Beer? No thanks! Cider? Not for me! I am a BIG fan of fizzy drinks!!! Coke, Fanta even dandelion & burdock. Soft drinks have been my weakness for most of my life. The sweetness of these drinks is a big draw for me and the reason that I like to drink them. In the 1980’s diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners became the popular alternative to all of the sugary drinks on offer. Words like sugar-free, lite and diet suggested that these drinks were not only low in calories, they were even good for you. That was then but now sweeteners seem to be enemy number one. But why?
So zero calories are good, right?
The product most used to sweeten our food and drinks is still sugar (sucrose) but sugar:
has no nutrients
contains no protein
has no healthy fats
contributes to tooth decay and obesity
has no enzymes
full of empty calories
This is why saccharine, sucralose and aspartame has become so prevalent. Gram for gram these sweeteners are 200 times more sweet than sugar. You use only a fraction of it to obtain the same sweet taste but it contains virtually no calories. Result!
Words like sugar-free, lite and diet suggested that these drinks were not only low in calories, they were even good for you.
Sounds too good to be true? Absolutely! Lets look at what the research says about these additives. Participants in a San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda.
PepsiCo is listening.
Aspartame has been linked to headaches, nausea and abdominal pain. By late this summer Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi will no longer be adding aspartame to their ingredients. But before you think about planning a Pepsi buying frenzy they will be replacing it with sucralose and other similar chemical creations.
But I need a sweet fix!
As part of my drive for the body beautiful, I had begun to make my own ice-tea but left the sugar behind and added “sußstöff” which, although was low in calories, it made my waistline balloon! I have now given it up and am trying to wean myself off sweets in general. But when I need my sweet fix there are many other natural sugar substitutes to choose from. Honey and fruit are great and they contain many nutrients too.
So, I’ll have a glass of sparkling mineral water instead, please.
Over the past four months I’ve been going to the gym and I have noticed that many of the men there – young and old; slim and not so slim – were chugging down protein drinks. They drink it before they work-out or after they work-out. In addition, the gym even has a drinks vending machine that is dedicated to selling a variety of flavours of a ready mixed protein brand. But are there any real benefits to drinking whey protein? Will protein drinks give me the body of an Adonis or is it just marketing mumbo-jumbo to sell expensive powders? Am I missing out on huge gains? Let’s investigate! Continue reading Whey Protein: Do You Really Need It?→
We all have heard the adage you are what you eat and we understand that what we put into our bodies affects the way that it works. Look after our bodies by feeding it well. So, I know that eating cakes or piling high a plate of mash potato and steak will not be the best thing for my body but as long as I go to the gym I will be able to burn off the excess calories. But have you considered how else a bad diet can cause your body not to function as well as it should?
The global fitness industry is worth a staggering €70 billion per year! We contribute to that by buying supplements, sports wear and, most importantly, gym memberships. It takes a lot to get fit! Let’s look at the statistics:
140,000,000 people have a gym/health club membership worldwide
(Europe has an estimated 47.67 million memberships)
The global annual revenue from gym/health club membership is €60bn
(€30bn from Europe)
The average cost of a gym membership is about €40 each month.
67% of people never use their gym or health club
Here at LIIB we like to look after the pennies and want you to do so too. So, ditch that gym membership, save some money and get healthy for free (not free from healthy). I’ve compiled a list of exercise programmes, apps and youtube workouts- all for zero cost!
Joe Wicks is possibly the most popular fitness guru in the UK at the moment. With his affable charm and good looks, he has become a fitness marketer’s dream and now promotes his heath and fitness brand through many media channels. He has the voice of Jamie Oliver and the body of…not Jamie Oliver! Although Joe has a number of paid for products (books, apps, etc.) he does also offer his advice for free. I have added a few of his links here to save you time searching the internet. You can check out his HIIT workouts on his YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV and his book Lean in 15 as a PDF which features 10 of his “exclusive” Shape Plan recipes.
Celebrity trainer Russ Howe PTI is among the UK’s most sought-after personal trainers. He has a reputation for being tough but he very effective in achieving fat loss with his training and his no-nonsense teaching style. Sign up for a free membership and receive thousands of hours of workouts, access to all Russ Howe PTI official workout plans plus you can follow his YouTube channel all for free!
“Every Heart and Soul deserves to be Fit!” (or HASFit for short) gives you over 500 free on demand workouts and fitness programs that you can do at home or the gym. If you enjoy bodyweight training you are in luck as this is as the majority of their workouts are based on this philosophy. They are great for home exercise or for when travelling. If you’re a beginner, why not try the 30 Day Low Impact Workout or for those who are much more advanced there is the Warrior 90 Day Workout Routine. HASfit’s team of elite personal trainers provide a wide range of excellent workouts to get you in tip-top shape, regardless of your age. Check out coach Kozak’s 15 Min Tabata Workout below…for no cost!
Tailored for first time runners, C25K® is the easiest program to get you to go from couch potatoes to 5K distance runners in 8 weeks. It’s designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks. Available as a free download via iTunes and Google Play in more languages than you can think of, there can be no excuse for not giving this free app a try.
“Since 2000, FreeTrainers.com has created free customised exercise workout plans for over 2 million people.” their website boldly states, and those numbers are actually pretty impressive! They will you to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle, increase cardiovascular fitness, increase strength, connect with others through support groups, learn about exercise and nutrition at no cost to you. Make FreeTrainers.com your resource in your quest for a healthier and fitter you.
Fitness Blender started because they believe that fitness should be freely available to all, no matter their income. They also want to ensure that there was a place where reliable health and fitness information was available on the web. The focus on the aesthetic of the body, they felt, had become the primary focus rather than the health of the whole body. Fitness Blender is only able to provide their expertise for free by ad revenue and the generosity of donations made by their users.
Find a Plan
Find a Plan is the world’s best place for free, comprehensive fitness plans, well, that is what bodybuilding.com says but to be honest, if it isn’t, it comes pretty darn close! Identify your goal: lose fat? Build muscle? Completely reshape your body? Here you can find the perfect program for you. All programmes are designed by top trainers and fitness experts and include video instruction, daily workouts, nutrition information and more.
There is an array of choice that is out there on the internet, some good and some not so good. You can spend many hours searching but the sites that I have listed each have a multitude of options and hundreds of fitness and weight loss programmes to choose from, all for free. We can no longer use cost as an excuse not to get fit and healthy.