Losing Weight On A Vegetarian Diet

It’s been one of the most hotly debated topics of the last few years: eating meat versus vegetarianism/veganism. Countless studies conducted by scientists around the world have proven the benefits of both diets, but with the environment at peril and more people calling for an end to processed meat and dairy farms, many are turning to a plant-based diet for all their needs.

But what does this mean for athletes, and is there any loss to switch over to a meat-free diet? The answer, surprisingly, is no, and it’s been proven time and time again that vegetarians are able to sustain an extremely healthy lifestyle while taking in the right amount of calories and nutrients that they need every day while also continuing to live as normal with family and work responsibilities, as well as recreational time for video and gambling online NZ games.

The Problem with Restricted Calories

Any athlete needs a high volume of calories to maintain the energy they burn off during exercise and training. Meat tends to be one of the most calorie-rich foods available to us at the store, which is why athletes tend to have a diet packed with lean poultry and fish.

Vegetarian-based diets also often pose the problem of not having the right nutrients necessary for creating and maintaining new muscle, oxygen transport, and bone density. Some of the nutrients that we get from animal products include protein, iron, vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 fats.

Getting What You Need

There are plenty of plant-based foods out there that provide the essential nutrients the body needs. Foods like beans, broccoli, tofu, lentils, spinach, nuts, seeds, soy milk, and quinoa are all great substitutes for meat and dairy products, and will provide everything you need to continue training and exercising as you were on your old diet.

Pre and Post Workout

Before starting a plant-based diet, there are a few aspects that the athlete needs to be aware of:

  • Changing over to a completely plant-based diet may cause some problems early on. The huge increase in fibre may heavily impact bowel movements, leaving you having to visit the bathroom a few times a day to deal with diarrhoea or bloating. This will normalise over time as your body becomes adjusted to the amount of fibre being ingested.
  • Take the necessary time to learn about the type of nutrients you will need to maintain your training and exercise. Preparation is key when swapping over to an entirely new dietary plan, and having all the right ingredients to start creating healthy foods is extremely important.
  • Ensure that you are ingesting enough protein, which is something that vegetarians and vegans tend to struggle with. 10 grams a day from a complete protein source should be enough, with a soy-based food or quinoa being the best choice for athletes.
  • Drink water to keep your body hydrated. Switching from meat and dairy, you might find that you will lose some water to begin with, and it will be necessary to compensate by hydrating as much as possible.
<span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">Posted in</span> Sports Nutrition | Leave a comment

How Dancing Improves Sports Performance

How Dancing Improves Sports Performance

Ballet, jazz, modern and tap dancing and other types of dance are not only fun, but dance can also enhance sports performance.  Various athletes can attest to the fact that dance has definitely improved their overall sports performance, and provided them with a more positive outlook.  Even just dancing part-time can improve performance and can be included in your daily workout.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Dance improves cardiovascular health and this is due to the aerobic component in dance.  With dancing it is possible to dance for a longer time, which means improved endurance.  Dance is fun and so you tend to enjoy the workout and it does not feel like real work.  A treadmill feels like work!

Staying Flexible

Flexibility is a big advantage of dance, and growing more flexible can be as rewarding as playing real money online pokies.  Most dance styles will require some sort of flexibility and this can be a high kick, a dip or keeping your upper body straight, flexibility is important.  Dance helps not only with tough workouts but also things like yoga, which requires endurance and flexibility.  Any kind of dancing will give you stronger feet and having strong feet improves balance.

Improved Mental Health

Dancing also has a way of strengthening the connection between mind and body.  Being able to isolate different parts of your body will help you gain an understanding of your centre of gravity and these are great advantages that improve your fitness performance.  Some types of dance have difficult moves, and as your brain processes these, your co-ordination is also improved. After a while dance will become second nature and you will find that you no longer have to think about the next dance step, your body will intuitively know where to go next.

Dance helps with confidence.  Many athletes have never even considered dance, but once they have the confidence to try it, they will not be able to imagine life without it.  Dancing is a social sport, which means you connect with others. Both confidence and the social aspect of dance will help you to keep your head in the game and improve your overall mental health.  It’s so much more fun than walking a lonely treadmill.

Types of Dance

For athletes who are serious about sports performance, dance cardio is the way to go. There is no pressure, and you just need to keep moving so it is a combination of dance and fitness.  If you are more concerned with the mental aspect of sports performance then Salsa is the dance for you.  With Salsa you need to consider your partner, the music and yourself.  Body control is important, as you have to keep in step with the music and your partner.  Salsa is also a great way to improve your mood.  Ballet can be very challenging and you will need to be fit, but is one of the best ways to keep fit and flexible.

Many professional athletes engage in various types of dance to improve their strength and flexibility, and dancing discipline also help them to keep their head in the game.

<span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">Posted in</span> Sports Performance | Leave a comment

The Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

The Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Professional sports are often very competitive and the need to win can be a serious driving force.  Not only do athletes have a sense of personal accomplishment, but most athletes are also pursuing their dream to break that record or win a gold medal for their country.  Performance enhancing drugs are a means to this end for some.  Using performance enhancing drugs come with risks.  These drugs include anabolic steroids, diuretics, creatine, human growth hormone and various stimulants.  Continue reading

<span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">Posted in</span> Sports Performance | Leave a comment

The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

Fitness First’s ‘Future of Fitness’ report

The Future of Fitness: Virtual Technology

There are a lot of technologies in the works at the moment, and each one is being developed to increase the average person’s general quality of life. From advanced artificial intelligence for the medical field to lab-grown organs, the world of technology is growing with each passing day. One sector of tech that has seen a massive surge of popularity in the last few years is virtual reality. The idea behind VR is that the user is given the chance to enter a computer-generated world, and while VR has mostly been delegated to the world of gaming, it’s now starting to see usage in other fields.

One such field is fitness and exercise, and within the next few years we could see more and more people turn away from the gym, and instead staying at home, using their VR hardware to provide the same level of exercise as they’d find at the weight machines. We’re even entering a time where players are able to play games like poker and blackjack in virtual casinos, and before long punters may even be able to bet on NRL premiership odds through the power of their VR gear at home.

The Beginning of VR Fitness

While the idea of integrating fitness into a person’s home without expensive exercise gear has been popular for decades, it didn’t begin to see real fruition until 2007 when Nintendo’s Wii Fit was launched. The idea behind the console was to provide a series of exercise games that were both healthy and fun, and it sparked the idea of a new type of home-exercise that matched even that of the local gym.

Fast-forward to about a decade later, and hardware such as the Oculus Rift began to make its mark on the modern world. For the first time in history, people had access to VR technology that actually worked as VR should, and while it’s still being developed, it opened an entirely new world of VR-based activities that could potentially dominate the market within the next few years.

Best Current VR Fitness Gear

While the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are great for gaming, other brands such as Samsung’s VR Gear have seen growth in other fields, especially in those of fitness. Armed with Google’s and special controllers, players are able to take part in a number of different sports, such as the Sports Challenge game, which involves catching American footballs that are throw at the player within the VR world.

Other activities include mountain climbing, exploring the world, and even re-enacting the Apollo space mission. Other more simple games, such as Fruit Ninja, provide a few hours of entertainment, which are both fun and perfect for the whole family. While there has been some doubt cast on the efficacy of virtual games as real exercise, tests completed using heart rate monitors and physical exertion have proven that VR really has the potential to change how we approach our daily exercise sessions in the future.

<span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">Posted in</span> Fitness Technology | Leave a comment

10 High-Protein Foods to Improve a Plant-Based Diet

10 High-Protein Foods to Improve a Plant-Based Diet

Men require 50-60g of protein a day, while women require 40-50g, and even more is required if you’re active. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential to staying healthy and it’s a common concern of those who opt for a plant-based diet as opposed to a vegetarian diet which includes dairy products and eggs.

Tofu

Tofu is a staple addition to many meatless dishes and it packs a power protein punch at 22g of protein per ½ cup. When shopping for tofu, opt for one with a firmer texture, as the firmer the tofu the more protein it contains.

Beans

Not only will beans help you build muscle and keep you fuller for longer, but just 1 cup of beans contains 21g of protein. Beans will also aid in digestion as they’re packed with fibre and can be paired with rice for a completely vegan meal.

Spelt

Spelt is a largely underused grain and many don’t know that it has a higher protein content than quinoa and is an excellent source of iron and fibre. At 11g of protein per cup, its protein content is lower than that of tofu, but it will add a nutty flavour to salads and soups.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and sprinkled over salads or incorporated into a trail mix for delicious snacking. These underrated seeds contain 12g of protein per cup, are an excellent source of fibre, and are not as costly as nuts meaning more cash for Bendigo Cup betting.

Pistachios

If you’re looking for the perfect on-the-go snack, look no further than pistachio nuts. At 25g of protein per cup, pistachios can be used for a number of sweet and savoury recipes and are a delicious addition to curry.

Chickpeas

As one of the most versatile plant-based protein sources available, chickpeas are a staple food in vegan diets. With 9g of protein per ¾ cup, they make a delicious addition to salads, can be crisped in the oven for a healthy alternative to croutons, or blitzed to make hummus.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soy product which contains 16g of protein per 85g and is an excellent source of probiotics owing to the fermentation process – perfect for gut health. You also won’t have to eat a lot of it to get full thanks to the high protein content.

Seitan

With a meaty texture similar to chicken or beef, seitan is a wheat-based protein with a taste that may require some getting used to, but you won’t have to consume much to get full – just 75g contains 21g of protein.

Edamame

Known as a sushi appetizer and the perfect additional to salads, stir-fries, or even just steamed and topped with salt as a snack, edamame is tasty source of protein which offers 17g per cup.

Lentils

A popular substitute for traditional meat dishes such as meatballs or lasagne, lentils contain a good bite and can be used as both protein and grain in salads. With 18g of protein per cup, lentils are a versatile plant alternative to meat.

<span class="entry-utility-prep entry-utility-prep-cat-links">Posted in</span> Sports Nutrition | Leave a comment