Your Summer Fitness Plan Starts Now

Josh Bezoni- Your Summer Fitness Plan Starts Now

If you’re lounging on your couch with a potato chip midway to your mouth, reading that headline in fear, let me assure you that you have nothing to worry about. That statement is not intended to instill fear, but rather to inspire you to start getting fit now so that you can have the body you want by summer.

As the days start getting longer and warmer, with the official start of summer only a little over a month away, you’ve surely heard talk of people expressing concern about fitting into their swimsuits and achieving the perfect beach body. Most people, when nervous about something, shrink away from it rather than attacking it at the root. Don’t abandon your fitness goals just because they seem impossible to achieve. If you put in the work and follow this eight-week workout plan, you can have the body you want this summer. And yes, by work, I mean working out. Dieting alone won’t cut it. However, if you acknowledge upfront that your goals are going to take some work, it makes them more approachable. Plus, you can rest assured that if you take these steps seriously, you’ll be rewarded in the end for all your hard work.

Before diving into the fitness part of this plan, you’ll need to take some time identifying your goals and developing a nutrition plan. Figure out why you want to achieve these goals, exactly how much weight you want to lose or muscle you want to gain, and break your goals down by week.

Then, if you want to make sure your diet compliments your fitness goals, keep tabs not just on what you’re eating, but how much and how often. It’s easy to avoid overeating if you practice time-restricted feeding (TRF). TRF may sound a little intimidating, but it’s not about starving yourself, but rather keeping all of your eating within a specified window of time. You should try to keep your three main meals of the day within a 6-8 hour time frame, meaning if you eat breakfast at 9am, you should have your last meal of the day no later than 5pm. If you get hungry outside of this timeframe, you can always have light, healthy snacks to tide you over.

Portion control is another key consideration; make sure you’re consuming the right amounts of protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and smart carbs. Your daily protein intake should be roughly the size of your palm, healthy fats should be no more than the size of your thumb, limit yourself to one smart carb (like sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa) per day, and eat as many vegetables as you’d like.

The third and most important step in your journey to getting fit in time for beach season is an eight-week fitness plan. Not everyone has the same abilities, so only take on what you can manage. In general though, start small and work your way up to a more rigorous routine. Each week should incorporate both cardio and weight training. How often you workout will depend upon how much you can handle, but aim for 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week. In your first week, aim for two full-body workouts separated by a cardio day. As you progress in your training, ramp up the intensity. Try 45 minutes of cardio starting in the third week and gradually increase the weights in your full-body workout.

That’s it! If you work hard to stick to your fitness goals for eight weeks, there’s nothing keeping you from flaunting a toned, muscular body on the beach. For a more detailed breakdown of the exercises you can do in your workout sessions, visit the original blog on

Fat-Causing Condiments

Sweet N’ Low. Trans Fats. MSG. They’re making you fat. Of course, they are on nearly anything and everything that’s edible, and so they can be difficult to get away from; not to mention, their nutritious value (or lack thereof) is largely neglected as a whole in the mainstream media, making them easy to neglect and forget. Yet, theses additives are there and are taking their toll, primarily in three different ways:

  1.  Two of these additives hinder the release of a hormone, leptin, which is responsible for telling your brain when you are full.
  2.  Other obesity additives actually increase your fat content by transforming how our bodies absorb and utilize calories. How do they do this? Insulin. When these additives increase insulin, a fat-storing insulin, your calories are converted to fat rather than as energy for you muscles.
  3. Additional additives, believe it or not, change chemicals in our brain known as “neurotransmitters” to make us addicted to them, just like a serious drug.

In light of the harm these additives can cause to your weight loss and fitness journey, I have elected to put together a list of the absolute worse additives that you should remove immediately from your diet:

Stripped Carbohydrates: Basically sugar, flour, enriched white flour, white flour, glucose, high fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS), and sucrose among others.

Artificial Sweeteners: NutraSweet (aspartame), Sunette (acesulfame K), & Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin)

Added caffeine: Soda or energy drinks like Red Bull. Of course, a few cups of green tea or coffee are nothing to worry about.

Trans Fats: As I’m sure you’ve heard, trans fats are not good for you. They should be cut immediately, and are generally listed “partially hydrogenated oils”

MSG: MSG also falls under this umbrella of undesirable additives. It is often described as “monosodium glutamate”.

Extra Alcohol: If you need to, limit it to one or two drinks a week.

Extra Salt: Often found in chips, crackers, canned food, pickles, different cheeses, pretzels, condiments, and salted nuts, extra salt is a silent killer you should try to avoid at all costs.

Well, now that I’ve told you what you can’t eat, let me tell what you can eat:

Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup is a great option over other more traditional ketchup options. Why? It doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup.
Curley’s Famous Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce is awesome because it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or MSG.
Newman’s Own is a fantastic salad dressing line since many of its options lack excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Lucini’s Hearty Artichoke Tomato Sauce has a measly 230 mg of sodium in each serving and less than a gram of sugar, which is literally less than 1/10th that of the more popular Prego’s Italian Sauce Traditional.
McCormick’s Original Taco Seasoning is a great option for adding some flavor to those shelled pieces of deliciousness because it has no trans fats, otherwise know as hydrogenated oils.

These are just a few options you can use to better your diet, make the transformation you dream of, and lose the weight you want gone. For even more information, go to this article. That’s it for now. All the best!

Your New Best Friend, Lipoprotein Lipase

So here’s the deal, there’s this great, little-known enzyme, called lipoprotein lipase, that we all have. The awesome thing about this enzyme is that it helps the body process and burn fat. Yes I know –  lipoprotein lipase just became your best friend! But here’s the catch, similar to many other enzymes, lipoprotein lipase is only generated when muscles are being used and active. Research done on lab rats shows that lipoprotein lipase was only produced in leg muscles when the rats were active, standing, or scurrying around. Therefore, if you want to get these enzymes to work, you need to get in motion and burn some energy. Besides, living a sedentary life is not good for your physical and mental health. Spending most of your time sitting around and being inactive can lead to a series of health problems like weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and even cancer!

The key to get lipoprotein lipase to work is to spend as little time as possible inert. If you do some exercise, but remain most of the time sitting in that office chair, forget about it. You have to implement activity throughout the whole day, and the evidence is there for you to see for yourself. In a study involving males who tend to walk a lot, they were asked to decrease the amount of time they spend on their feet. For example, they were asked to drive instead of walking, take the elevator instead of using the stairs, etc. In just 2 weeks, the study was able to prove that these men had in fact altered their metabolism, which naturally distorted their bodies’ fat distribution, and they even appeared plumper around their midsections!

In today’s day and age, I know it’s extremely hard not to spend the majority of the time in front of a computer, but even so, there are ways for you to remain active. Here’s a list of simple things you can do to avoid remaining inactive and jumpstart your BFF lipoprotein lipase:

-Get up from your desk every 40 minutes or so. You don’t have to do anything grand. Just take a quick walk to the restroom, stretch, light jog, etc.

-Leave the car. Walk or bike to work.

-Walk and talk. Whenever possible, implement walking to your work duties. For example, handle a call standing up rather than sitting down.

-Ditch the office chair and use an exercise ball while working on your desk.  The ball will automatically make you use muscles in order to find balance.

-When you get home, don’t run to the couch or the bed. Distract yourself with activities like gardening, running a few errands (literally).

-Watch TV while doing exercise. A  great example of this is to hop on an exercise bike while watching your favorite show or game.

So get excited and start to develop a relationship with lipoprotein lipase! It will help you lead much healthier lifestyle.


Additional Top 5 Fat Loss Commandments

I know, I know. I’ve already shared with you a blog on 5 fat-loss commandments that will most certainly guide you in your weight loss journey and overall healthier lifestyle. But I am so passionate about this subject that I just had to share 5 more fat-loss commandments you need to live by.

1.Have an amazing plan in place.

In order to come up with a solid plan you must do the obvious, plan! It’s hard to believe, but a lot of people skip this step. They just dive into a weight loss program without thinking about objectives, goals, timelines, etc. So first thing is first, evaluate yourself today. You must have a realistic and clear perspective when doing so. Then make a solid plan that will be challenging, but at the same time obtainable.

2.A.B.P: Always Be Progressing.

Don’t follow a plan; follow a feeling. This may sound contradicting, but let me explain. Have a plan in place, yes. But what must motivate you is a feeling to get better, not a piece of paper that dictates what exercises of foods you can have today. You need to find that feeling that will always keep you driven to go to the gym even when the weather is crappy. A feeling that makes you want to push yourself every time you workout. As you follow that feeling, document it as well. Use a “Progression Plan” chart, for example, so you can remind yourself of how far you’ve come and what areas you can still work on.

3.Balance your body.

Balance is key to all aspects of life, especially when you are trying to lose some fat. A balanced body will improve the electrical communication to muscles, thus getting you stronger, faster, and better in a short amount of time. Having a balanced body also helps activate more muscles and engage your metabolism.

4.Train your nervous system, not your musculoskeletal.

Remember that your nerves control muscles in terms of when they contract. If you prioritize your nervous system into your workouts you will improve nerve signaling and communication to muscles all over your body. The better your nervous system gets, the more muscular strength and endurance you will develop.

5.Rid your body of inflammation.

When a part of your body becomes inflamed, that’s your body letting you know something is not right. Inflammation can happen in the form of a bump, bruise, etc. During inflammation, white blood cells rush to the affected area and begin to restore it. There’s inflammation as well in your guts and arterial walls. Consuming foods with preservatives, trans-fats can lead to inflammation. Moreover, toxic environments with smog, for example, can cause inflammation. So make an effort and allow your body to reduce the trauma of inflammation and begin to lose some fat!

Here’s Why You Should Invest in a Heart Rate Monitor

With colorful little step-tracker gadgets currently dominating the fitness industry, it may seem like heart rate monitors are another mere trend for those starting out in fitness. Sure, they are a good tool for those just picking up some form of exercise, especially running, but are they necessary?

The short answer is no. Obviously, you can still work out and even get fit without a heart rate monitor. However, you may not be getting the most out of each exercise session. This is where heart rate monitors can come in handy.

With a heart rate monitor, you will know your resting heart rate, and can easily discover your maximum heart rate by wearing a monitor while going all out during a workout. In between these two extremes are the numbers you want to focus on. Wearing a heart rate monitor during a less intense workout can help you determine your low intensity heart rate. Conversely, wearing a heart rate monitor during a high intensity workout will give you information on how high your heart rate should be during those more intense exercise days. Once collected, these numbers can be used to optimize your exercise schedule and each individual workout, no matter what fitness level you are at.

For example, let’s say you’re a runner. Heart rate recommendations for fitness runners can help beginners build endurance, and help more experienced runners not slack off during their run. If you’re more of a high intensity interval training type of athlete, you can make sure your heart rate goes to a recommended level during your reps, and does not drop below a recommended resting recovery level. You will find that you’re pushing yourself harder than you ever have before, because a heart rate monitor allows no excuses. Also, in the event that you’re worried about your heart rate going above a certain level, you can make sure it stays steady with a monitor.

Overall, heart rate monitors have the ability to make workouts more efficient and effective. For more information on how to decide on a heart rate monitor, and for heart rate fitness recommendations, check out this great article by REI.

Below, I’ve attached three suggestions of my favorite monitors. Go hard, athletes!


5 Foods To Eat After Your Workout

What do you do after an intense sweat session? Post-workout, athletes tend to shower, change, then grab a bite to eat. This is a good thing, since it is beneficial to eat 30-60 minutes after a workout in order to efficiently recover. However, not every food optimizes recovery. Grabbing a candy bar after a lifting session, for example, will not do much to help your body.

So what should you be eating after a workout? The fact is, recovery all comes down to protein and carbohydrates. Both give your body helpful nutrients to absorb, and replace all that was broken down during exercise. Here are five examples of food you should be eating as post-workout snacks:



I know what you’re thinking. Pineapple? Really? The truth is, we do not normally think of fruit as being loaded with carbohydrates but they are carbohydrate-packed. They also have specific enzymes that help the body transfer nutrients from food to muscles. Pineapple in particular is a good post-workout snack because it has all the benefits of fruit with the addition of anti-inflammatory effects to help your muscles recover more quickly.



This may go without saying, but eggs are packed with protein. Hard-boiled or in omelette or scrambled form, they are a perfect way to help your muscles recover. If you want to go the extra mile for your body, consider eating the eggs with vegetables. You will not only get a necessary protein kick, you’ll also introduce extra vitamins into your recovering body.

Greek Yogurt


Greek yogurt is a perfect post-workout snack because it has both protein and carbohydrates. It is superior to regular yogurt in that it contains twice the protein that your muscles need. For some extra nutrients, and a taste kick, add some fruit to your yogurt for a double-whammy recovery snack.

Whole Grain Cereal


Can you say carbohydrates? Whole grain cereal and milk after a workout will give you a little bit of protein and a lot of necessary carbohydrates. Try to eat a type of cereal without a lot of sugar, because the sugar will delay your progress. Your muscles will thank you.


A more unconventional grain, quinoa contains a ton of vitamins and nutrients, and also a fair amount of protein. It will give you the carbohydrate and protein kick your body needs, and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Remember to add in some vegetables for extra vitamins!

A Lower-Body Workout in Under 30 Minutes

Finding the time to exercise is a challenge for everyone. Sometimes you just need a quick, straight to the point exercise routine to get through, that doesn’t sacrifice effectiveness. Here’s a great lower body workout to tackle your entire lower body in an efficient way.

For the exercises that use free weights, you should aim for a weight where you can ideally complete 10-15 reps total (or on each side for movements that work one side at a time) before exhausting the muscle. You should try to repeat this sequence three times total.

Exercise #1: Lunges

Target Muscles: Thighs and glutes

Instructions: Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides. Without sacrificing your posture, step back with one foot while lowering your knee to the ground. Your front knee should bend without that front knee going over your toes. Once your back knee barely touches the ground (but does NOT rest on the ground), step your back leg back up to standing in your starting position.

Exercise #2: Squats

Target Muscles: Thighs and butt

Instructions: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, toes pointed forward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and slowly bend your knees, keeping your back straight until you reach a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for a second before squeezing your legs and glutes to return to standing in your starting position. You should essentially feel like you are sitting down in an invisible chair (with great posture) and standing back up. Do not roll your shoulders or hunch over. Keep your head in a neutral position looking straight forward the entire time.

Exercise #3: Calf Raises

Target Muscles: Calves

Instructions: Stand on the edge of a stair with your feet about hip-width apart and the heels of your feet hanging off the edge so they are unsupported. If you can, try to keep balance as you do this exercise, but if not, grip a nearby rail or place your hand on the wall. Lower your heels as far as you can comfortably stretch them and then slowly push up on your toes until you are on your tip toes. Pause at the top and fully contract your calf muscles. Then slowly lower down again until you return to that comfortable stretch in the back of your calves and ankles.
 Standing Heel Raises

Exercise #4: Core Extensions

Target Muscles: Abdominals
Instructions: Lie on your back and pull your knees in towards your chest as you tuck your chin. As you inhale, reach your arms behind your head as your legs extend in front of you, both at about a 45 degree angle. Hold for 3 seconds before exhaling and returning to your starting position. Repeat until you can’t hold with proper form.
Double-Leg Stretch

Exercise #5: Bicycles

Target Muscles: Abdominals
Instructions: Lie on your back with hands behind your head, feet extended. Lift your head off the ground as well as your legs, brining one knee to meet the opposite elbow. Exhale and bring the opposite elbow to reach the other knee.
The Bicycle

Remember to warm up before and stretch afterwords to prevent soreness. Complete this sequence 3 times, and you’ll get a great lower body workout in about 30 minutes.

A Great Arm-Workout in Just 5 Exercises

Looking for a simple arm workout you can do at home or at the gym? I’ve got just what you need. All you need is access to some free weights and either a workout bench, exercise ball, or chair.

Only complete each rep as fast as you can keep the movement controlled and with perfect form. Don’t power through it and sacrifice your form because you’re trying to finish as quickly as possible. You’re essentially sacrificing the full benefit of the movement for a bit of speed.

You should aim for a weight where you can ideally complete 10-15 reps on each side (or total for movements that don’t have sides) before exhausting the muscle. You should try to repeat this sequence three times total.

Exercise #1: Chest Press

Target Muscles: Chest

Instructions: Lie on your back on either an exercise bench or ball. Grip a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward with the dumbbells close to your chest and your feet flat on the floor. As you exhale, push the dumbbells up (palms still facing forward) until the dumbbells barely touch. Pause for a second. Then slowly lower the dumbbells toward the starting position, stopping when your upper arms are just beyond parallel with the floor.

Chest Press

Exercise #2: One-Arm Rows

Target Muscles: Upper and middle back

Instructions: Begin with your same hand and knee kneeling on a flat bench with the opposite foot on the floor, knee slightly bent. While gripping a dumbbell in your hanging hand, keep your back flat and your head in a neutral position. Pull the dumbbell upward, your elbow rising straight up to the ceiling. Hold for a second before releasing back to the starting position.

One arm rows

Exercise #3: Seated Overhead Press

Target Muscles: Shoulders

Instructions: Sit on a bench or exercise ball with your back straight and a dumbbell in each hand. Place your arms shoulder level, bent to 90 degrees towards the ceiling. Your palms should remain facing forward as you slowly press the dumbbells up and together above your head until they barely touch. Hold for a second before slowly lowering your arms until you return to the starting position.

Seated overhead press

Exercise #4: Triceps Kickbacks

Target Muscles: Triceps (backs of upper arms)

Instructions: Begin with your same hand and knee kneeling on a flat bench with the opposite foot on the floor, knee slightly bent. Bend your elbow to a 90 degree angle so it sits by your side. Slowly lift the dumbbell behind you, straightening your arm until it is parallel with the floor. Hold for a second, and return to the starting position..

Triceps kickbacks

Exercise #5: Seated Biceps Curls

Target Muscles: Biceps (fronts of upper arms)

Instructions: Sit on a bench or an exercise ball and hold one dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inward. Slowly rotate your palms up as you lift the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Contract your biceps at the top, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to your sides until you reach the starting position again.

Seated Biceps Curls

Remember to warm up and stretch afterwords to prevent soreness. With these simple moves, you’ll be looking at more toned arms before you know it.

Three Foods To Avoid

Changing diets is one of the hardest things to do. After years of training our systems to respond to a tolerable amount of sugars, chemicals, and processed foods, breaking away from those addictive substances can feel very similar to quitting any other addiction-prone substance. Headaches and mood-swings often accompany a dip in sugar intake and a sudden change in your diet can bring about hunger spikes and binge eating. However, eliminating these three foods from your diet can help to drastically reduce these urges.

Available in a multitude of flavors, sizes, and colors, Processed foods should be at the top of your foods to cut from your regular diet. Oftentimes complete with a laundry list or chemicals and flavoring agents, these foods are as naturally healthy as candy. Designed for a prolonged shelf-life and perfect appearance, it’s important to remind yourself of the chemicals that went into building your meal before you take another bite.

Alcohol may be a big hit at parties, but it’s an even bigger hit to your waistline. Rich in calories, easy to find, and even easier to consume, alcohol slows down or even stops the hormone that combats belly flab. It’s exactly for this reason that the term “Beer Belly” was born. Too much time at the keg and the body will start to resemble one,

Artificially sweetened beverages are among some of the most dangerous foods to consume when embarking on your diet journey. Packed with high fructose corn Josh Bezonisyrup, a chemical known to increase your hunger by pumping your system with empty calories, these drinks are a match made in the worst places imaginable. It’s no wonder mega-chain fast food restaurants pair their processed foods with soda. The more you eat, the stronger your addiction becomes, and the harder it is to lose the weight.


Putting the Pro in Protein

Planning a diet takes time and research. When making the decision to change what you put in your body, it’s best to understand what it is and how it can affect your newly minted diet. Everyone knows that protein is the cornerstone of any strong diet. Excellent for filling us up and giving our muscles the nutrient necessary to recover from a hard day’s work, protein can never be replaced. However, before embarking on your dietary journey, you want to ensure that your money travels far. What are some of the best and most cost-effective proteins to plate?

Josh BezoniEggs: Simple, humble, and abundant, Eggs are plentiful in both protein and production. Pacing huge doses of protein, a hard-boiled egg can make for an excellent mid-day snack to fight off those old hungry urges.

Tuna: An amazing source of protein and among the cheapest in this selection, canned Tuna yields nearly 42 grams of protein for just under $1. Whether used in a sandwich or mixed into a light tuna salad, the offerings from such a small source dwarf expectations.

Beans and Lentils: An excellent side-dish for any healthy meal, beans pack an especially substantial helping of protein. With nearly 45 grams of protein per serving, and a healthy dose of fiber to boot makes beans an excellent addition to a healthy meal.

Greek Yogurt: What’s both a delicious snack and good for you in moderation? Greek Yogurt, of course. Roughly breaking down to 21 grams/ dollar’s worth of protein, Greek yogurt is another excellent source of the invaluable Protein.

Above are a few options you have when choosing to start a healthy diet. The above options are not only delicious but happen to be among the cheapest of healthy foods available in the market. For my money, you can’t go wrong with a strong protein and a little extra cash in your pocket. Do you want to read more?