6 Ways To Build Lean Muscles

Woman running on the beachYou want a body shaped with lean muscle and backed by a nutritious diet. You want to stay fit and healthy in the midst of all the fatty foods and unhealthy diets. Building lean muscle isn’t impossible with the right exercise and dieting program in place. Here are some great ways women can build lean muscle.

1. Eat Nutritious Foods

Stock up on foods that help keep your muscles lean and firm. Beef is a good source of protein, zinc, and B vitamins while brown rice, eggs, spinach increase muscle strength, endurance, good digestion, and longer-lasting energy. Just remember to select only fresh and wholesome foods when creating your diet.

2. Reduce Carbs In Your Diet

Women have the upper hand when it comes to burning fat to carbs, so stick to a low-carb or no-carb diet in order to burn the fat and gain toned muscles.

3. Strengthen Muscles With Exercise

Exercise regularly in order to stretch and strengthen your muscles, but make sure to focus on exercises that promote lean muscle throughout your body. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges are just some of the many exercises that target your legs, back, abs, and obliques.

4. Remember To Drink Your Water

Always have plenty of water to drink as you work through the program. An intake of at least 8 glasses of water not only keeps you hydrated, but it curbs mistaken hunger pains and prevents overeating. And with every intake, your body is able to flush out toxins inside your body, making you feel lighter and healthier.

5. Control Your Calorie Intake

Calorie control is essential in building lean muscle. By taking in too many calories, you gain excessive weight. This makes it difficult to tell if it is lean muscle or just a layer of body fat. But a lack of calories lessens your chances of gaining and building lean muscles. Set a target calorie count that is just right and that produces results.

6. Rest

Make sure to give your body enough rest. More than to cool down from the workouts, rest allows the body to repair the muscles. What’s more, because the muscle is metabolically active, it burns calories even while the body is resting. Consider a day off for every week.

It takes a lot of effort and self-discipline to build lean, mean muscle, but the results are worthwhile. To be sure, consult a health professional before implementing any diet or exercise program.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all women boot camp or fitness boxing classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Ways to Beat the Flu This Season


With the changing of the seasons, it is time to start thinking about another season coming our way: flu season. This time of year usually sees an increase in the number of cases of the flu as well as other illnesses like the common cold, strep throat, sinus infections, even pneumonia or bronchitis. The flu season typically peaks in January and February. The bad news is that the flu virus is easily spread from one person to another. Most people come in contact with the flu virus when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks and spread the germs around.

The good news is that just by taking a few simple measures you can keep yourself healthy and hopefully avoid catching the flu this season. Here are some tips:

  • Take Care of Yourself – When you eat properly, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep at night, your body’s immune system is able to function properly to fight off germs that can make you ill. When you don’t take care of yourself, the capacity of the immune system is markedly diminished and you find that you get sick more often. Ensure that your immune system can work by taking care of yourself and find ways to manage stress.
  • Drink Lots of Fluids – Drinking water and tea is a great way to keep healthy. Avoid dehydration to help the immune system to function properly.
  • Wash Your Hands Regularly – Washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid sickness and spreading it to others. You should wash your hands before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, after touching animals, and so on. If you are in a situation where you are unable to wash your hands, using hand sanitizer is highly recommended, although not as effective as soap and water.
  • Avoid Contact with People Who are Sick – Although it may not be always possible, it is a good idea to avoid people who are sick with the flu or cold until their symptoms subside. The flu and other illnesses are spread the most easily through contact with people around you. If you do come down with symptoms of the flu, be sure to stay home from work or school until you are feeling better.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all women’s boot camp please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for an extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The Best 9 Sources of Protein

Protein is essential for the buildup of muscles, fat burn and recovery in the body. This is because when you work out, micro tears happen in your muscles which require immediate recovery. For this recovery to happen, protein rich foods should be eaten along with carbohydrates. When it comes to building muscles and recovery, it is important to be knowledgeable about the nutrition that nourishes the muscles, leading to muscle growth and strength gains. There are different varieties of sources of protein out there that you can use for your recovery after the workout.

Here are the best food sources that you can use for overall fitness.

Whey protein

Whey protein is one of the nutrients found in milk. The production of whey protein starts with the simple process of milking cows. Depending on the brand or the name of the whey protein brand that you use, a typical serving of whey protein can contain between 24 to 30 grams of protein. One advantage when adding whey protein to your diet is that it is fast digesting for n even  recovery. It works well whether you use it for your pre-workout supplement or post workout snack. To maximize this essential protein source, you can take 20 grams of protein half an hour before your workout or within 45 minutes after your training. It is also good to take in protein for breakfast, preferably within 30 minutes of waking up, since your body requires protein and nutrients after 8 hours of fasting.

Casein protein

This type of protein powder, casein ranks second best source of protein because of its slow digestion rate. But due to its slow digestion rate, it makes for a great pre-bed time snack. This is due to its characteristic of being slowly digested to combat catabolism as you sleep. An additional reason to take this type of protein is that it makes you less full, making it a great addition for people who wants to gain muscle mass. Just like whey protein when taken post workout, it maximizes protein synthesis of the muscles. Casein is maximized by taking in 10 to 20 grams after your training.


Of all the cheese available in the market, parmesan cheese tends to have the highest amount of protein with 41.6 grams of protein per a hundred gram of serving. Other types of cheeses such as mozzarella, Romano and Swiss cheese provide about 22 grams of protein with every 100 grams of serving. You can use these cheeses with some dishes that you may want to consume or cook at home. In addition to that, they are also great workout snacks especially when paired with whole wheat breads or fruit.

Lean meats

Lean meats such as chicken breasts, turkey, goat meat, pork and lamb contain about 30 to 31 grams of protein with every 100 grams of serving. Chicken comes out on top among the lean meats with 33.6 grams per hundred grams of serving. Pork meat comes out second with 29 grams with every 100 grams served. The lean meats mentioned above can be used with almost any dish you can see during holidays or any given meals. So stick with the lean cuts to maximize your protein intake out of these super foods.


Fish sources of protein are becoming more and more popular these days due to the latest discoveries and research proving the health benefits of the fats and oils that they contain. Coming on top among the fish list is the yellow fin tuna with 30 grams of protein in every hundred gram of serving, followed by anchovies containing 29 grams, salmon and halibut tied at 27 grams and snapper and tilapias both with 26 grams. These sources are seen on almost any fish market you find at your place. Look for them and enjoy them in healthy and fast dishes.


It is said that the more mature a bean gets, the more protein you can reap out of it. The one containing the most are the matured types of roasted soy beans as it contains nearly 40 grams of protein with every 100 grams served. Beans have also been found as great alternatives when animal sources are not around. Keep these beans on your list and at your kitchen when considering a vegetable type source of protein.


The leanest cuts can provide around 34 grams of protein with every one hundred gram of serving. When selecting cuts, it is best to choose the leaner ones, with lesser fats. You may also ask your butcher to choose meatier and fat free cuts for you.

Egg whites

Egg whites contain about 7 to 8 grams of protein. You can take in two to three eggs for your breakfast. Another benefit that you can get from eggs is the easier method of cooking as you can have them boiled, sunny side up, or mixed up on your breakfast and snack dishes.

Soy protein

The protein in soy contains complete amino acids along with many health benefits that include improving cardiovascular function and muscle growth for over all fitness. You can use soy protein as one of your major protein sources if you would like to consider a vegetarian type of diet.

Conclusion: There are many different sources of protein that you can use in order to help you build muscle, recuperate and burn fat.  Always remember that proper nutrition and rest are the foundations of a strong, lean and a fit physique.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Tricks to Stop That Hunger Feeling

Everyone will feel hungry at some point, but there is no need to let that hunger go unattended. Hunger is a signal from your body that it needs something, but it’s important to differentiate the difference between hunger and cravings. One is a physical response, and the other is an emotional response.  At NYC Adventure Boot Camp we are big on eating right and making sure that you know the difference between the two.


Emotional Causes of Hunger

Emotional hunger is probably the hardest type of hunger to control. Emotional hunger signals are rooted in lifestyle behaviors. These cravings are born out of boredom or even routine. Certain activities trigger an emotional response to eat. When you sit on the couch in front of the TV, do you feel the need to eat? Are you bored at night and fill your time with pleasure-eating? While there are some physical things you can do to control this type of hunger, to really be successful, you have to focus on changing habits. Slowly but surely you need to start replacing these emotions with more productive activities. If you are bored, go and do something. If you want to watch TV and eat food, find healthy snack alternatives.


Low Blood Sugar

Physical hunger is a much easier hunger to control, and fortunately, nearly anyone can make improvements in this area. For example, are you hungry an hour after eating? Do you really think you need food again so soon? The more likely cause of your hunger is low blood sugar, which was caused by eating a high-glycemic meal. Low blood sugar triggers a strong response to eat carbohydrates. This low blood sugar is also the cause of the sleepiness most people experience mid-afternoon. Stay away from processed foods and focus on eating low-glycemic foods that provide a nice steady release of glucose.


Calorie Intake

I’d say one of the leading causes of hunger is so simple that most people just overlook it – they aren’t eating enough. You would be surprised how much people suffer from hunger when undergoing a weight loss program. They assume that you’re supposed to be hungry or even downright starving at times. This is not the case at all! If you’re eating the right kinds of foods and you’re eating enough calories, hunger should only show itself every once in a while when it’s actually time to eat. If you’re eating below 10 times your body weight in calories and find that you’re starving most of the time, I highly recommend that you eat more food.


Satiating Foods

Another way to keep hunger under control is to eat more satiating food. What is a satiating food? These are foods that fill you up and keep the hunger response at bay. These foods share many of the same qualities. They are fiber dense, water dense, and low-glycemic. Protein has also shown a high satiating effect that is greater than both fat and carbohydrates.


Avoid Sweeteners

Both natural and artificial sweeteners can cause cravings. Refined sugars send an influx of glucose into the bloodstream, which in return spikes insulin levels. That’s what’s supposed to happen, but this sudden spike in insulin clears out the glucose too much, which leaves you with low blood sugar and cravings all over again – and the cycle continues.

Artificial sweeteners act in a similar way, but they don’t have calories, so they don’t cause a rise in blood glucose. Instead, they make your body think that there is, and it ends up releasing insulin anyways. A release of insulin without any blood glucose is an easy recipe for hunger cravings. Artificial sweeteners also act on the brain, making it think it’s getting nutrients that it really isn’t. In return, your body continues to send out hunger signals to get the nutrients it needs.


Eat Your Essential Nutrients

It’s not just about calorie quantity. It’s also about the quality of those calories. Essential nutrients must be ingested through your diet, as your body cannot manufacture them itself. Essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals need to be eaten in sufficient quantities. Essential fatty acids have the ability to modulate satiety levels; if you don’t eat enough, your body will continue to tell you to eat until you do. How does it do this? Hunger signals.



I cannot overemphasize the importance of drinking water when it comes to hunger. Water makes every function of the body work more efficiently. In addition, thirst is mistaken for hunger many times. If you feel hungry all the time and you are not exclusively drinking water, that should be your very first step. Proper hydration is essential, and no other liquid can provide the levels you need besides water.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Mayo Clinic: Energy Density and Weight Loss: Feel Full on Fewer Calories

Healthy Snacks

It may seem hopeless to find healthy snacks that actually fill you up and are good for you. The truth however is that there are some excellent snack ideas that can help you to fulfill your nutritional quota and that actually taste good. The key with this aspect of eating as with anything else is to be prepared. Though you think it’s impossible you can come up with some great snacks that are healthy and delicious.

You should also remember that healthy snacks fit in with the right way to eat. You want to focus on eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. That means that healthy snacks are a key and very important component to that and why you should be focused on incorporating these into your day. If you take the time to plan and pack the right snacks then your diet and your waistline will thank you.

Combine Food Groups

Whenever possible try to combine food groups as this really works. There are great snack ideas that do just this and you can figure them into your day really well. Consider a few ideas that come together from two various food groups. Remember the food groups include low fat dairy products, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, good fats, and whole grains.

So keeping that in mind a few examples of good combination snacks include:

  • Whole grain bread with turkey slices
  • Low fat cottage cheese with pineapple
  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Carrots with Greek yogurt dip

So you see that healthy snacks can include a wide array of different foods and when you combine them you get great value. You get key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You get fiber to make you feel full longer, and in the end you get a lot of great value for one small meal as well.

Items for On the Go

You want to always be prepared and that means that you have the right foods to take with you anywhere. Chop up and prepare vegetables such as watermelon, apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and cucumber and then pack them in a cooler. Pack up some low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, and string cheese in the cooler and you are always prepared.

Consider keeping a packet of oatmeal, some trail mix, some mixed nuts, or even some popcorn at your desk. Put some protein bars into your car or gym bag. Just think through what your daily routine looks like and then plan for it. That way you never have to be caught off guard and you always have what you need to eat the right way on the go. That’s what healthy snacks and smart eating are all about!

True Mini Meals Working For You

When you break down the more than likely huge meals that you eat now into smaller and more efficient mini meals then you can work really well in terms of planning. Consider packing a half of a turkey sandwich and some yogurt for your lunch. Save the orange and the almonds for a mid morning snack and then you are never hungry and you don’t overeat at once. The key is to eat the right way and to focus on eating smaller portions more frequently to get the most value out of your eating overall, and healthy snacks are a huge component of that.

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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