So you're on the journey to getting healthy and fit AF. It's definitely a trend, but for a lot of people, it's now a lifestyle. It should be a lifestyle, because that's what helps you get through those rough patches and helps you get back on track. When you start to realize that health and fitness is a journey and not a destination, it all changes.
When it comes to being healthy, there are so many misleading products on the market. No, skinny detox teas don't work, there isn't a pill you can take to lose 20 pounds in 30 days, and there is for sure no shortcut. If there was, wouldn't we all be doing it? You have to commit to a lifestyle, start with small changes, and work your way up.
So where do you even start? I'm sure you've heard about how healthy apple cider vinegar is for you, how MCT oil is a miracle worker and how coconut oil can change your life. Are these things true? What the fuck is MCT oil? WHY do you need them in your life? Keep reading to find out!
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Where do I even begin? MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides, which is a form of fatty acid that has millions of health benefits. Ranging from better cognitive function to weight loss, MCT oil is my go-to when I'm having an 'off' day. Have you ever heard of bulletproof coffee? MCT oil is an important ingredient in bulletproof coffee, which is essentially coffee that is full of fat to stabilize your blood sugar levels so you don't get that crash.
So many people still believe fats are bad for you. Yes, trans fats and saturated fats are not good for you. Those kind of fats are found in chocolate bars and vegetable oils. MCT oil, coconut oil, fish, avocado, those kinds of fats are great for you because the stabilize your blood sugar. Stabilizing your blood sugar is super important, since that's when we get awful cravings that make us reach for the quickest thing. They keep you fuller for long, and MCT oil can be put in your morning coffee or tea or smoothie to keep you full until lunch.
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Apple Cider Vinegar
My lifesaver. My world. It may taste like absolute garbage, but it works for everything. What can't apple cider vinegar do? A lot of people use it in the morning, just in a shot glass or mixed with water, to get their metabolism started. You can use it to detoxify your body (which you should do if your diet has contained fast food and junk all your life), it can cure colds, it can stabilize your blood sugar, and it also does really help with weight loss.
If you find yourself getting heartburn or acid reflux a lot, turns out you probably don't have enough acid in your stomach. ACV puts the acid right back into your stomach, so that your food can digest properly. Honestly, I could go on forever about ACV. I will never be without it.
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Probiotics. The holy grail of a healthy gut, where almost 70% of your immune system is. Did you know that? If you get sick often, it's probably due to a lack of good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are good bacteria that help keep your gut happy and healthy, so without the recommended amount, we end up getting sick. You can go to a health foods store and buy probiotics, which is recommended, or you can find it in foods!
So what foods have probiotics in them? Well, probably a lot of foods you don't regularly eat! Foods such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt have a ton of good bacteria in them to help out your gut. When your gut is healthy, you feel healthy, and you'll want to make changes. And it's been proven that the strain of probiotic called lactobacillus can help you lose weight.
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You're probably thinking 'how can a supplement that relaxes my muscles help me lose weight?' Well, it really can't. However, you know what can? Getting enough sleep at night. Your body goes into stress mode when you lack sleep, and once you're stressed, your body holds onto fat. Magnesium helps you relax, and it's actually proven to help you sleep. Enough sleep = more time for your body to recover. It's as simple as that!
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Chlorophyll is a pigment that helps make plants and algae green. As important as it is for plants, it's just as important for the human body. Chlorophyll is easily absorbed into the body, so your body doesn't have to do much work to process it.
Just like apple cider vinegar, chlorophyll is prime in detoxifying the body. It cleanses the liver, bowls, and intestines of all toxins which is huge. With weight loss, chlorophyll contains enzymes that trigger movement from fatty acids. Those enzymes can be turned into glucose and be used for energy, which benefits you and your body during workouts.
Chlorophyll is also a natural appetite suppressant, so just by putting a little bit in your water or smoothie, you may notice the difference in your appetite.
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BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids. So what do they do? You probably hear all of the fitness bloggers on Instagram talking about them, but they really do work. BCAAs can help your muscles stay lean while the rest of your body loses weight. If you're in a caloric deficit, a lot of the time you lose muscle as well because your body isn't getting the amount of calories it usually does. BCAAs helps make sure that you don't lose muscle mass while losing fat, and a ton of bodybuilders take them. No, you will not get ripped just by taking them.
The best part about BCAAs is how good they taste. They come in a world of flavours, different brands, and different ways of processing them. Okay, I lied. That's not the best part. The best part about BCAAs is that they help you during your workouts. Without the itchy hands and caffeine overload that pre-workout gives you, BCAAs help your mental focus which leads to a better and more intense workout.
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I think this may be a given, but some people still go without protein after a workout. Protein is essential for your muscles to recover, and it can help with cravings and appetite later on. We all know starting our day off with just carbs is frowned upon, considering you'll be hungry within an hour. Protein fills you up and also stabilizes your blood sugar levels. See how important it is to keep your blood sugar steady?
Protein comes in so many different ways, but the easiest way to get protein in is through a protein shake. There is a protein powder out there for everyone, I promise. I personally use a vegan one, but I'm not even vegan. I just prefer the taste. Realistically, protein powder/shakes work because it keeps you full and keeps you from reaching for something that will put you off track. The science behind this product is easy: protein fills you up, helps your muscles recover, and it's an essential part of your daily intake that you should up if you're looking to lose weight. Protein shakes are not a meal, but they can be great after a workout or as a snack to tie you over.
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Maca is essential if you're someone who deals with unbalanced hormones. See, a lot of women don't know, but if you have stubborn belly fat your hormones may be to blame. Maca regulates your hormones, and that can be one of the many reasons you're losing weight everywhere but your stomach. I feel you, don't worry.
Maca isn't a miracle product, but it does have a ton of benefits. Maca has essential vitamins and nutrients and because of that, it helps kick up your metabolism! Just like most of these products, it also keeps your blood sugar stable. Notice how huge blood sugar is in weight loss/management?