The Importance Of Staying Hydrated

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Drinking water is one of the basic things that you need to do every day. Your body needs water in order to function. That’s why it is very important to stay hydrated and to keep constantly replenishing your fluids. This is especially important if you want to gain weight and muscle and generally if you do any type of exercise. When exercising, your body raises its temperature and so in order to cool down, it starts releasing sweat, which is primarily composed of fluids. So in this way your body is losing fluids fast and needs them to be replenished. You also need to keep a balance between the amount of fluids in your body and electrolytes. If this balance is not maintained or if in general your body loses its fluids, then serious problems will arise. Dehydration is a serious health risk.
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It’s got electrolytes!

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Do you remember the scene from the movie “Idiocracy” where they talk about electrolytes? Throughout the movie they keep repeating the phrase: “It’s got electrolytes!” WTF are electrolytes? That was the initial reaction that I had (people who know me know that I use the phrase “WTF” a lot 🙂 ). I’ve seen it on sports drinks, but never had any idea of what it actually means.
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How Your Microbiome Can Affect Weight Gain

What is a microbiome you ask and why I should I care about it? Also what does this have to do with weight gain? The microbiome are the communities of microorganisms, literally trillions, that live inside the human body. Many people don’t realize that besides things like organs, blood, hormones…etc., the body also contains trillions of little microorganisms that live inside it and have a significant impact on it. These are most often single-celled organisms belonging to the Archaea kingdom. Archaea are prokaryotes and have no cell nucleus or organelles within themselves. There are however some bacteria as well. All these are generally considered harmless and usually do not cause disease (except for some rare circumstances). Many of them can aid the human body in a variety of functions, but recent changes in the human environment have also altered some aspect of the microbiome for the worse. Recent research indicates that some of the microorganisms can play a significant role in how a person gains weight.
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Why the Healthy Fats in Avocados are good for you (part 1)

avocado for gaining weight

If you want to gain weight in a healthy way (or even lose weight), then eating healthy fats is a must. One of the sources of these are avocados. You can eat avocados in different ways, either fresh straight up or you can add them to a wide variety of salads if you want. You can even mix them up in a mixer and drink them, maybe adding them to other fruits and making a refreshing drink for yourself. Avocados contain all kinds of good stuff: fiber, vitamins A, B, C, E, K, and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and manganese. Above all however, the avocado is known as a prime source of healthy fats.
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Watch Out For What Supplements You Take

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We all want to get big and strong, gain weight and muscle, and there are different routes that people take to get there. Some people take the steroid route and get big and strong fast, however this often has direct health effects later on in their life. Taking steroids was actually legal back in the day and many of the old school bodybuilders like Arnold freely admit that they did take them. However many of us decide to take the natural route. Even with the natural route, you can however take different supplements that are supposed to be safe and without any illegal substances. It turns out that sometimes they are not.
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What is fast metabolism?

What is fast metabolism and what does it have to do with a person gaining or losing weight? Basically metabolism means the collective chemical processes that your body uses in order to convert the food that you eat into energy that the body can use to function. By eating, you ingest a certain number of calories and those are then broken down. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a term that is often used when discussing issues concerning weight loss or weight gain and refers to the rate at which your body breaks down food. This rate is measured at the time that the body is not engaging in physical activity (is at rest) and therefore measures the amount of energy that your body is using in order to sustain the basic life functions (things such as breathing and your internal organs such as the lungs, heart and others). A fast metabolism refers to your body breaking down food at a fast rate.
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The Difference Between BMR And Maintenance Calories

Many people wrongly assume that the BMR = maintenance calories. That is not so. BMR just means the amount of calories that your body needs just to function, that means to sustain all the vital organs like the heart and the basic activities like breathing. Most people, besides breathing and staying at rest, also do other things during the day, like walking and sometimes even being active. 🙂 All these activities require a greater expenditure of calories than the BMR. So in order to gain weight you need to find what your MAINTENANCE calories are. Maintenance calories are your BMR calories + the amount of calories that you expend throughout the day on going around your daily functions (for example walking around or doing sports). You should then eat more calories than your maintenance calories. For people that are trying to lose weight, they should calculate their BMR and their maintenance calories and should eat less calories than their maintenance calories, but still more than their BMR.

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Why I train?

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There are moments when I get philosophical and try to contemplate why things are the way they are and why I do the things that I do. One fact of life is that you can never redo things, you can never go back in time. Time doesn’t stop, but keeps on going. A moment comes and then it goes, to be replaced by another moment. All we get left with is memories and even those sometimes fade. The moment is now, yet that too will soon be just a memory.

In my mind I often go back to things that have happened. At one point that was also “now”, the “moment”, with no way of knowing what the future will bring. I was running, thinking, eating, reading or doing a myriad of other activities. I had hopes and dreams and had no idea what will happen in the future. That was the moment, and then it was gone, to be replaced by another moment. Looking back at it, I now know that many of my hopes and dreams did not come true. Yet that does not stop me from living in the moment and creating new hopes and dreams, reflecting the current reality. I can only hope that those will turn out differently.

Life is about learning and trying to grab opportunities as they come. Unfortunately, many times things do not turn out as you want them to turn out. That’s why you need something to keep you focused, to keep you balanced. You need to strive and work on yourself. You cannot control outside forces, but what you can do is try to work on yourself, always striving to improve yourself, whether physically or intellectually. Training, lifting, doing sports, is one of those things that gives me balance, keeps me focused and helps me strive to achieve goals. It is an opportunity that I get to better myself.

1) You can never be perfect, but why not try?

Unfortunately you can never be perfect. Perfection does not exist. There is always at least a small flaw that disturbs the balance. Yet that does not prevent one from trying to be perfect. Sometimes life gives you a bad hand and you have it harder than the guy who got “lucky” and got the genetics, got the money…etc. without having to work for them. That is unfortunate, yet even he is not perfect. In the game of life you should only race against yourself, because that is what counts.

I don’t understand the philosophy “be proud of the way you are”, at least in the way that it is often applied. Often that means, if you’re fat, then be proud of being fat. I think that type of philosophy just creates complacency. Except for a very small percentage of people who are fat because of medical reasons, the vast majority of people are fat, because they chose to be fat. Yet they do nothing about it and continue the bad habits that led them to their current state. You should not create excuses for yourself, but instead try to change it. Numerous people have done it, why not you? It does take hard work, but the final result will be worth it. Unfortunately most people take the easy path and do nothing.

In my head, I have a perfect image of myself, the state that I want to be in, and do everything that I can in order to achieve it. There are setback and unfortunately life throws you curveballs, for example injuries, which kill your progress. All you can do is ride it out and start over. Create that perfect image of yourself and set up goals on how to achieve that. Then go out and try your hardest to do that. You might fail, yet there is no shame in failing. We can never be perfect. The shame is in not trying.

2) Life is about challenging yourself

Progress only happens when you attempt to do something that you haven’t done and sometimes it works. That’s why you should always be challenging yourself and doing new things. You never know whether you can do something, unless you actually do it and put effort into doing it. You need to set up a goal and try to achieve it. Challenge yourself!

I never understood the typical “sports fan”, the guy with the pot belly and the beer in hand watching sports. When the team he is cheering for wins, he yells: “We won!” and feels some sort of satisfaction as if he achieved something and tries to show off the guys that cheered for the other team. Newsflash, but you did not win. The guys on the field won. You didn’t. All you did was sit in front of the television, drink beer and watch a bunch of guys run around the field. There is no challenge in that and there should be no sense of achievement. For me personally I don’t like to watch sports, I prefer to do them. When I watch something on the screen, I get the itch to be on the field, to actually be doing it.

Is there something that you want to do, but haven’t done. Then do it! Set up goals and try to achieve them. They might seem impossible to achieve, but therein lies the challenge. If you work hard you can achieve the things that you previously thought impossible. You just shouldn’t give up and when you fail, just try again! I set up challenges in the gym and try to achieve them.

3) You sometimes need to detach from everyday life

Unfortunately, a lot of things that happen in life are BS. I am sure you have been in BS types of situations before. You might sit at work every day for long hours, doing things that you do not particularly enjoy doing or ones that you feel are pointless. You might find yourself in situations where you have pointless arguments with colleagues over totally useless stuff. You might even have colleagues that make life a living hell for you.

That’s why you need a little sanctuary where you can go and detach yourself from the stress and other BS of everyday life. The gym is my way of doing that. You should forget about everything that is happening outside of the gym and focus on what you are doing in the gym. For that moment, life outside the gym does not exist. You are in there and control your own situation. You set your own goals and you are working on achieving them. It’s only you and no distractions.

4) Being strong lets you do things that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise

Training also gives you other benefits, for example physical. You have the strength or stamina to do things that others can’t. When you are a big buff dude, you get respect from other guys and they are less likely to pick on you. You can defend yourself and others. You can pick up heavy things or go long distances. You are also a lot more healthy than other people.

5) It gives you a sense of achievement and a good feeling

These are the fruits of your efforts, your real life achievements and they are pretty useful. You get a sense of pride when you achieve something that you set out to achieve. You look back at all the hard work it took, but that moment is worth it. Your mind feels elated and your body feels light and powerful. There is nothing that beats that feeling.

6) It’s fun

Besides training is fun! We all like to do things that are “fun” and for me training and doing sports is fun. There is the sense of competition, there is the sense of achievement and all those things translate to fun.

These are some of the reasons of why I train! What are yours?

Image above: Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

Yoga for Weight Gain (or Weight Loss) and a Generally Healthy Lifestyle

Practicing yoga can lead to many benefits for your life. You become calmer and your body becomes stronger. Practicing yoga can help you achieve your goals, whether it is weight gain or weight loss. In fact, yoga can do both at the same time. While this is a bit of a paradoxical statement, but through the practice of yoga, you strengthen your body and lose fat. Muscles do weight a lot, so you get bigger muscles (and weight), but fat is lost and so for example you will look slimmer at the waist. Of course, in order to achieve the best results, practicing yoga needs to be combined with other activities and a good diet. Here are some yoga poses that can help you gain weight (or lose weight) and give you a general healthy functioning of the body:
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