12 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry; Part 3

We hope this has been a help in your day to day life if not, there are the few more reasons we can explore!

Reason 9. You are not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is a vital for everyone to live a healthy life but did you know that a lack of sleep can actually make you feel hungrier than normal? The two reasons behind this are; cortisol and insulin!

When we do not get enough sleep our cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is the hormone associated with the flight-or-fight response, preparing the body to either fight or run. Unfortunately, the body isn’t always smart and it responds to any sort of stress this way; and lack of sleep is a BIG form of stress. To help combat increased cortisol levels the body attempts to self-medicate by craving carbohydrates (sugar). This increases insulin in the blood, which in turn decreases cortisol levels. However, this can become a vicious cycle because insulin is also affected by lack of sleep!

If you are not getting enough sleep each night your body becomes less sensitive to insulin.  Which means that your body becomes less effective in transporting the carbs you eat to your cells so your body has to pump out more insulin to help. However, insulin also regulates our feeling of satiety (feeling full), when levels are high we continue to feel hungry which can cause us to overeat.

How to Change This Habit:

The easiest way to help combat this is to get yourself on a sleep schedule and stick to it! Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to get a full 8 hours of sleep and make yourself go to bed. This does not mean climb into bed and turn the TV on or pull out your favorite book. When your ‘bedtime’ hits, turn out the lights and put the remote or book away and get to snoozing!

Reason 10. You are Skipping the Veggies

The majority of people do not get the recommended amount of vegetables every day. Vegetables contain important vitamins and minerals required for overall health. Dark leafy greens in particular are rich in vitamin K, which helps to regulates insulin levels. Vitamin K can also increase insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier for your body to utilize sugar from your bloodstream. If you are utilizing the sugar you are eating more efficiently than you will not require more through extra food and this will help you STOP those cravings!

Veggies are some of the rich in fiber and fiber helps slow the digestion of the foods we eat. This in turn helps us feel fuller longer and slows the digestion of sugars so we process it properly, rather than turning it into fat.

How to Change This Habit:

Include more dark green leafy greens in your diet; spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli. As well as other delicious fiber-rich veggies like carrots, celery, and sweet potato.

11. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Lean proteins – chicken, turkey, fish, eggs – Can help combat hunger pangs. Protein takes longer to digest, which means you feel fuller longer and are less likely to reach for that next snack. Protein has also been found in recent studies to have appetitive suppressing effects by prompting the release of hormones that encourage the feeling of being full. Along with helping keep hunger away protein also requires more energy to breakdown than carbohydrates or fat, meaning it burns more calories to digest. Protein also has a positive effect on your metabolism by promoting the growth and regeneration of muscle after working out, muscles burn more calories at rest than adipose tissues (fat).

How to Change This Habit:

Aim to consume about 0.8-1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This means that a 150 person should aim to eat between 100-150g of protein per day (this equates to about 400-600 calories from protein sources each day).

Ideally, protein should be of the lean variety; chicken, eggs, turkey, fish. However, it is really easy to sneak more protein into your diet through vegetarian options – chia seeds and greek yogurt in your smoothie, quinoa in your salad, nut butter in your oatmeal, make hummus from chickpeas and dip veggies. Aim to have a source of protein in every meal and snack.

Reason 12. You’re Bored

Feeling hungry can be as simple as being bored. Studies have shown that boredom actually diminishes our ability to make good and healthy food choices, and we consume more fattening foods than we would normally. Boredom is also the most common reason people give when asked about their emotions prior to consuming food. In other words, boredom turns us into emotional eaters.

How to Change This Habit:

When you are about to eat or snack be conscious of why you are doing so. Ask yourself ‘why am I reaching for this snack’ and be truthful with your answer. If it is because you have nothing else to do then find yourself a task to distract yourself – go for a walk, fold the laundry that has been sitting in the hamper for 2 days, go sit outside and enjoy the day – these distractions should help the feelings of hunger subside. Another tip, first drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. If you are still feeling hungry in 10-15 minutes then allow yourself to eat.

Thanks for reading!

Click here is you messed part one and here if you missed part two!

Come see our new facility! Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to book and appointment today!

12 Reasons You Always Feel Hungry; Part 1

Hunger is a complicated function that is influenced by not just biological factors but psychological ones as well. Because of the complicated relationship between nature and environment, controlling your feelings of hunger can be a frustrating task that makes sticking to a healthy diet more difficult than it needs to be.

Stick around for this 3 part series about the surprising day-to-day things you are doing that are making you feel hungrier than you really are and that are in turn sabotaging your waist line. And of course, tips to combat these habits!

Reason 1. You Eat Too Many Refined Carbohydrates

Does this daily menu sound familiar to you?

Cereal with milk for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap made with white bread or tortilla for lunch, chips or crackers for your mid-day snack, a dinner of pasta or pizza and a cookie or small bowl of ice cream for dessert.

If you daily menu reads something similar to this than your problem is that you are trying to fuel your body with nutrient deficient refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs such as pasta, white bread, white rice, cookies; lack any sort of fiber that helps satiate you. Another problem with the lack of fiber is the rate at which your body has to process these foods.

When we eat refined carbs our blood sugar levels spike through the roof and our bodies have to quickly work to reduce the glucose levels in our bloodstream. Removing all the sugar from our bloodstream so quickly then results in a crash, which in turn leaves the glucose levels in our bloodstream too low, thus triggering our hunger hormones to tell you to eat more carbs to raise your blood sugar levels to a safe point. It is a VICIOUS cycle!!

How to Change This Habit:

To combat this vicious cycle choose slow digestible foods that are nutrient dense and have a low glycemic (sugar) content. Carbohydrates such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, whole grains, beans, and fruit and veggies will not spike your blood sugar levels.

Reason 2. You’re Actually Just Thirsty

Research has shown that over 60% of the time that people are thirsty they incorrectly respond by eating! The reason behind this is that the same glad (the hypothalamus) regulates signals for both hunger and thirst and we often confuse these signals.

How to Change This Habit:

The next time you are feeling the urge to snack, drink a cup of water first and wait 20 minutes. If you are still feeling hungry after this than eat something. Another great waist saving tip is to drink 1-2 cups of water prior to a larger meal. Studies have shown that those who do this tend to eat 75-90 less calories per meal!

Reason 3. You Are Trying to Multi-Task.

The feeling of hunger is not the only factor that influences the amount we eat throughout a day, attention and memory play a big part. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full. Because of this, if you are not paying attention and are multi-tasking while you eat – watching TV, driving, checking your phone, working at your desk – you can easily take in more calories than you need in less than 20 minutes.

Multi-tasking also does not allow us to be mindful of what we are putting into our mouths, if we do not process that fact that we are eating we do not store this action into our memory. If our brain does not register a memory of eating than we are more likely to eat again sooner than is really required.

How to Change This Habit:

Be mindful when you eat. turn off the TV, put down the cell phone, take a break from your work. Take time and enjoy your food – the flavours, colours, smells, and textures- by doing so you will find your meals more satisfying and you are less likely to overeat or snack again soon afterwards.

Reason 4. You’re Too Stressed Out!

Have you ever heard someone or seen a meme encouraging you to eat sweets when stressed because ‘stressed’ is just ‘desserts’ spelled backwards? Well there is some real truth behind behind this saying.

Many people will say that when they are stressed they actually eat less, well this is true in the short term. With acute stress – like an exam – your body produces a hormone called epinephrine (aka adrenaline) that triggers your fight-or-flight response; temporarily shutting of hunger signals. However, chronic stress – from work, kids, finances, etc.- causes the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to crave carbohydrates (ie. sugar) because this increases insulin levels in the bloodstream which helps reduce cortisol levels.

How to Change This Habit:

While you may not be able to control all the stressors in your everyday life you can do things to help alleviate the effects of stress; take a bath, spend time with friends or family and control what you are putting into your mouth. Resist the temptation to binge on something sugary when feeling stressed to help break the cycle!

Reason 5. You Are Eating Too Quickly

As mentioned in Part 1, it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. So, if you wolf down your entire meal in less than 5 minutes you are more than likely going to overeat.

How to Change This Habit:

When eating your meal take time to chew your food completely; put your fork down between bites; chat with your friends or family around the table; drink water between each mouthful. In short, slow down! All of these tips will allow your brain to catch up to your stomach and help keep you from overeating.

Reason 6. Your Social Media is FULL of Food Pics

Scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram can be just as bad for you waistline as actually eating sugary, deep fried, fatty treats! Seeing pictures or videos of food actually enhances our desire to eat those foods. Even if you are not initially hungry or are not in need of food these visual triggers cause our bodies to send signals to the brain prompting it to release ghrelin, a hormone associated with triggering hunger.

How to Change This Habit:

Try unfollowing some of the Instagram accounts and Facebook pages that highlight sugar laden, fatty, deep fried treats and instead follow feeds that feature healthier options.

Click here for park two!

Need to get you diet back in good order? Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to get our SST lean body program.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

You should eat your vegetables – especially if they’re grilled, covered in bacon, and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a grill, preheat it to medium-high. Discard the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and trim the bottom of the stems. Slice them in half and lay them in a single layer on a non-stick or lined baking sheet. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to evenly coat.

  2. 2.Place the baking sheet on the top oven rack and roast for 16-20 minutes or until nicely browned. If using a grill, place the Brussels sprouts on a grill rack and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side.

  3. 3.While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, place the balsamic vinegar in a very small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until it is thickened and lightly coats a spoon.

  4. 4.Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a serving platter, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Why Female Athletes Need To Strength Train – Part 2

In Part one of this blog, we spoke about early specialization, Preparation for the future and reducing risk of injury. Today we will go over the other more looked over benefits of strength training for female athletes!

3.       Increases in Strength                                                                                

Developing an athletes strength capacity can be significantly enhanced through a program that uses a variety of forms of resistance training. The ability to coordinate movement and to efficiently recruit muscles in synchronized action are two of the main reasons for the strength improvements. As children age, this is a natural pattern of development but using forms of strength and conditioning training can expedite the process. Individuals who train twice per week, on average, have 33% higher strength gains than their once session per week counterparts. Stronger athletes perform better.

4.  Enjoyment in movement and physical activity for a lifetime                 

Through research, we know that those individuals who enjoy movement and physical activity are those who are the most likely to continue a healthy exercise lifestyle through their lives. It is much easier to enjoy physical activity when you move well and with no pain during the process. Strength and conditioning is a way to learn how to positively impact movement quality through mobility and movement training. All movements in our lives have an optimal way to be performed and the better you are at performing those movements, the better chance you have of continuing those movements.

As a final note; Always keep in mind that social pressures are a large part of a female athlete’s psyche and anything you do to take care of the body you must take equal care of their mind. An example of this is something I hear far too often. Whenever there is a young girl in the gym, the parents passing through tend to make a comment along the lines of “aw, she is so cute” …. Well she is here to work hard not to look cute. By saying that, you teach her to prioritize looking cute in the gym over the hard work they are putting in and devaluing that work all at the same time. Value the work your girls are putting into the gym and not what they look like while doing so. These pressures are difficult enough to deal with outside the gym and I don’t want that pressure walking in with them to every session, practice or game they attend.

Come into SST and see the difference our athlete training programs can make to you or your daughter!

If you are interested in learning more about your preparation and reducing injury risk please email us at bskinner@sstcanada.com

Has your bench press hit a plateau?

There is a small but mighty trick to break through, switch to a DB chest press and get the most bang for your buck. The strongest, smartest lifters don’t bench-press with their upper arms 90 degrees from their sides; they tuck their elbows in on the descent to get more power and reduce the risk of shoulder injury. To get fluid and comfortable doing this, performing the neutral to pronated grip bench press for eight to 12 weeks. Switch back to the traditional barbell while keeping in mind the cues of tucking your elbows. Watch your bench number skyrocket.

HOW TO DO IT

1. Grab dumbbells and lie back on a bench. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together and arch your lower back. Position the weights at the sides of your chest with palms facing each other.

2. Press the weights straight overhead, while rotating your grip to the pronated position and vice versa on the way down.

WHY IT WORKS

Pressing with the palms facing each other, rather than pointed toward your feet, will naturally cause you to keep your elbows close. This takes excess pressure off your shoulder joints and increases your mechanical advantage, allowing you to lift significantly more weight. Your chest is also responsible for internal rotation and therefor you will get better activation of that muscle group.

Come in for a FREE demo with our MaxFit class!

To book please email us at sst@sstcanada.com and we’ll get you scheduled for your demo.

Squat Depth: How low should I go?

The squat is one of the most well known, if not the most well-known exercise for developing lower body strength. One of the age-old questions in the athletic community and strength and conditioning world is how low should I go? This post aims to delve into this topic and provide insight into how low one should go when squatting.

            Early research into the squat suggested that with increased knee bend there was increased stress on the knee joint and while this is partially true (as tibiofemoral and patellofemoral compression increases with increasing knee angle), the maximal mean peak shear forces reported are much lower than the patellar and quadriceps tendons can withstand, and therefore while these forces increase with squat depth, they are within ranges that would tend not to significantly damage these tissues in an healthy individual. Furthermore, peak anterior shear forces occur from 0 – 60 degrees of knee flexion, making the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) most susceptible at this range, and these forces decrease with increased squat depth. Posterior shear force begins at 30 degrees flexion, with peak forces reported at 90 degrees of knee flexion and decreasing below 90 degrees of flexion. Therefore, while it is true higher forces exist at greater knee flexion, deep squats decrease stress on the ACL and PCL compared to partial squats of 90 degrees knee flexion or less.

            While the knee joint is the most commonly addressed joint when talking about squat depth, the loading mechanics of the spine also come into question. It has been shown that with increased forward lean, forces on the lumbar spine are increased. Furthermore, in lumbar flexion or excessive lumbar extension we also see these forces increase with the squat. In terms of the effect of squat depth on the spine, if a neutral lumbar spine and forward gaze can be maintained this is more important than squat depth itself. Furthermore, it appears front squats and low bar back squats provide less stress on the spine than high bar back squats.

            When we look at muscle activation, deep squats tend to activate hip musculature more than partial squats, so if we are trying to maximize the strength of our hip musculature (including our most powerful hip extensor gluteus maximus) deep squats with a wider stance and feet slightly turned out (anatomical position) are preferred, as partial squats up to 90 degrees maximize quadricep activation.

Overall there are many benefits to deep squats, but this is only if we can perform deep squats with proper form and technique. Likewise, there may be some scenarios where deep squats are contraindicated such as those with previous PCL injuries or patellofemoral disorders. Furthermore, squat depth should be consistent with individual goals and proper technique and execution needs to be maintained. Individuals should seek advice of an exercise professional on squat technique and should have an assessment done to find what is right for them in their exercise program. However, if you can squat to depth below 90 degrees it seems to be beneficial to athletic development and may even be less stressful on supporting structures.

Note – Information in this article is based off the brief review titled “Squat Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise Performance” Brad J. Schoenfeld published in 2013 the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Access this article here: https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2010/12000/Squatting_Kinematics_and_Kinetics_and_Their.40.asp

Speed Training- Parents are you doing it right? MY RANT – Part 3

Part 3- can you start and stop quickly?

Ok if you are back reading then you really want your son/ daughter to get faster.

Before I get into what I believe very important for stop/ starting I ask these questions:

Does your son / daughter:

  1. Stand tall when changing directions
  2. Slow changing directions
  3. Takes extra steps when changing directions

If you are witnessing this then you are probably deficient in ECCENTRIC strength.  What the heck does this mean?  Eccentric contractions of a muscle is described as when the muscle lengths under tension.  A simple example is when you lower the weight on a bench press.  

So what does this mean in running or changing of direction? It means we can work on all the form drills you want (yes you get better to some degree) but BNAG for Buck you must strengthen your legs eccentrically.  One of my favorite two methods is:

  1. Eccentric squats- lower the weight for at least 6 seconds down and then explode up ad fast as you can (please do not under estimate how difficult this is) Please start with a lower weight than your regular squat.
  2. Trap bar on elevated box- 6 seconds down as well – the difficulty of this exercise is much greater than a regular trap bar we we increased the Range of motion.

Try one of these exercises for 3 weeks and you will certainly see some major improvement when combined with a great speed program If you like to discuss please contact me as I am offering a 20-minute complimentary speed consultation on the phone.

If you like to discuss please contact me as I am offering a 20-minute complimentary speed consultation on the phone – 905.632.3558

Do you have the correct stance?

Offensive line play is one of the hardest positions in sports to truly master because of the amount of technique that is involved with every movement during a play. When coaching OL one of the most important parts of coaching OL is having a great stance! It goes back to the old saying, “if you start wrong odds are you are going to finish wrong.” What I will go thru in this blog is my key points on having a great stance.

Foot Angle

Gone are the days from Pop Warner where you were taught to have your toes pointing straight up the field! Let’s talks about a Right Handed stance; the left foot should be slightly opened, point towards 11’oclock. The right foot is a part of the prop leg, the foot should be more angled at approximately 2:00. This will allow you go get your whole back foot in the ground!

 Neutral Height in Stance

People think lower is better which is not true all. I will say this, the lower you can play the better your going to be. Some people’s anatomy won’t let them get to a certain depth. One way to figure out how low you should be in you stance is to simply come off the football. If the hips moves jagged then you’re too low. If the hips move nice and smooth, then you are perfect. I always teach this to my guys so they understand what goes into building a base.

Stagger of Stance

Pop warner coaches teach toe lined up in the instep. Anatomy wise it really doesn’t make sense; it doesn’t allow you to open up your hips and play with power. The easiest way to figure out how much stagger to play with is this simple test. Stand with your feet just outside shoulder width. Have someone gently give you a nudge, when falling backwards catch yourself with the foot that goes back in your respective stance. Wherever that foot falls is where it should be, in relation to your post foot This is just the basics of how your stance should operate, I could go on about this for hours, but I wont! Like I said before, “if you start wrong, you will finish wrong.” Please put time and effort into your stance and base, it’s the most important aspect.

If you would like to learn more about OL play come to our big man camp starting February 4th!

Top 3 ways to condition Linemen- not what you think!!

***Top Three Alert***

Offensive Line Conditioning

Conditioning Offensive Line and Defensive athletes is harder than you may think. Naïve people think that you can condition and OL athlete just like a skill position, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Skill positions run a very long distance on most plays without must strain. OL and DL athletes run short distances with a lot of strain. We as strength coaches must know this information and use it to execute the training program! Here are our 3 favourite ways to Condition OL and DL athletes.

Tire Flipping

This is a great way to get Big Football Athletes CNS going. Twenty seconds of tire flipping is a perfect amount of time to get them firing on all cylinders! This is a great way to develop strength and conditioning in the lower back which is very important for hand down athletes. One note for this is when they flip the tire they need to sprint around it so they are working at 100% the whole rep.

Banded Runs

This is easily one of my favourite ways to condition big boys. I like to keep the distance short, 10 to 15 yards maximum. Put a resistance band around their waste and make them work. 60-70 percent resistance is the perfect amount. Tell the athletes to start out of their stance and the fly. With OL what I like to do is start on a “Zone Track” then make them run after the fact.

Jumping

I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is. The name of the game in the trenches is all about who can apply more force through the ground to move laterally and vertically, with strength. Jumping teaches us this perfectly. You can train it numerous amounts of ways, box jumps, bounding really anything where you are getting lift! This really teaches them the importance of bend in their legs and where power comes from along with the conditioning.