can even help prevent heart disease.
A positive note, D’Ambrosio says, is that these types of diets encourage people to eat less processed foods, which is healthier and helps weight management.
4. 5:2 diet.
For those familiar with diets, fasting is no stranger. The 5:2 diet is one of many regimens floating around the internet that has dieters eating normally (read: unrestrained) for five days and reducing food intake to 500 calories a day for the other two.
“Eating less than 500 to 600 calories a day on fasting days is very difficult for many people and challenging to sustain,” she says. “Many who attempt fasting or severe restriction also find a corresponding increase in cravings or binging after their day of restriction.”
5. Activated charcoal “diet”.
Touted by both health junkies and beauty enthusiasts on social media, charcoal can be consumed via tablets or used in cooking. Aficionados of activated charcoal claim it soaks up surface fat so that calories are not absorbed into the body, plus they say it removes unpleasant gases and toxins and reduces appetite.
The short-term effects may be tempting for those hoping to quickly shed a few pounds or to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but D’Ambrosio says there needs to be more research conducted for diets that boast impressive results. “If you want to lose weight fast, remember that you did not gain that quickly.” she says.
D’Ambrosio says working with a professional dietitian to ensure nutritional needs are met and healthy weight-loss strategies are implemented is a good plan for those who need a helping hand losing weight. “Forming a healthy relationship with food and a positive body image—regardless of weight—is also important during any weight-loss journey,” she says.
Tip from D’Ambrosio:
Food-tracking apps, such as eaTracker, give you a better idea of what (unhealthy) foods you’re eating and what swaps you can make to increase the nutrition and healthfulness of your diet.
Andrea D’Ambrosio is also the owner of Dietetic Directions a nutritional counselling and education company based in Kitchener, Waterloo.
The best new hair products for spring 2017 Image by: Bumble & Bumble
New and improved products from some of your favourite hair brands are hitting shelves this season.
The hair-care aisle is chock full of potions promising miracles, but we're after products that actually work—with the science and research to back them up.
SIZE DOES MATTER
Half of the global population experiences dandruff, but women seem to be slacking. "A far smaller proportion of women [to men] take proper care of their scalp," says Phil Marchant, the principal scientist for Head & Shoulders. "Many women think antidandruff products only fight dandruff or are too harsh." Over the past few years, Head & Shoulders' team of scientists has been working to change this mindset. A combination of zinc pyrithione and zinc carbonate is the brand's dandruff-fighting duo. Product developers swapped the shampoo's former particle size of zinc with micronized zinc (commonly used in facial sunscreens), reducing its size eight times over. "The smaller particle deposits more effectively and efficiently into the harder-to-reach areas on the scalp," says Marchant. This helps banish dandruff while also giving a better lather and allowing shampoo to rinse away more easily.
Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner, $6, walmart.ca.
NEW AND IMPROVED
"If it's not broke, don't fix it" was Herbal Essences unofficial motto for more than 45 years. Now, the brand known for unforgettable scents and kooky commercials is introducing a new line that marries the best of nature with science, thanks to a new technology called Bio:renew. The complex includes aloe to heal, sea kelp to nourish, bamboo to strengthen and, at its core, histidine, an amino acid and antioxidant. "When you go outside or colour or wash your hair, you're exposing it to free radicals," says Rachel Zipperian, principal scientist for Herbal Essences. "Once free radicals get into the hair, they try to associate themselves with damage sites. The vulnerable parts get free-radical buildup, which accelerates damage, and you end up with lifeless hair." Zipperian explains that antioxidants track free radicals and "take them out" so they're no longer active. The new collection comes in a range of indulgent scents.
Herbal Essences Bio:renew Shampoo and Conditioner, $10 each, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Clay's purifying properties are well known to skin-care aficionados, and now your hair can benefit from them, too. L'Oréal's latest hair-care release—available in shampoo, conditioner and a preshampoo mask—tackles greasy roots and dry ends with a combo of kaolinite, argilane and montmorillonite clays, helping balance hair from root to tip. Expect fresh, soft strands for up to 72 hours.
L'Oréal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $8.50, lorealparis.ca.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
Take a walk down the shampoo aisle and you'll spot products that seem—dare we say it?—delicious. Hair-care brands are increasingly turning to fruit, vegetables and other plants for their nutritional benefits. Products containing yucca and goji berry, black sesame and grapefruit, and quinoa husk and honey take the guesswork our of reading ingredients labels and leave your hair with a yummy scent to boot.
Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Haircare, $25, biolage.matrixcanada.ca.
The new hair-brightening spray from L'Anza uses optical refraction technology, which relfects pigments within the inner cortex of the haqir cuticle to intensify hair colour. Color Illuminator doesn't deposit new colour; instead, it magnifies preexisting pigments that are concealed by the hair's cutcle layer. The result: instantly brighter hair in the short term, and long term, strong and healthy hair nourished with UV protectors, which prevent fading.
L'Anza Color Illuminator Hair Brightening Spray, $35, lanza.com.
It's not just skin care that's ditching chemicals in favour of all-natural ingredients. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. has taken this trend to hair care too. The Canadian company's packaging, ingredients and even store design benefit from an attention to environmentally conscious detail. "I see us heading into a societal shift, defined by simplicity and authenticity, where green choices are the new expectation," says co-owner Karina Birch.
Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Vanilla Coconut Shampoo, $24, rockymountainsoap.com.
Infused water Source: Ryan Brook
Weight loss goals can seem insurmountable. To lose each pound of fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories, and that number can sound scary. But taking little steps to cut just 100 or 200 calories at a time goes a long way. Use two of these tips each day and you'll lose a pound in a little over a week—no starvation necessary.
We all know about the dangers of soda, but even drinking unsweetened juice will give you a sugar rush at a rate of 120 calories per cup. And chances are you don't just drink a cup. Individual serving-size bottles of juice are typically about 450 mL, and can clock in at over 200 calories. But if you're a juice drinker, it can be hard to switch to water right away. Try muddling some watermelon and mint into your water to get all kinds of flavour, and a touch of sweetness, for almost no calories. Or make iced tea using a fruity flavoured tea, and skip the sugar.
Who doesn't love pasta? But when your fettuccine comes with around 400 calories in two cups (even before the sauce!), you can feel guilty about eating it. Try replacing half the pasta with a cup of zucchini that's been cut into thin strips to match the shape of the pasta. Just throw it in the water a couple of minutes before the noodles are done. You'll still get the flavour and texture of the pasta that you crave, but with almost half the calories, because that cup of zucchini has just 30 calories.
Did you know that half a cup of barbeque sauce can contain about 250 calories? If you're someone who uses sauces liberally, this could be a big source of extra calories for you. Instead, give your meats a spice rub, which contains virtually no calories. And keep an eye on stir-fry sauces, such as teriyaki. You can often get a lot of flavour using spices (think fresh ginger, garlic and herbs) and little soy sauce, instead of using a rich sugar-filled sauce.
According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips are in fact the biggest contributor to obesity. In a study that found Americans gain about a pound a year, chips were the biggest cause of that weight gain. Though a serving might have about 160 calories, chances are you eat at least two to three times that. Instead, bake a cup of kale mixed with a teaspoon of oil and a bit of salt to make your own kale chips. For about 70 calories, you'll get a much more nutrient-dense snack that won't make you pack on the pounds.
If you haven't yet heard of cauliflower rice, you're missing out. This simple recipe is the perfect low-calorie replacement for white rice, which will set you back about 250 calories. Just process cauliflower florets in a food processor or grate them with a box grater, then cook with a bit of water or oil until soft. Use it for the bed of rice below meat or fish, or on the side of a curry dish. The cauliflower mimics the texture of rice but has only about 30 calories per cup.
Hamburger buns can easily contain 200 calories or more. Instead of a bun, sandwich your burger or chicken breast with veggies that contain almost no calories. You've heard of using lettuce instead of a bun, but how about grilled portobello mushrooms? Or a tomato cut in half? If you can't give up bread entirely, try a small wrap, which should cut the calories in half. Thinking outside the bun will help you lighten up your meal.