5 Habits to Incorporate Daily

 

 

7-9 Hours of Sleep

I know this is just a recommendation. Some people need more, some need less. My point is, get enough sleep a day. If you neglect this part of your life, start prioritizing it as soon as possible.

 

2+L of Water a Day

Again, just a recommendation, but from what I’ve seen most people need way more than 2 litres of water a day. If you are not getting at least 2 litres a day, make it a priority.

 

Go for at Least One 20 Minute Walk a Day

You can do more if you wish, but at least make a habit of doing a walk a day outside! The sunlight and fresh air can really help you clear your mind. If you are looking for a step goal, I find anywhere from 8000-10,000 steps a day to be great.

 

Eat Adequate Protein

Usually anywhere from 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight is a safe recommendation. If you are someone who needs to lose a bit more fat, for your protein, go by what your goal bodyweight is in grams of protein a day! The amount of protein will depend on the individual, you might need less or more.

 

Have 4-6 Servings of Vegetables a Day (1-2 Servings in Each Meal)

The last one is the vegetables. Find ways to make them taste delicious, add some spices, add a bit of butter or olive oil, it doesn’t have to be bland and boring. 4 servings a day is a must in my opinion if you get more than 6 servings that is great in my opinion!

1 serving = 1 fist or 3oz

 

Start slow, you don't need to accomplish everything right away! It's okay to start with 1 habit and slowly work in the rest week to week!

 

Message me your questions to upnorthathletics@gmail.com

 

Written by: Jereymi Longpre

Make Fitness Easier

Workout earlier in the day.

This can start your day off on the right track! A small win to start your day can be a game-changer! Your workout can be mobility, a walk or strength training. Whatever it is do it first! I always recommend doing the things you find the toughest in your day first, still will ensure that you get it done!

 

Limit the number of “fun” foods you bring in the house.

The more "fun" foods you have in the house the easier it is to grab them when bored. The likelihood of you going out to the grocery store to go get those "fun" foods when you want them are slim. If you do decide to buy "fun" foods make sure they are tucked away and not in sight, and or grab "fun" foods that are individually pre-packaged, this way you can grab your "fun" food in a controlled portion.

 

 

Make healthy foods visible and convenient.

How can you make them visible?

Put fruits & veggies on the counter! Make sure to keep them in sight! Keeping protein powder, hardboiled eggs and meal prepped meats visible in the fridge can be another option as well!

How can you make them convenient?

Nowadays, it's easier than ever to buy salad kits, frozen veggies and pre-cooked meals.  Try and meal prep in advance!

 

Create accountability.

Accountability can make all the difference, having something like a consistency calendar or having a friend check in on you each week will create the push of always striving towards your goals.

 

 

Do less, but better.

Start slow, you don't need to do everything now!

If you don't currently workout now, don't put an expectation of working out 4 times a week on yourself, start with 1 or 2 workouts and go from there.

If you don't make any meals at home and always have take-out or fast food, start by making your first meal homemade instead of meal prepping all your meals.

Start off slow, you need to make habits, rushing into this will only overwhelm you.

 

Message me your questions to upnorthathletics@gmail.com

 

Written by: Jereymi Longpre

 

Protein Powder Recipes

I am going to make this quick … These are my favourite ways to use protein powder.

If you are someone who has a hard time getting enough protein and want something delicious and quick, these are my favourite ways to use protein powder.

Recipe 1:

Make a bowl of cooked oats.

Once the oats are cooked.

Add 1 scoop of protein powder and mix it all up.

Now you have “Proats”.

Note: Make sure there is enough water in the bowl after cooking the oats so you can mix everything together.

 

Recipe 2:

Buy or make cold brew coffee.

Add the cold brew coffee into a blender.

Add almond milk into the blender.

Add ice into the blender.

Add 1-2 scoops of protein powder in the blender.

Turn on the blender and mix it all up.

Now you have “Protein Coffee”

Note: The more liquid you add, the less sweet the Protein coffee will be.

 

Recipe 3:

Add 250mL of raw egg whites into a shaker cup with your favourite protein powder and shake it up. 

Pour the egg whites and protein powder into a frying pan, turn your stove on low and start cooking liquid. 

I recommend putting a lid on the pan to let the liquid cook throughout so you don’t have to flip the cake. 

If you don’t have time to cook it on the stove, you can use the microwave. 

Put the egg whites and protein powder in a bowl and microwave for 1 min. 

Mix it up and repeat this process until you get the right consistency. 

Now you have “Protein Pancakes”

Note: Topping off your protein cake with some no sugar added syrup, peanut butter, and strawberries make for a great dessert! Just be aware this can increase the calorie intake if you are not aware.

 

Recipe 4:

Add 80g of oats to a bowl.

Add 1 scoop of protein powder to the bowl.

Add almond milk or regular milk in the bowl making sure it’s thick and not to liquidy.

Mix all together.

Put in the fridge with a cover and let it sit overnight.

Now you have “Overnight Oats”

Note: You can add dried fruit, fruit, nuts, nut butter and or anything else that you might find that adds flavour. Just be aware this can increase the calorie intake if you are not aware.

 

These are my TOP 4 PROTEIN POWDER RECIPES if you end up trying them out let me know what you thought.

Send me your messages with your questions through email or through social media!

 

Written by: Jereymi Longpre

Protein Powder

"Not necessary, but the most convenient in my opinion"

What is Whey?

Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. The 2 types of whey are sweet & sour. Sweet Whey is manufactured when hard cheese (cheddar, Swiss) is curdled into an easily digested form and sour Whey is manufactured when cottage cheese and strained yogurt (liquid) are a co-product when manufacturing cheese.

What is Whey Protein Powder?

Whey Protein Powder is formed from globular proteins isolated from the product whey. There are 3 major whey proteins (concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate). Concentrate whey is the cheapest form and most common whey protein for maximizing muscle hypertrophy. Whey isolate is the highest percentage of pure protein and the 2nd most common whey protein. Whey Hydrolysis is mostly used in sports medicine because it allows amino acids to be absorbed quicker helping with muscle recovery.

Should you buy it?

If you can afford it and you find that you can't get enough protein through other protein sources, then yes get some whey protein! In my opinion, it's the most convenient way to get protein as it can be taken with you anywhere! The cost of whey protein varies depending on the type of whey, the quality, and what brand. Typically, most whey proteins have 25–30grams of protein per scoop which is equivalent to around 3–4oz of cooked chicken breast. With all this said, find what is most convenient for you. Whey protein won't give you a better advantage. The most important aspect is the amount of your daily protein intake. Yes, there are better quality and more nutritious protein. If you can only afford a cheaper version of protein then try to balance out different varieties of proteins. Also, focus on your health and change up each protein source you consume weekly. Work with what you’ve got and enjoy the foods you love. I personally enjoy having a protein shake handy as I'm always on the go, but I also do enjoy my chicken breast and egg whites when I'm at home and have the time to cook!

Written by: Jereymi Longpre

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body. It stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine releases energy to aid cellular function during stress. This effect causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, and can also benefit the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. So in other words, taking creatine consistently will aid with strength, muscle growth/endurance and performance in training.

My Opinion

If you are ever thinking of taking creatine as a supplement for any sort of muscle maintenance, muscle gain or as a weight loss goal paired with resistance training, I would highly recommend it. Creatine is one of the highest researched supplement in the industry. No research has shown creatine to harm anyone. The only cases where creatine has been harmful is for individuals that already had kidney problems, to begin with. Creatine can also be naturally found in meats. Creatine doesn’t need to be taken in increments with loading phases and it can be taken year-round. I recommend a 5g dose daily (this can also depend on body weight). Creatine isn’t a steroid and yes, women can take it. It won’t make you look bulky and/or freakily muscular. So, if you are ever thinking of taking creatine, I would highly recommend it. It isn’t BS, it works and it’s not expensive at only $20 for 80 servings, which also is a plus!

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Pre Workout Meal

In my opinion, having a well-balanced pre-workout meal can be beneficial for performance for your workout.

What should it include?

I personally enjoy having around 50–80 grams of carbohydrates. I like having a mix of a low glycemic index carbohydrate (oats) and a high glycemic index carbohydrate (fruit). I also include 25–35 grams of protein with my meal (protein powder or egg whites is my favorite). I usually eat an hour before my workout as it gives me time to digest my food and get into my system but everyone is different. Some people eat 2 or 3 hours before a workout which is also fine. Pick a time that you feel works best for you! I will also have some sort of caffeine source for energy. This isn’t a crucial step but it definitely helps and can improve performance. If you train early in the morning and don’t want to eat before your workout that is also fine. It’s called training in a fasted state. I have done this especially if I train earlier in the morning and want to eat later in the day. What I usually do is have some BCAA’s if I don’t eat anything. Again, this isn’t a crucial step. It’s just a suggestion and something that works best for me. Find what’s best for you and pick the foods you like. The foods I listed are examples of things I enjoy in the morning. Finding the balance in which you eat more or eat less, picking the foods you enjoy, and eating when you feel is the best for you is going to make the process a lot more enjoyable. Everyone is different and will perform better at different levels, so find your best pre-workout meal and be consistent!

Example Pre Workout Meal

- 80grams of oats
- 1 cup of berries
- 1 scoop of protein powder or 1 cup of egg whites
- 1 cup of coffee
*What I like to do is cook the oats and then mix in the protein powder or, add the egg whites and cook them with the oats. I will usually add my berries after everything is cooked.

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Free Fitness

These days it's hard to do anything without money. It acts as a barrier for many of the things we tell ourselves we can't do. How many times have you told yourself 'when I get the money I'll…' insert goal, dream or bucket-list activity? Fortunately for those of you with fitness on that list, it doesn't need to cost hardly anything.

Not many will argue that a gym is the best place to get fit, especially if you have lifting weights and building muscle in mind. A gym allows one to integrate the science of measurement to track their progress with pounds or kilograms and is absolutely optimal. But in order to access those pounds and kilograms, the gym comes with a price of membership that not many are willing or able to pay. This facilitates fitness falling into the category of the 'when I get the money I'll' list which in my opinion is completely unnecessary.

Get Creative

From the time I started training, a speed/strength coach of mine always preached that money is never a barrier for achieving fitness goals. He instilled in me the ability to be creative and to find solutions. One summer while we weren't allowed to train in our gym due to a teacher strike, he went to the junkyard and for free the owner let him take old inner tubes from truck tires that he then filled with sand and duct taped. Now, with three different weights, my coach was still able to put us through hell and allow us to keep training even despite not having a weight room.

Through that training, upon returning to the weight room I noticed an increase in almost all of my lifts and from that point on I would see the world differently. Every playground was full of pull up bars or places to hold your ankles for glute-ham raise, cinder blocks are dumbbells and the list goes on.

My point isn't to discourage gym goers, my point is to decrease the stigma of nonconventional training methods after all everyone built differently. Herschel Walker, an NFL and college star running back trained only via pushups sit ups pull ups and other bodyweight exercises and started only being able to do 10 but worked his way up to doing thousands a day. For speed, he would chase trains. Obviously, not all of us can be Herschel Walker but his consistency is what allowed him to outperform the rest by only performing simple movements and being creative.

The take-home message is that there is no bad way to start and it is possible to learn by doing. Be creative even if you are a gym member, mix it up and take one of your workouts to the playground. They don't call it the jungle gym for anything. Start small and with consistency comes creativity and you may surprise yourself with the results.

Written By: Kieran Testa

My Favourite Chest Exercises

“There is no one specific magic chest exercise to make you have an advantage”

My Approach

I personally enjoy working out a certain muscle group 2-3 times a week. I find that it helps me build muscle & strength better and doesn’t make me sore. I will typically do 2 or 3 upper body days and 1 or 2 lower body days. Research has shown that roughly 40–70 reps per muscle group should be performed per workout session for optimal muscle gain. The rep range and set range will depend on your specific goals. I typically like sticking with a 4–8 rep range for 3-4 sets with my chest movements (this will also depend on what exercise I am doing). My favorite approach is to perform a set, take a break then repeat with lower weight but with more reps. For example, I will perform 220lbs for 4 reps, take a break then go down about 10% in weight for the next set but perform more reps (200lbs for 6 reps then 180lbs for 8 reps). Every week I make sure to progress 5lbs up in each set. This is called progressive overload. If you can’t progress in weight for a week try to go for more reps than the last week. This is also another example of progressive overload.

My Top 5 Chest Exercises:

•Bench Press
•Incline Bench Press
•Dumbbell Bench Press
•Seated Cable Flys (Pec Deck)
•Push Ups

Conclusion

Do exercises that you enjoy with proper form and that don’t cause pain. Work on getting stronger each week and focus on your goals. There isn’t a “magical” exercise out there that will make progress go quicker so just work on yourself and try to make it fun.

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Why is Protein King for Building Muscle?

Why is protein important? How much should I consume? I heard protein ruins your Kidneys?

What is Protein?

Protein can come from many different sources of foods and each protein source has a different biological value. Many sources of protein come from animal products, soy products, and legumes. Picking the source of protein for your needs is where it might get tricky. Animal products usually carry the most biological value of protein in it’s given source, where soy products and legumes don’t carry as much. That saying, you can still get enough protein from soy and legume products.

 

3 Reasons why Protein is essential

1. Stay Full Longer: Having protein with each meal ensures that you stay satisfied and less hungry, helping with not overeating. The reason for this is because protein takes the longest to digest in your body. Studies show that protein is the most filling macronutrient compared to carbohydrates and fats. With this said, carbohydrates and fats are still optimal. It’s about finding the balance for your specific needs.

2. Thermic Effect of Protein: Protein has the highest thermic effect of any macronutrient. Thermic effect of food is the energy required for digestion, absorption, and disposal of ingested nutrients. Protein has approximately 3 times the amount of thermic effect of carbohydrates and fat, which means that it takes your body more energy to digest protein, ultimately leading to more energy expenditure (calories) being burned.

3. Builds Lean Muscle: Protein is the building block for increasing lean muscle combined with resistance training. This ensures for better recovery and overall better lean muscle gained depending on your body composition.

 

How much protein should I be eating?

This question gets asked a lot and it really depends on your specific goals. Body composition, your goal of weight gain or weight loss will all dictate how much protein your body needs. Increasing resistance training and activity level will also play a big role in the amount of protein you will need. A chart that I found and like to follow shows a good representation of the amount of protein you should have depending on your bodyweight and your athletic goals.

CHI Protein Dosage Guideline Chart

 

Protein is bad for my Kidneys!

The reason people say this is because people think that the kidneys need to work even harder to clear the metabolites of protein when in hindsight the kidneys are always under stress. Studies show that only people with pre-existing kidney problems have had issues with a higher protein intake compared to individuals who are healthy and have no kidney problems. Eat the amount of protein that is best for your goals and body composition and you will notice a difference in how you feel, perform and look.

 

My top 5 favorite Protein Sources and BV

•Whey Isolate Protein: 110–159%
•Chicken: 79%
•Egg Whites: 88%
•Halibut: 83%
•Tuna (Water): 83%
*BV: Biological Value

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

My Story & Experience With Eating & Exercise

I have gone through it all, yo-yo dieting, IIFYM, and even binge eating. It took me 2 years to figure out that when it comes down to it, it’s how you approach the way you look at a diet. I don’t look at food as “good” or “bad” but rather by its nutritional value. There is no secret diet, no magic pill, no detox juice and no body wrap that will magically make you reach your goal to a different physique or body composition. What it comes down to is how much you eat and how much you move. These two factors are most important. My approach is a whole foods approach while enjoying the treats I love in moderation. I find this has worked the best for me. I typically go to the gym 5 times a week and lift weights because it’s what I prefer. I also try to go for a 30-minute walk on days I don’t do physical activity. I love walks and enjoy being outside but if you’d rather walk on the treadmill or go on the stair master, do what you enjoy! It’s about finding the simplicity that works best for you. The reason you might consider choosing a whole foods approach is that it keeps you full longer, you can eat more because most plant-based foods have more volume and fewer calories, you are maximizing your energy for better performance and lastly, you are BETTERING your health which should honestly be your main focus. Like I said before to do what works for you in order to reach your goal. In the end, it’s your body, not anyone else’s.

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Why using a scale to measure progress isn’t always accurate!

You look at the scale in the morning and it says you gained 3lbs… If you question why this happens and you get demotivated on your diet and quit, in retrospect the scale was just doing its job. Your body weight will fluctuate depending on a lot of different factors. I explained this in my post about the 6 reasons why your weight spikes.

Credit: @upnorthathletics (Instagram)

Let me explain. In my opinion, the scale isn’t the most accurate way of progress. Unless you’re weighing yourself every day in the morning before you do anything, then I wouldn’t recommend using the scale as a progress tool. If you are going to use the scale as a progress tool, I recommend weighing yourself every morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom and before you’ve eaten or drank anything. After you have weighed yourself at the end of the week (Sunday) you will add all your weigh-ins together and then divide it by 7 to get your weekly average weigh in. If your week 1 average is higher than your week 2 average, then you know you lost weight. This is the most accurate way of using the scale. Other tools I like to use is weekly progress pictures. I usually take a picture of the front of my body, the side and back and then compare them to the previous week. I also like using a measuring tape to measure the circumference of my waist (at belly button), chest (under armpit, above the nipple line, with arms then lowered), bicep (left or right, be consistent), thigh (same spot every time), hips (widest part), and shoulders (widest point from shoulder to shoulder). I will usually take measurements every 1-2 weeks. In my opinion, these are the most accurate ways to track progression.

Conclusion

If you’re just starting a diet and need ways to follow progression then these are just samples that I find are most effective. Ideally losing 1–2lbs a week is great progress. You might even lose 3–5lbs in the first week as your body is losing water weight and your glycogen stores are depleting (which is the start of losing weight). I don’t recommend aiming for 3–5lbs a week after the first couple weeks, as that, could lead to a crash diet. If you stay consistent, patient and motivated aiming for that 1–2lbs a week weight loss, you’ll probably enjoy it better and next thing you know, you will have reached your goal!

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Tracking Calories and Weighing your Food

 

I don't think it's sustainable forever, but I definitely recommend it.

 

Here's WHY

As we have evolved as humans, we have become more knowledgeable about food and what it contains so it makes it easier to understand what is in our foods. I personally recommend everyone to measure their food for at least 1–2 months. By doing this, you will get a better understanding of how to read nutrition labels and learn what an actual serving size of certain foods are. It will also help you learn how to incorporate low-calorie high volume foods (foods high in fiber, water, vitamins, etc), therefore, making it easier not to overeat and making you feel full longer. Examples of high volume foods are vegetables and most fruits. Some fruit is a little higher in energy (calories), but have a high fiber content. Low energy fruits like most berries, are awesome snacks and are very tasty when frozen. The internet is a great resource for information and you can buy a food scale for about 20$ which is cheap for something so useful! If you get informed and do your research it should be easier to reach your goals.

Conclusion

Like I mentioned before, I don't think measuring your food is sustainable forever, but it will help. You'll be better at eyeballing foods when you go to a restaurant or a night out with friends because you'll have had the experience of measuring. Being aware of the small things will make it easier for a flexible lifestyle, which I think is important. Enjoy the process and avoid going on "diets" every 3 months. This will help you learn how to maintain your body weight or lose/gain weight, depending on your goal. Do what you think is best, but what has made me successful is doing this and learning the basics. So, invest the 1–2 months tracking and you should see results!

(Example of 100 calories of different fat sources) (Credit: Christy Shaw Instagram)

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

 

Muscle Gain: Creating a Calorie Surplus

 

What is a Calorie Surplus?

A calorie surplus is when you eat more energy (calories) than your body burns, resulting in weight gain.

How is a Calorie Surplus Beneficial?

Depending on your goals, eating at surplus will lead to weight gain which can also lead to muscle gain with proper weight training. People who struggle to gain weight and muscle should eat in a surplus until they reach a weight or body composition they enjoy. Creating a calorie surplus gets tricky at times because like a calorie deficit where I explain how to find your maintenance, you don't want to end up in too much of a surplus and gain too much fat. Going at a slow surplus will lead to more muscle gain and less fat gain, meaning an all-around better aesthetic look.

Eating in a Surplus

If you want to start eating in surplus I recommend to first find your maintenance calories and stick with a set of calories until you can maintain your current body composition for 2 weeks. Once you have found your maintenance calories you will add about 200–300 calories to your maintenance to be in a surplus. The number of calories added to your maintenance will depend on your activity level and body composition. In my opinion, a good goal is to gain about 2lbs-4lbs of muscle per month. These factors depend on how experienced a lifter you are, how much of a surplus you're in and how much fat you have gained in that month. You might gain more weight than 2–4lbs a month which could be more muscle gain, fat gain or water weight. Keep in mind that in your first week you might gain more weight as you will be increasing carbs which could lead to more water weight.

Macronutrients for a Calorie Surplus

In my opinion, eating around 0.82–1g of protein per pound of bodyweight is a good amount of protein while in a surplus. You can have more protein if you'd like, but it isn't necessary. Once again, with a calorie deficit, carbs and fats can be distributed how you'd like. I would suggest between 20–35% of your daily calorie intake from fats and around 40–60% of your calorie intake from carbs. I personally enjoy eating more carbs so I might have 50% carbs, 25% fats, and 25% protein. By doing this, I'm ensuring that I am incorporating each macronutrient, but also giving myself more carbs which is what I crave the most. This is just an example to play around with different percentages that work for you.

Conclusion

I recommend eating a 70–80% healthy whole food approach because it’s important to ensure you're getting the right micronutrients and vitamins to stay healthy. The other 20–30% you can eat whatever other foods that you like. The good thing about being in a surplus is that you have a little more wiggle room to be a bit more lenient with what you eat. What I don't recommend is dirty bulking. Dirty bulking is basically eating whatever you want at anytime you want without having any control. This does lead to a calorie surplus, which will lead to muscle and strength gains but it will also lead to fat gain which might not help you get the look you’re trying to achieve. I personally, want to have optimal muscle and strength while keeping a low body fat percentage and having a nice atheistic look.

---

If you are having a hard time getting in calories while in a surplus, try this shake idea I made on my Instagram (upnorthathletics) 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Basics of a Calorie Deficit

 

What is a Calorie Deficit?

A calorie deficit is when you eat fewer calories than you burn in a day. A consistent calorie deficit over time leads to weight/fat loss.

How to create a Calorie Deficit

First, you need to find your maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories are the number of calories your body takes in to maintain your current body composition. A simple way to determine your maintenance calories is by multiplying your body weight by 14–16. The more physical activity you do the higher you multiply your body weight. For example, a 180 lb male who does moderate physical activity, would multiply 180 x 15 = 2700 which would be roughly his maintenance calories. After you find your maintenance calories I would recommend sticking with this number of calories for 2 weeks until you find that your weight is maintaining. Once you have done that, you will subtract your maintenance calories by around 500 calories. This way you're in a moderate deficit and not on a crash diet approach. In other words, a male that has a moderate activity level will eat roughly 2200 calories a day if he wants to be in a moderate deficit.

Macronutrients with a Calorie Deficit 

I would personally recommend 1-1.2grams of protein per pound of body weight while on a deficit. By doing this, you are ensuring that you're preserving as much muscle as you can, as protein is the building block for muscle. The rest is up to you on how you want to split your carbohydrates and fats. I would recommend having about 20–35% of your calorie intake coming from fats and around 30–50% of your calories coming from carbs. I wouldn't recommend taking out a specific macronutrient, but rather having a moderate amount of both carbohydrates and fats. You can also use MyFitnessPal to plug in these numbers for an easy calculation. Let’s take an active male who is 175lbs and wants to be in a deficit. His maintenance calories are around 2600 calories so he eats 2200 calories for his deficit. His macronutrient distribution would be 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat (again, this is just an example to play around with different percentages that work for you).

Tips to make staying in a Calorie Deficit easier!

Fat Loss Tricks 1

🍗High protein: Keeps you full and satisfied. Also helps with recovery and keeping lean mass.

🥦Fiber supplement: Helps you stay full and helps keep insulin low. Can also help reduce cravings.

🔴Low cal jello: Super low calories for something sweet. Can add a ton of volume.

☕️Caffeine: Helps blunt appetite.

⏰Loosely fasting: Will fast a few hours to extend the time of eating. This allows for more food later in the day.

💦Carbonated water: Keeps you full/hydrated.

💪🏼BCAA's: Helps with sweet cravings.

🔋Energy drinks: Keeps me going and helps blunt appetite because of the caffeine and the carbonation.

Instagram: @upnorthathletics

Fat Loss Tricks 2

🍏Apple: Fiber, water, and micronutrients. Keeps you full.

⚪️Sugar-free gum: Decrease sweet cravings.

🍦Cool Way ice cream: Can save you from high-calorie options.

🌶Spicy Food: Can suppress appetite and cut cravings.

🏃🏼‍♂️Going for walks: Low intensity, won't spike hunger, will burn easy calories. (Have a step goal in a day)

🥦Add volume: Add low-calorie foods to meals (such as vegetables) to make them bigger. 

📐Certain weight management supplements: can increase thermogenesis, can enhance exercise performance,  can crush appetite, and cravings, allows you to diet better.

🤸‍♂️Increasing NEAT: Things like walking to your job from your car, washing dishes, doing yard work, playing with your kids, these are all things that increase your NEAT.

Instagram: @upnorthathletics

Conclusion

Just remember that fat loss takes time. Be in a moderate deficit, eat healthy whole foods (80% whole foods, 20% of the foods you enjoy: this approach is personally my favorite and has helped me the most) and be consistent. This shouldn't feel like a job or a hassle to enjoy the process. Be mindful, don't overdo things and by the time you know it, you'll have reached your goal. Make sure to also move and lift some weights. Gaining muscle also makes it easier to obtain your goal. So technically, the more you move the more you get to eat ;).

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Cravings vs Hunger

What are cravings and what is hunger? Are they both different?

Cravings

Cravings are typically known as an emotional want for a certain food. Typically the food is salty, fatty or sweet.

Hunger

Hunger is a physical desire for food in general, not one specific certain food.

——

Tips for something sweet before having what you are “craving”

-Have an Apple

-Brush your Teeth

-Have some Gum

-Have some BCAAS or a Protein Shake

-Drink some Zero Calorie Drinks

-Eat 1 or whatever it is you are craving, enjoy it and move on

Different cravings can be the cause of different nutrient deficiencies. Below is an info graph made by @nikgfitness (Instagram) explaining the specific foods that your body needs to combat the cravings.

More tips on eliminating cravings….

Tip 1: Drink more water

- Drinking more water can actually eliminate cravings and hunger keeping you full longer. A good tip is to drink 500mL of water before a meal, this will keep you fuller and will hydrate you in the process.

Tip 2: Eat Slower 

- When you eat too quick your body and brain haven't had the time to digest the food, making you still feel hungry. Enjoy the food and eat until satisfied.

Tip 3: Eating more lean protein

- Having around 25-50grams of lean protein in each meal will keep you satiated longer. Protein also has many different great benefits as well. Examples of lean protein include chicken breast, white fish and egg whites.

Tip 4: Eat more vegetables

- Eating more vegetables with each meal can decrease cravings and hunger. Vegetables are very low in calories but high in fiber and essential micronutrients which keep you full. Vegetables have a lot of volume for the number of calories they have.

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Usually, you'll know if you're craving something. If the food you want is very specific (cookie, brownie, cake, etc) give yourself 30 mins and/or try the tips listed above. If you still can't stop thinking of the certain food you want after 30min, then go ahead and have whatever food you're craving. Enjoy the 💩 out of it, move on to the next meal and don't regret your choice. 👉🏼"No one got skinny eating one salad and no one got fat eating one brownie"👈🏼

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Conclusion

All in all understanding the difference between the two will help you improve your view on when you're hungry and when you are craving certain foods. These tips will help you reach your weight loss goals or help you maintain your body composition as well. Remember, cravings are desiring one certain food and hunger is a physical pain for wanting food in general. With this said, I'm not saying you can't have your cravings, just enjoy them in moderation and you will notice that reaching your goals will be that much easier.

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

Weightlifting 101

Today I will give you a guide to weightlifting and what your main focus should be in the gym. I will start off by saying that you have to find something you can sustain and enjoy. If you can’t do those two things, it will be very hard to follow and be consistent. So what should you focus on? Let’s begin.

Lifting Weights: What to Focus On?

Sooo …. most people know it's important to lift weights or do some sort of exercise but, what should you focus on? In my opinion, I think that focusing on compound exercises and isolation movements are very helpful to maximize your muscle and strength gains. These movements can be varied in many ways so you will have to experiment in finding what exercises feel more comfortable for you! What are compound movements and isolation movements? Compound exercises are any movements that include more than one muscle group being worked. I would recommend picking a certain compound exercise that you enjoy and pairing it with certain isolation exercises (an isolation exercise is a movement that targets one specific muscle group). To be honest, there are no "magic" compound exercises or isolation exercises. Everyone has different exercises that work better for them. Pairing your compound exercises and isolation exercises strategically is also very important for a workout session.

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Now, let’s go over some examples of compound and isolation exercises and the muscle groups they will hit. These are common examples of exercises that I see most people incorporating!

Examples of Compound & Isolation Exercises:

*PM: Primary Muscle

*SM: Secondary Muscle

Compound Exercises:

Bench Press (PM: Chest, SM: Shoulder, Triceps)

Squat (PM: Quads, SM: Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower Back, Abs)

Deadlift (PM: Lower Back, Quads, SM: Glutes, Hamstrings, Back, Traps, Rear Deltoids, Core, Forearms)

Pull Ups (PM: Back(Lats), SM: Biceps, Forearms)

Dips (PM: Triceps, SM: Lower Chest, Shoulders)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (PM: Anterior Deltoids, SM: Triceps, Lateral Deltoid, Traps)

Note: These are just examples, there are many more options. These should be done with proper form and optimal weight for your body composition.

Isolation Exercises (only one muscle being used):

Leg Extensions: Quads

Leg Curls: Hamstrings

Bicep Curls: Biceps

Tricep Extensions: Triceps

Calf Raises: Calves

Lateral Raises: Shoulders

Flyes: Pectorals (chest)

Note: These are just examples, there are many more options. These should be done with proper form and optimal weight for your body composition.

Now that we have a better understanding of what compound and isolation exercises are, let me give you an example of a push workout day!

Note: A push workout is any movement that involves a pushing movement. Chest press and shoulder press are two main examples.

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Example of a Workout Day

I recommend performing your compound movements first in your workout as you will be using more energy to perform these exercises.

Example Push Day (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps):

Bench Press (Compound)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Compound)

Lateral Raises (Isolation)

Chest Flyes (Isolation)

Tricep Extensions (Isolation)

All exercises can be performed with the number of sets and reps you prefer. Typically I recommend doing 3–4 sets for each exercise, but that is what I prefer. For reps, I typically stick in the 4–8 range for compound movements and 10–15 range for isolation movements.

Reps: The number of times the exercise has to be performed in a set.

Sets: The number of times the exercise has to be performed as a “chunk” or a group. Example: Perform Bench Press 3 times of 8 reps

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You have almost learned everything you will need to begin your very own program! Next is an explanation of ways to progress! The reason it’s super important to know this is that you always want to be adding more stress on the muscle to make progress! If you don’t do this you will stay where you are without any progress. It’s just like if you were to plateau with your weight on the scale! You will maintain your progress but no change will happen unless you find a way to increase more stress on the muscle which I will explain next!

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What is progressive overload? Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise training. The increase of resistance, reps, volume, training frequency and the decrease of rest time are all examples of progressive overload. (Progressive overload is highly important to take into consideration during your training if you want to stimulate growth, both in terms of muscle mass and strength. Simply put, your body does not like to change. It adapts to the workload you put on it and then becomes very good at doing just that with the resources it has available (i.e. your muscle mass). This is why if you place certain requirements on your body during a workout in terms of reps, sets, and weight, your body will adapt to those requirements, but it will never improve beyond the muscle needed for those minimum requirements. If you build 24-inch quadriceps and that amount of muscle mass is able to perform 4 sets of 8 reps using 315 lbs on the squat (assuming you are perfect in terms of rest and nutrition), as long as you keep asking that muscle to lift the same reps/sets/weight, your quadriceps will not decrease in size/strength, but it is unlikely that they will increase either.) - Igor Opeshansky

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I want to finish off by saying, everyone begins their journey somewhere! If you're trying to lose weight, gain weight or even maintain weight, lifting weights will benefit you and help you achieve your goal. Proper programming, proper nutrition, proper progression, consistency, and patience are all keys factors to achieving whatever goal you have.

Written By: Jereymi Longpre

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