iPhone iOS11 update to include ‘do not disturb while driving’ mode

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference announces many new features and products but one will help all roads users to be a little bit safer it seems

We don’t usually take much notice of tech coming out of WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) but we’ve heard some good news concerning road safety from Apple.

>>> 17 best cycling apps: iPhone and Android tools for cyclists

The news comes in the form of the new big update from Apple and its IOS system, which goes to 11 this time around. It will include a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature that will a safety benefit to all road users and not just cyclists.

This new feature extends the use of the existing ‘do not disturb’ option that can be accessed by the settings screen. The ‘do not disturb while driving’ setting will be able to detect when you are driving and disable your phone from use according to Apple.

It does this by using a number of already built-in features on the iPhone such as Bluetooth connection, wifi doppler effects (for cars with wifi) and accelerometers.

Detection will blank the screen and divert all incoming messages, calls and notifications to eliminate as much phone distraction while out on the road.

It can even send a message on your behalf by sending “I’m driving” without you doing a thing, to at least let your caller know you haven’t ignored them for no reason. You’ll also be able to use sat nav features and you can edit to allow select contacts to be able to bypass this feature.

>>> iPhone 7: which of its new features are good for cyclists?

Bus, train or car passenger users can of course disable this options, as can the driver (as it is an selective option) though it is a little trickier than just pressing a button if engaged.

It’ll remind you that it is in the ‘do not disturb while driving’ mode but after a second push will let you fully access the phone whilst on the move.

Of course, this isn’t ground breaking technology and many will choose not to use it but we feel it’s a great set in the right direction for road safety.


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Could the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia be heading to Wales?

Wales has confirmed that it has been speaking to the organisers of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia about bringing the race to the country.

Wales has emerged as the latest place in the UK that wishes to host the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia.

Following on from Cardiff’s successful staging of football’s Champions League final last weekend, the Welsh Government has confirmed that it has been in discussions with both ASO – who run the Tour – and RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro.

Although coy on specifics, the idea, presumably and logically, would be for the country to host either the Tour’s Grand Départ or the start of the Giro. There was no timescale mentioned.

Wales has hosted a stage of the Tour of Britain in each of the last seven years, with routes visiting north, south and east Wales. This year’s national tour climaxes with a finishing circuit in Cardiff, the fulfilment of a long-term agreement with the Welsh Government and Tour of Britain organisers, SweetSpot.

The Welsh Government believe their record of hosting the Tour of Britain, Velothon Wales and staging sportives such as the Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales (which is run by ASO) stands them in good stead to host at least one the two biggest Grand Tours.

>>> Seven thoughts every rider has when taking on Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales

Speaking to the BBC, Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “Cycling events such as the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are hugely popular and we have proved we can host major cycling events in Wales, I would like to attract more.

“We have been speaking to the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France and that would be really exciting.”

Yorkshire hosted the Tour de France in 2014, the last British region to do so. London was in line to host the start of next month’s Tour but it pulled it out. Portsmouth have long-since wanted to bring the race to the south coast but it has had to refocus its options after it accepted that it wouldn’t be able to bring the race to the city in 2019; indeed, Brussels was awarded that year’s start date last week.


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Tour de France Bastille Day stage under threat after storm damage

The use of the Col d’Agnès is in doubt after several sections were washed away in flash floods

The organisers of the Tour de France will have to draw up a plan B for one of the race’s key stages in the Pyrenees after violent storms provoked landslides that swept away several sections of the road from Aulus-les-Bains towards the Col d’Agnès.

>>> Seven Strava segments of the key Tour de France climbs where the race will be won and lost

Torrential rain last Friday left the road impassable in five different locations on the pass, which is the second of three climbs on the very short 13th stage between Saint-Girons and Foix, which takes place on Bastille Day.

“There are five dams blocking the road,” Serge Castillon, transport director from the Ariège departmental council told La Dépêche.

As well as clearing trees, mud and boulders that were piled on the road, engineers will also have to carry out significant repairs to some sections that were either lifted or completely removed by the flood waters.

The full extent of the damage will only be revealed later this week when road crews should manage to clear away the debris.

Initial indications suggest that the climb should be fit for use by the Tour in mid-July, but that it is very unlikely to feature on the route of the Ariégeoise sportive, that will draw more than 5,000 riders on 24 June.



“It’s clearly a problem,” Ariégeoise organiser Patrice Vidal told La Dépêche.

“An analysis of the damage is going to be done very quickly. We should have a better idea of the situation by 10 June. But we’ve got to be prepared and have already started considering a Plan B.”

If required, this plan is likely to require the Ariegeoise routes being diverted to Massat in order to tackle the full extent of the Port de Lers.

However, this option would not be open to Tour director Christian Prudhomme and his team if they want to keep the Bastille Day stage a short and almost certainly very fast 100 kilometres or so in length.

They would have to consider a more radical overhaul, possibly with the inclusion of the Col de la Core before the Col de Latrape, followed by a long valley ride to Massat and the start of the Col de Péguère, where the final three kilometres average more than 12 per cent.

It is far from the first time the Tour organisers have had to make potential late changes to the route because of natural road blockages.

In 2015, the road from the Col du Galibier to Alpe d’Huez was blocked by rockfalls, forcing the route of stage 20 to take in the Col de la Croix de Fer instead.


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Wales in talks to host The Open

Golf’s Open Championship and cycling’s Tour de France are the next major sporting events Wales is hoping to attract.

The Welsh Government has held initial talks with organisers about hosting the two events after Cardiff held the 2017 Champions League final on Saturday.

Wales has staged golf’s Ryder Cup, the Rugby World Cup, Ashes cricket Tests and a 2012 Olympics opening event.

Economy Minister Ken Skates confirmed the government was in negotiations.

“I think there is great potential to host new major events that have not yet been to Wales,” he said.

“We have had productive conversations with the organisations behind these events.”

Cardiff will host the England v New Zealand ICC Champions Trophy cricket match on Tuesday while it is also a host city for the 2019 cricket World Cup.

But the Welsh Government’s major events team are also talking to organisers of The Open and Tour de France, two of sport’s biggest events.

‘It is our time’

The Royal and Ancient (R&A) – the organisers of The Open, one of golf’s four major annual tournaments – has staged championships in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but none of its 145 events in Wales.

The Royal Porthcawl course in Bridgend county is where Wales wants The R&A to consider adding to their roster of host venues alongside courses such as St Andrews and Muirfield.

“There are opportunities to host more golfing events and I’m keen to discuss with the R&A the potential of Wales to host the British Open,” said Mr Skates.

“I think it is right that if we call it a British Open that it should be hosted in Wales and I’m to keen to make sure that discussions take place with the R&A on that.

“I’ll be meeting with The R&A again this summer to discuss how we take forward the potential of a British Open being staged in Wales. I think it is our time,” he said.

Although the course has been suggested as a potential Open venue, Royal Porthcawl – which attracted 43,000 spectators to the 2014 Seniors Open – would need extensive development to host an event of the magnitude of The Open, which packed in about 175,000 fans at Royal Troon in Ayrshire last year.

The R&A has previously said that said it had “no intention” of hosting the competition in Wales, which until 2014 hosted an annual Wales Open tournament at Celtic Manor in Newport.

The Open venues are confirmed until 2020.

Wales’ cycling reputation has been enhanced since Nicole Cooke won road race gold at the 2008 Olympic Games and with double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas playing a leading role within Team Sky.

“Cycling events such as the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are hugely popular and we have proved we can host major cycling events in Wales, I would like to attract more,” Mr Skates added.

Wales has hosted stages in the last seven Tour of Britain cycling races – including the start of the 2015 edition – and will hold the final stage this year.

The three-week Tour de France started in Yorkshire in 2014 and the Welsh Government’s major events team is in discussions for it to come to Wales.

“We have been speaking to the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France and that would be really exciting,” said Mr Skates.

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Stages launches complete power training ‘ecosystem’ with Stages Dash and Stages Link

Stages goes live with new Dash computer and Link platform that promises to guide athletes to their best performance

Stages made waves in the power meter market for the its relatively cost effective, minimalistic and easy to use Stages crank based, single sided power meter. It brought power readings to many who didn’t want to splash £1000 plus on a power meter.

Stages provides power meters most famously to Team Sky, but to a mix of off-road and track cycling professionals too.

The American brand wants to own the complete training experience and believes it can deliver a package that’ll improve you as an athlete with the help of the Stages Dash unit and Stage Link platform – along with its Stages power meter – that will be available to buy from June 19.

Stages Dash

The Dash computer is a ‘performance training’ GPS head unit that allows for both portrait and landscape view. The Stages Dash computer is designed to help coach a rider, according to the American brand.

It offers customisation of data fields – between one to 16 different fields per screen can be displayed, as well as a split screen view, which can show prescribed workouts alongside real-time metrics during your ride.

>>> A buyer’s guide to cycle computers

This split screen means the unit can guide you through training sessions which can be downloaded to the Dash via Stages Link and will prompt you through effort times and power and/or heart rate zones.

Bluetooth and ANT + connectivity is standard and allows Stages Power and other third party devices to connect to the unit as well as phone connectivity too.

GPS will sort speed out and Stages says it will look to include breadcrumb-style guidance in the near future, but this is a purely performance base unit. You can buy the Stages Dash via authorised retailers for £349.

In use the unit feels robust, the simple two-tone screen is easy to read, and you can easily change between different activity and data screens.

During testing we had pre production models and worked closely with Stages to iron out bugs and small issues. I was very impressed with how quickly it dealt with any niggles, and the company promises to constantly update firmware to ensure smooth running of the Stages Dash unit. A full review will follow.

Stages Link

Stages Link is, well, the link to the entire ‘ecosystem’. Link is a cloud-based coaching, education, training analysis and equipment management tool, which Stages developed with coaching experts Today’s Plan. This is the exciting part of Stages’s next step.

The online platform adapts to your needs, ability and time, and you don’t need to know your power numbers or threshold stats to get this program to work – though of course if you do know your numbers, it’ll help you to fully focus your training and zones. Link allows you to work through exercises to find out your power zones or heart rate zones.

>>> 17 best cycling apps for iPhone and Android

This is a automated but adaptable system that moves with you whilst you train and get fitter.

Stages

Stages will provide a detailed six or 12 week plan specifically for a race or just to get fitter in a set time

When setting up the program it’ll ask you some simple questions: the type of rider you are, how many hours you train, what you are training for and whether you use power, heart rate or both. It’ll work out a program for you to follow with detailed sessions to best use your time.

Stages Link can show you how hard you are working under Performance on the Link web page. This shows you a graph over a set period and shows you in detail your training load.

Stages

As you can see from my Performance graph, I’m very well rested (maybe I should ride my bike some more)

You can use Link to manage both your Dash and your power meter, and it can be linked to external parties like Strava and Training Peaks. Being web based you can access if from anywhere, giving you total control of how you train and use your data.

Riders who purchase Stages Power or Stages Dash will receive complementary access to Stages Link for two months. If you’d like to continue the program it’ll cost you £15 per month or £149 per year; a free service is available, but will not include some of the main coaching features.


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Peter Roel – Mixed Equipment Workout (70 mins) – Level 2/3

What You’ll Need:

Cadillac, High Chair, Ladder Barrel, Reformer, Mat, Mixed Equipment, Triadball, Hand Weights, Fitness Ball, Theraband

Work on extension and equality in the hips with this Mixed Equipment workout by Peter Roël. He teaches a session similar to what he would do in his studio, making sure to use the space as you move your body. Because there are many intricate variations added to this class, this is a great one to watch before trying so you will know what to expect with the detailed choreography.

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Your $75 Healthy Grocery List And Recipe Guide!

It’s true: You can eat healthy, get fit, and gain quality muscle without spending your entire paycheck. I learned this lesson firsthand when I was living on a very limited income. I would scour the Internet for various healthy, muscle-building diets while wondering how in the world I was going to afford groceries.

But, after shopping around at different stores, I found that it was actually much easier than I anticipated. With a little creativity, I discovered that I could achieve my fitness goals on a limited budget.

After hearing feedback from many of you, especially college students and people with families, I decided to challenge myself. The task: Create a diet of five meals per day for an entire workweek—five full days—using as many fresh ingredients as possible while spending only $75.

I’m happy to report that I accomplished my mission and am proud to share the results with you!

With a little creativity, I discovered that I could achieve my fitness goals on a limited budget.

A few notes before getting started

  • This is not a custom meal plan. This outline should serve as inspiration for you to create a plan to meet your personal goals. Calorie ranges will vary, so instead of sticking to these macros exactly, use this guide as a way to jumpstart your meal planning and, more importantly, your creativity! Unlock your inner #FitMenCook and #FitWomenCook.

  • Seasonings, spices, oils, supplements, and vitamins are excluded in the weekly budget since those items generally last for a few weeks.

  • To preserve the freshness of your meals, freeze after preparing and defrost in the refrigerator the night before consuming.

  • This article will likely raise many questions. Post yours below so we can answer them as a community!

  • Remember $75 does not spend the same everywhere. Consider the cost of living and wages in your area to determine what the equivalent of $75 would be for you. In some places it may be less, others it may be more. In all, make it relevant to you!

My budget breakdown = $75

  • Bargaining at local farmer’s market (paid in cash so there’s no receipt): $16.50
  • Grocery store 1: $35.84
  • Grocery store 2: $22.24
  • Total spent: $74.58

Grocery List

Protein and Dairy

  • 6.5 lbs Chicken Breast
  • 2.32 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 carton Eggs (omega-3)
  • 1 carton Liquid Egg Whites
  • 16 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 1 small bag shredded Mozzarella

Carbs

  • 2.75 lb Sweet Potato
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Quinoa shell pasta
  • Honey Sticks*
  • Dried Papaya*

Fats, Sauces

  • Naturally more Peanut Butter
  • Two 6 oz cans Tomato Paste (low sodium)
  • 1 can Chicken Broth

Produce

  • 1 bundle Spinach
  • 4 colorful Bell Peppers
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 bundle Cilantro
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 bundle Asparagus
  • 1 small carton Strawberries
  • 1 small bag of Limes
  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 bag steamed Corn (frozen)
  • 1 Red Onion

Supplies

  • BPA-free food storage containers. You can generally find these at Walmart stores for 5 for $3.
  • Mini, disposable foil pans
  • Sandwich bags
  • Airtight containers

Epic $75 Meal Prep!
Watch The Video – 6:45

Don’t forget the caloric benefit of adding a protein shake to your diet!


1

Egg, Spinach And Mozzarella Scramble With Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Eggs are affordable, lean sources of quality protein. Add in a bit of spinach for iron and antioxidants, and mozzarella for a hearty dose of bone-building calcium. Oh, and don’t forget that this meal tastes absolutely delicious!

To save time in the morning, I carefully measure out each portion of liquid egg whites and store them in airtight containers. I store single servings of spinach and oatmeal in separate plastic bags.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Place a skillet on medium-high heat and spray with coconut oil.
  2. In a bowl, whip 1 egg and 5 egg whites; season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
  3. Toss spinach into the pan and allow it wilt. When it’s nearly wilted, pour in the egg mixture.
  4. Stir and flip mixture with a spatula until the eggs are scrambled. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cook instant oatmeal with water in a microwave-safe bowl.
  6. When finished, add cinnamon, 1 honey stick (optional), and 1/2 Granny Smith apple (chopped).
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 505
Total Fat 11g
Total Carbs 57g
Protein 44g


2

Spicy Grilled Chicken With Stuffed Avocado

Chicken is among the cheapest and leanest proteins out there. Pair this muscle-making staple with cholesterol-lowering avocados filled with an inventive take on Southwest salsa.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Trim excess fat from chicken breasts. Wash and dry on a paper towel.
  2. Carefully measure out a 30-oz portion of chicken breast. Slice thicker pieces of chicken breast in half.
  3. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and lightly spray with coconut oil.
  4. Add seasonings to the chicken and cook in skillet until all sides are seared and the inner portion of the chicken is no longer pink.

    *Tip: Do not overcook the chicken. Even slight overcooking now will result in a very dry chicken once the meal is served.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, weigh the entire cooked dish and evenly divide into 5 servings.
  6. Cook the corn and allow it to cool. Drain the can of black beans.
  7. In a large bowl, mix black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime juice. You can also add freshly diced red onion.
  8. Stir; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. On the day you intend to eat the meal, slice a ripe avocado in half, remove the pit and fill with 1/5 of the bean and corn mixture. Place the uneaten half of the avocado in the refrigerator either submerged in ice water or with the exposed, green portion rubbed in lime/lemon juice. This will help preserve its color.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 430
Total Fat 13g
Total Carbs 32g
Protein 48g


3

Grilled Chicken, Spicy Southwest Sweet Potato, Asparagus, And Bell Pepper Stir-Fry

Skip the grease and sneak in the stir-fry with this guilt-free meal. With chicken as the main protein, and sweet potatoes and asparagus as sides, it’s sure to meet your macros and leave you feeling satisfied.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Set oven to 405 degrees F.
  2. Wash the raw sweet potatoes with warm water. Slice into small wedges.
  3. Spray wedges with coconut oil and season. Bake at 405 degrees F for about 22 minutes.
  4. Trim excess fat from chicken breasts. Wash and dry on a paper towel.
  5. Carefully measure out a 30-oz portion of chicken breast.
  6. Set a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat; lightly coat skillet with coconut oil.
  7. Add seasonings to the chicken and cook in skillet.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, weigh the entire mixture and evenly divide into five servings.
  9. Trim the asparagus spears and slice bell pepper into long, thin pieces.
  10. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and lightly spray with coconut oil.
  11. Once the skillet is hot, toss in the asparagus and bell peppers. While they sear, season with coconut aminos, garlic, and pepper.
  12. Cook until the asparagus is soft, yet slightly firm. Speed things up by covering the asparagus while searing for about 2 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 475
Total Fat 2g
Total Carbs 65g
Protein 48g


4

Grilled Chicken Breast, Cottage Cheese, Peanut Butter, And Berries

Pair lean chicken with slow-digesting cottage cheese to feed your muscles over time. Coupled with peanut butter, this makes for a healthy snack that keeps you fuller longer!

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Trim excess fat from chicken breasts. Wash and dry on a paper towel.
  2. Carefully measure a 30-oz portion of chicken breast.
  3. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and lightly spray with coconut oil.
  4. Add seasonings to the chicken and cook in skillet.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, weigh the entire mixture; evenly divide into 5 servings.
  6. In a separate container, add cottage cheese, peanut butter, and strawberries. Add cinnamon for a little extra flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 460
Total Fat 19g
Total Carbs 9g
Protein 58g


5

Turkey And Zucchini Quinoa Pasta Casserole With Mozzarella

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Set oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Boil quinoa pasta, rinse with warm water, and set aside.
  3. Set a skillet on medium-high heat and lightly spray with coconut oil. Toss in red onion and granulated or freshly minced garlic. Cook in the skillet until the onions are nearly translucent.
  4. Add in the ground turkey meat. Stir and cook with a wooden spoon or spatula. Chop the turkey and separate it as it cooks.
  5. Once the turkey is nearly finished cooking, add zucchini, tomato paste, tomatoes, bell peppers, and one cup chicken broth.
  6. Stir slowly and reduce heat slightly. Cover and cook until the mixture begins to simmer.

    *Tip: If your skillet is large enough, add in cooked pasta. If not, continue on to step 7.
  7. Evenly divide the pasta among the five mini pans. Pour the mixture on top of the pasta.
  8. Pour the remaining chicken broth over the individual pans to ensure moisture.
  9. Top each with 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella.
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 375F. Once finished, allow to cool. Cover with foil and freeze until you’re ready to eat.
  11. Reheat in the oven. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 475
Total Fat 14g
Total Carbs 49g
Protein 42g

Nutrition Facts

Total Meal Plan
Amount per serving
Calories 2,345
Total Fat 59g
Total Carbs 212g
Protein 240g

Shopper’s Guide

To round out this list of epic meals, check out these quick grocery shopping tips. Put them to use next time you’re on the hunt for fuel.


1

Prioritize Protein

The bulk of your money should be spent on purchasing the highest-quality protein possible for your budget. Look for labels with key words like these before purchasing: minimally processed, no added flavors, solution or coloring, grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic, and no added hormones.


2

Get Smart

Use phone applications like Fooducate (on iPhone or Android) to help determine which products to purchase while shopping. The app gives you recommendations based on a product’s ingredients and rates it on a scale from A (highest) to F (lowest). You’ll be surprised that many of the expensive “natural and organic” products have low ratings!


3

Find the Farm

Perform a Google search for a local famer’s market in your area. Farmer’s markets are great places to find quality produce at reasonable prices while simultaneously supporting local businesses. Win-win!


4

Double Up!

Live with fitness-minded roommates? Consider purchasing quality meats in bulk on a monthly basis and then freezing them. More often than not, bulk quantities mean significant cost savings.

If quality protein is on sale, and you have a few extra dollars, purchase and immediately freeze it. An extra stash of meat can come in handy at the end of the month when you’re looking to stretch the dollar.


5

Collect Coupons

Before checking out at grocery stores, ask if there are any coupons or store discounts. Many times the cashier might know of store promotions that can be used.

For more meal prep ideas and to connect with others, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at FitMenCook!

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9 Things You Should Never Eat Or Drink After 9 PM

Regardless of whether you’re focused on maximum fat loss and getting ripped or trying to pack on pounds of lean muscle mass, certain foods should always be avoided after 9 p.m. Remember, you’re about to embark upon an eight-hour fast otherwise known as sleep.

So if you do make a big dietary blunder, your body has no chance to compensate by burning additional calories.

Repeat these mistakes habitually, and while you may dream of having an amazing physique, what’s happening inside your metabolic and endocrine systems is more like a nightmare. These ‘don’t-go-there’ choices will not only wreck your appearance but also jeopardize your health.

The good news is that it’s okay to have a late-night snack before bed — as long as you choose foods that will promote lean-tissue building and fat loss. And while we tell you what to avoid in the article below, we also offer more physique-friendly alternatives.

1 Milk

Lactose Is A Sugar And You Don't Want Large Amounts Hitting Your System Before Bed

Lactose is a sugar and you don’t want large amounts hitting your system before bed.

While considered to be a relatively healthy source of protein and calcium, the problem with downing a glass of milk before bed is the lactose content that’s found in it that will often keep many people up due to digestive issues.

If you’re lactose intolerant, this is one beverage you’ll definitely want to avoid.

What’s more, lactose is a sugar and you don’t want large amounts hitting your system before bed. If you’re one of the three U.S. adults who are glucose intolerant, the resulting blood sugar crash could wake you in the middle of the night as your energy-starved brain screams, “Eat!”

What To Have Instead:

Mix up a lactose-free protein shake. This will still provide the creamy taste that you’re probably looking for while being even higher in protein content than milk. So you can build muscle while sleeping soundly.

2 Pasta

Pasta Is One Of The More Calorie-Dense Carbohydrate Sources Around.

Pasta Is One Of The More Calorie-Dense Carbohydrate Sources Around.

Next up on our list of foods to avoid before bed is pasta. If you’re in mass-gaining mode, consuming some carbohydrates before can help out. Put there are much better choices than insulin-spiking pasta before bed.

Those calories will be highly prone to settle around your waist. Pasta is one of the more calorie-dense carbohydrate sources around; you can easily consume 400 calories or more in a single pre-bed sitting.

Pasta does less damage earlier in the day — for example, before or after your workout, when your body actually requires a much higher overall carbohydrate intake.

That’s when your body is actually primed to use those carbohydrates to fuel your activity and replenish the high energy storage in the muscle cells. In this case, you’re actually supporting your long-term goal.

What To Have Instead:

If you’re craving pasta before bed, go with some spaghetti squash instead. It’ll give the same taste and texture as pasta with just a fraction of the carbs.

3 Chocolate

If You're Sensitive To This Stimulant, Chocolate Could Rob You Of The Precious Sleep

If you’re sensitive to this stimulant, chocolate could rob you of the precious sleep.

Chocolate isn’t just higher in sugar and fat content than other late-night snacks. It also contains caffeine. If you’re sensitive to this stimulant, chocolate could rob you of the precious sleep you need to allow your body to recover maximally from your hard workout sessions.

As a result, you won’t make the progress you otherwise could. Those who don’t sleep enough on a regular basis are much likelier to suffer from increased cortisol levels, which will actually encourage muscle tissue breakdown.

What To Have Instead:

Whip up your own high-protein chocolate brownie. Simply mix together one scoop of chocolate protein powder with one egg white and then place in the microwave for 90 seconds or so.

You’ll have a protein-packed caffeine-free dessert that will kill any chocolate craving fast.

4 Pizza

With All Those Excess Fat Calories Sitting Around In The Blood, What You Have Is A Recipe For Fat Gain.

With all those excess fat calories sitting around in the blood, what you have is a recipe for fat gain.

Dreaming of Domino’s? If so, you aren’t alone. Pizza ranks as one of the most craved foods by dieters and those focused on muscle building alike.

But, if you are going to have a cheat meal and indulge in a slice or two, make sure to do it earlier in the day than 9 p.m. or after.

Pizza contains far too many calories to have this close to bedtime; what’s worse, you’ll get an extra does of both carbohydrates and a large amount of saturated fat which will just sit in your stomach as you lie awake in bed at night.

With insulin levels high from the carbohydrates that you’ve just consumed, and all those excess fat calories sitting around in the blood, what you have is a recipe for fat gain.

What To Have Instead:

Down a few hard-boiled eggs instead. You’ll feed your body muscle-building protein without a ton of excess empty calories to go along with them.

5 Chili

While Chili Can Be Healthy When Made With The Right Mix Of Ingredients, Too Often, It's Not

While chili can be healthy when made with the right mix of ingredients, too often, it’s not.

Think serving up a hearty bowl of chili before bed is a great way to top off your nutrition with an ample source of protein and slow-burning carbs before bed?

Think again. While chili can be healthy when made with the right mix of ingredients, too often, it’s not. Making matters worse after 9 p.m, chili is spicy, and may end up causing heartburn, a buzz kill for sound slumber.

Especially if chili peppers went into preparing the recipe, this is one that you’ll want to avoid. Chili peppers can also boost the metabolic rate. During the day, that’s great; before bed, it could leave you lying awake, praying you could doze off to sleep.

What To Have Instead:

If you need something warm and comforting before bed, serve up a small bowl of vegetable soup with added shrimp tossed in. The shrimp will provide the protein that your body needs before the overnight fast, and the vegetable soup is a lower-calorie alternative that will keep fat from accumulating.

6 Large Volumes Of Meat

Protein Does Take A Lot Of Energy To Digest And Break Down

Protein Does Take A Lot Of Energy To Digest And Break Down.

One habit that some people get into is filling their pre-bed meal with plenty of protein.

The logic is sound: You know your body will need amino acids to repair and build muscle tissue over the next eight hours, and you’re going to be sure you supply it.

You also know that protein has little impact on blood sugar levels, making it a good night time dietary selection.

While both of the above statements are definitely true, if you’re taking this advice to heart and serving up a full 8 or 12 ounces of chicken as David Letterman is going through his top-10 list, rethink your game plan.

Some protein is definitely required before bed and a must for preserving your lean muscle and promoting a speedy recovery, but overdoing it at this time is just going to force the body into an extensive digestive process which could cause you to lie in bed awake.

Protein does take a lot of energy to digest and break down so if you want to be sure that you get a peaceful slumber, so aim to keep it between 20 and 50 grams total before bed, depending on your overall protein requirements.

What To Have Instead:

For best results, choose to fill those 20-to-50 grams up with turkey meat, which contain a sleep-promoting amino acid called tryptophan.

7 Chinese Food

If You Decide To Make A Late-Night Trip Down To Your Local Chinese Take-Out Place, You're Going To Be In For A Rough Night Ahead

If You Decide To Make A Late-Night Trip Down To Your Local Chinese Take-Out Place, You’re Going To Be In For A Rough Night Ahead.

If you’ve got a hankering for ginger beef, and decide to make a late-night trip down to your local Chinese take-out place, you’re going to be in for a rough night ahead.

This is yet another food that’s important to avoid past 9 p.m. as the MSG found in it is going to stimulate the body in a similar manner as caffeine would, making it very difficult to fall asleep.

What’s even worse, what you order will likely contain far too many carbs and fats to be part of a healthy diet plans. So your fortune cookie may read, “Soon your belly will be growing bigger.”

What To Have Instead:

If you still crave Chinese food, order up a small serving of whatever you like — but request it without sauces, to avoid MSG, and have it served with steamed vegetables instead of white rice to reduce the carb count.

Your body will thank you.

8 Celery

Celery Acts As A Diuretic In The Body, Meaning It Makes You Pee A Lot

Celery Acts As A Diuretic In The Body, Meaning It Makes You Pee A Lot.

If you’re on a strict fat-loss diet, vegetables are likely the mainstay of your current diet plan. But that said, one particular vegetable that you’ll definitely want to avoid before turning out the lights at night is celery.

Celery acts as a diuretic in the body, meaning it makes you pee a lot. Eat it before bed, and you may be running laps to the bathroom.

Since deep sleep releases a cascade of muscle-building and muscle-repairing hormones, waking up repeatedly will limit your gains.

Surely those green stalks could keep you looking like a beanpole.

What To Have Instead:

Broccoli and cauliflower are full of healthy plant chemicals and low in carbohydrates, making them an ideal late-night snack.

They’re also crunchy — which may be why you were reaching for celery to begin with. These veggies scratch that itch, so to speak.

9 Fruit Juice

Finally, the last thing to avoid after 9 P.M. is fruit juice: orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice—pretty much you name it. These are all very acidic in the body and could cause heart burn in many susceptible individuals. Definitely something to avoid before bed!

This is probably a familiar refrain by now, but fruit juices contain lots of simples sugars, with little or no fiber to allow for a measured insulin release. Fruit juices will set up a nightmarish crash-and-spike blood sugar scenario during the night.

What To Have Instead:

Berries Rank Low On The Glycemic Index And Will Provide The Sweetness Needed To Kill Your Cravings

Berries Rank Low On The Glycemic Index And Will Provide The Sweetness Needed To Kill Your Cravings.

Opt for some fresh berries mixed with ½ cup of cottage cheese. Berries rank low on the glycemic index and will provide the sweetness needed to kill your cravings.

The cottage cheese will supply the slow digesting amino acids for your muscles to feast on during the overnight repair period.

References
  1. The Merck Manuals
  2. Kitahama, K. et al. (1986). Neonatal monosodium glutamine dosing alters the sleep-wake cycle of the mature rate. Neuroscience Letters. Vol. 67, Issue 2.

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Beginner's Fat Loss Program: Easy To Follow Program For Results!

Possibly the most intimidating thing for any beginner is simply getting started onto the path of healthy eating and proper exercise. Once you’re over that hump and an action plan is in place, then you’ll find that your main focus turns instead to maintaining motivational levels and ensuring that you stick with that program.

Having the program in place though needs to be the primary focus initially since it’s going to guide you down the path to your goals. Here is some information to get you started.

Who You Are And What Goals You Have

You’re someone who might have dabbled in the gym many years ago but have taken an extended time off or someone who has never even set foot inside the gym for a workout. You’re new to many of the concepts of what a proper program consists of and are like a sponge, soaking up new information.

The primary goal you want to focus on at this point is fat loss. You might have some desire to also work on building your muscular strength, but that will come down the road once you’ve stripped off the extra layers you’ve packed on over the years and are starting to feel leaner. You want a plan that’s going to be easy to follow and will get you results quickly.

Your Source Of Motivation

Motivation for fat loss can come from a number of places. Perhaps your doctor has instructed you to drop a few pounds because of your current risk for diseases or other negative health impacts. Or, maybe you have finally had enough with your current body weight and have decided to take action to reduce your weight down to where you feel comfortable.

Some people are also primarily motivated by the thought of having more energy after losing weight and getting active, so this could be something else at play for you. Finally, others simply want to look better.

Whatever your source of motivation is, it’s important at this stage to pinpoint it and always keep that in the back of your mind as you progress along.

Your Nutritional Program

As a beginner, what you want to mostly focus on right now with your nutrition program is making small changes on a continual basis to help improve your overall diet. If you attempt to completely overhaul your entire menu, removing all the foods you typically eat and replacing them with chicken, rice, vegetables, and other standard ‘100% healthy fare’, you might find it becomes too much and you’re overwhelmed.

Instead, incorporate in more of those healthy foods, while reducing back on your unhealthier choices. As time progresses, start tilting the scale more in favor of solid healthy food choices, while limiting the processed, refined, and higher calorie items. This slow elimination process will be much more doable for you than trying to quit cold turkey.

One thing you do want to start doing at this point is making yourself more aware of the total amount of calories you’re taking in on a daily basis. While making healthier choices is incredibly important, if you’re still eating too many of those healthy choices, you’re not going to achieve your goal of weight loss.

Find an online calorie calculator and start plugging in the foods you typically eat. Then get your measuring cups out and start finding out exactly how many servings you are eating in a normal meal (do not skip this step because serving size will make a dramatic difference on fat loss).

Do this for about two weeks until you gain a better understanding of your total calorie intake. At the same time, try and educate yourself about how many grams of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fats are in the common foods you eat as well.

In terms of your calorie intake to shoot for to get fat loss happening, aim for about 12-13 calories per pound of body weight if you’re active and 10-11 calories per pound of bodyweight a day if you’re not. This is a simple way to estimate your fat loss daily calorie requirements.

Out of those calories, you want to aim to get about one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, take your current body weight in pounds and multiply by four (the number of calories that are in one gram of protein). This is how many total calories each day should come from protein foods.

Calorie Calculator

Age

Sex

Height

Weight

Goal

Activity Level

After that, you can spread the remaining calories you have left over between carbohydrates and dietary fat, being sure to not eliminate either one entirely (a mixed diet is going to be the best approach for the beginner to get started on).

Focus most of your intake on whole foods such as whole grains, potatoes, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables, lean meat sources, nuts, healthy oils, flaxseeds, and low-fat dairy products.

Try to also eliminate all beverages that contain calories because most people will not compensate for these calories by eating less solid food. Consuming these beverages makes taking in a lower calorie intake much harder.

Your Supplement Protocol

When it comes to supplements for fat loss, the main ones you want to focus on are first, a good multivitamin. This will help ensure you are meeting your full nutritional needs if you do start to slack on fruit and vegetable intake. Secondly, take between 3-6 grams of fish oil each day as the health benefits of this nutrient are endless.

Finally, look into using a protein powder to help you meet your daily protein requirements. It is absolutely essential you are not missing out on protein and often times this is what individuals struggle with the most when just starting.

Your 12-Week Daily Video Trainer: Tuesday, Week 3: Supplements!

Watch the video: 07:52

There is a very large selection of protein powders out there to choose from so you can be sure to find one that will meet your taste and budget preferences.

At this stage you want to find one that has limited amounts of both carbohydrates and fats, so look for something strictly protein. This will be good to take before and after your workouts (along with a simple form of carbohydrates that will be readily used for energy) as well as if you are in need of a snack during the day and don’t have a solid food source.

Don’t get too caught up with other supplements at this point because you really want to make sure you have a solid workout and diet down first. After those have been in effect for a couple of months, then you can look into supplement help if you need it.

Your Workout Program

In terms of your workout program, your best option is to use a fully body workout that is performed three days a week, coupled with another two to three days of cardio training and stretching.

This will give you a good balance between strength and cardiovascular work, while enabling you to generate a high enough calorie burn to see fat loss taking place. Here is a full body workout program to follow:

Workout Aicon

Workout Bicon

Alternate these workouts in an ABA one week, BAB the next week fashion as you go about the weeks aiming for one day off between workouts, and a total of three workouts per week.

Cardio Component

Right now you want to focus on building up a cardio base, so aim to work your way up to being able to perform 30-45 minutes of continuous cardio at an exertion level of about six or seven on a scale of one to ten.

Once you are comfortable with that, then you can look into implementing interval training if necessary. Note also that you want to preferably perform these workouts in either a separate session as your weight training workouts (so do cardio in the morning and weights later on), or on a completely different day.

With the overall weekly set-up though, be sure you are still having at least one full day off for just rest, as this will be necessary to ensure you’re body is not becoming overtrained.

Always make sure you perform some stretching exercises after each weight training workout to help reduce muscle soreness and increase your range of motion.

Conclusion

So, if you’re a beginner looking to get started on the road to fat loss, this is your best place to start. After about three months following the program, your body will be ready to start incorporating in some more advanced training principles to take your training to the next level.

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31 Days To Bigger Arms!

I’m not kidding! You can have significantly bigger arms in only 31 days!

How much bigger?

That depends on a lot of factors. You weren’t able to select your parents so you’re stuck with your genetic potential to build muscles. You may have a good potential or you may be like many of the rest of us who have average (or worse than average) potential.

When following any kind of specialization program, you'll need to cut back on the volume and frequency of training for the rest of your body.

“When following any kind of specialization program, you’ll need to cut back on the volume and frequency of training for the rest of your body.”

My bet is if you’ve been training for any length of time and are the proverbial easy-gainer (good genetics) then you probably wouldn’t even be reading this article. If you’re an easy-gainer just about anything you do works to build bigger muscles. (I’ve always hated those guys!)

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve had to practically sweat blood for every single ounce of muscle you’ve built. Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone, my friend!

So let’s get back to my original question. How much can you increase your arm size in 31 days? If you follow a practical arm specialization program and do everything else correctly (diet, rest, supplements, etc.) I think it is realistic for a person of average genetics to gain 1″ on your arms.

Can I guarantee that?

No, it might be more and it might be less. But even 1/2″ gain on your upper arms can make a fairly impressive change in your physique.

So how are we going to get you started?

First of all, when following any kind of specialization program, you’ll need to cut back on the volume and frequency of training for the rest of your body. You want to simply maintain the rest of your physique while specializing on arms. We’ll be stressing your recovery abilities by more frequent training for the arms, along with increased volume and intensity so we need to keep that delicate balance in your recovery ability.

The Main Routine

Here’s a routine that I suggest you follow (this excludes your arm routine which we’ll get to in a minute):

Monday & Friday

The first thing most people think is that this routine is pretty basic and simple. That’s exactly right! Like I said before, we’re simply trying to maintain your physique while focusing on arm development. If you’ve been doing a lot more volume than this for a while and your gains have been stagnant, you might find yourself starting to gain strength and size on other body parts.

That’s great! It’s probably an indication that you’ve been overtraining and not recovering enough to make gains. This abbreviated program is finally giving your body the chance to recover and over compensate which causes muscle growth.

Just a few pointers on the above routine:

  • Do NOT go to absolute muscular failure on each set. Your last rep should be pretty hard but not to total muscular failure. As a gauge, you should physically be able to do about one more rep if you pushed to failure.

  • Use the same weight for each set. Let’s take squats for example. If you can do all 3 sets for 12 reps it’s time to increase the weight. If you do set 1 for 12 reps, set 2 for 10, and set 3 for 8, then the next workout stick with the same weight.

  • If you find your strength increasing on these other exercises during your 31-day arm specialization program, then by all means, go ahead and increase the weight.

  • Only rest 1 1/2 to 2 minutes between each set.

Arm Specialization

Now comes the fun part. We’re going to start with your new 31- day arm routine. You’re going to work arms three days a week. I’d suggest Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

On Monday you will work your arms after you do the whole body routine I described above.

Here’s our plan of attack on Monday:

Monday Arm Specialization
Some guidelines
  • The Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extension is done by grabbing one “bell” of the dumbbell with both hands and lowering it behind your head while keeping your elbows pointed toward the ceiling.

  • The Standing Dumbbell Curls can be done in an alternating fashion or both dumbbells can be curled at the same time, whichever you prefer. I like to do them alternating style because it feels like I can direct more concentration and contractile power to the muscle that way.

  • These 2 exercises are done in a super-set (superset video) fashion. Do a set of the standing dumbbell curls and then immediately do a set of the seated dumbbell tricep extensions. This is considered one super-set.
  • Never go below 12 reps on these exercises. If you have to lower the weight to get the reps in then do it.

  • Do NOT go to absolute muscular failure on each set. Your last rep should be pretty difficult but not to total muscular failure. As a gauge, you should physically be able to do about one more rep if you pushed to failure.

  • Only rest 45 seconds to 1 minute between each super-set.

Wednesday Arm Specialization
Some guidelines
  • This is your “heavy day”. Try to use as heavy a weight as possible while maintaining good form. It’s OK to cheat just a little on the last rep.

  • Rest periods will be longer than your Monday workout. Rest as long as necessary to recoup your strength so you can go all out on the next set.

  • Each Wednesday try to use a little more weight than you did the previous Wednesday’s workout.

The Preacher (Scott) Curls are done on the

“The Preacher (Scott) Curls are done on the “Scott” bench (made famous by Larry Scott) or “Preacher” bench. Feel free to use either a barbell or dumbbells, whichever you prefer.”
Friday Arm Specialization
Some guidelines
  • The Preacher (Scott) Curls are done on the “Scott” bench (made famous by Larry Scott) or “Preacher” bench. Feel free to use either a barbell or dumbbells, whichever you prefer.

  • These sets are all done to temporary muscular failure. In other words, keep going until you can no longer physically complete a rep in good form.

  • Only rest 90 seconds between sets.
  • On Fridays, do your arm workout first before the workout rest of your body.

Nutrition

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’ll never make any significant gains if you aren’t eating plenty of high quality food with an emphasis on lots of protein… preferably at least 2 grams of high quality complete protein per each pound of bodyweight.

What is a “complete” protein? That is a protein source that contains all the essential amino acids (protein is composed of amino acids) that are required by your body to support growth. These sources are: red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Other foods like beans and nuts have protein, but it is an incomplete protein. They do not contain all the essential amino acids to support growth, so don’t depend on those to supply your protein needs. Just eat plenty of good wholesome food and try to avoid the sugary junk. A little now and then won’t hurt you, though.

If you’re going to follow a specialization routine and try to build as much arm size as possible in 31 days, then I wouldn’t be too worried about “bulking up” a little and adding a few pounds of body fat. It’s nearly impossible to add significant muscle mass without putting on a little bulk.

I am including the type of diet you should follow to gain some good muscular bodyweight. Diet is very important, both myself and a lot of my trainees didn’t gain until we started eating a very large amount of protein, it makes a big difference. I don’t expect you to dive in and eat all this the first day, I want you to eat progressively (just like you will train progressively) try to eat a bit more each week.

You don’t have to use protein powder if you can’t afford it, it’s not totally necessary. You can drink milk, or you can use powdered milk instead. Any protein drink can be made with powdered milk instead of commercial protein powder.

“Red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids that are required by your body to support growth.”

This is also very convenient because most of this food can be prepared and taken to work or school in a lunchbox or “Lil Playmate” type of cooler.

I learned a secret that many successful bodybuilders know to keep their bodies in a positive nitrogen state for growth. A positive nitrogen state means that there is always complete protein (protein is the only nutrient containing nitrogen) available in the bloodstream for growth and repair. The secret is to never let more than three hours go by without consuming some kind of quality complete protein. Constantly sipping on a protein drink throughout the day should take care of that.

Conclusion

I’m sure if you follow this program and constantly strive to increase your training weights, while eating plenty of good food, you can’t help but make gains.

I wish you success in your training and hope to hear that you gained that magical extra inch on your guns over the next 31 days.

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