Fitbit Force Activity Tracker

Fitbit Force Activity TrackerWant to know what’s at the top of my Christmas list this year? The Fitbit Force activity and sleep tracker.

Yes, there are numerous such devices on the market currently, and I’ve written about some on this blog in the past. However, I’ve never bought one because I always feel like something better will be released immediately after I pull the trigger. This is how it is with all technology though, and if you want something, just buy it. There’s always going to be something new around the bend.

The Fitbit Force is essentially an upgraded version of the Fitbit Flex. The Force is a little wider than the Flex, but it has a small OLED display on the front of it compared to the tiny illuminated dots that were on the Flex. The Force can actually show you the time along with stats as you go about your day. Or, you can choose sync the device with your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 without taking the device off your wrist. These Android and iPhone apps will let you view your progress and compare it to previous days.

So what exactly can the Fitbit Force do for you? It can visualize your activity, showing you exactly how active you are. It counts your steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned, and active minutes. It will show you when you’re not being active compared to previous days, allowing you to adjust your routine to boost your activity. There are some days when I know I should be doing more, but it will be hard to ignore and not feel guilty when it’s presented to me on my phone through an attractive interface with pie charts and bar graphs.

The nice thing about the Fitbit Flex is that you can keep it on all the time and will rarely have to take it off. You can wash dishes with it on, take a shower, and do other activities where it might get splashed or a little bit wet. But unlike the Misfit Wearable, you can’t take it swimming. You’re also encouraged to wear it while you sleep, and after putting the device in sleep mode, it will monitor your sleep and present you with the data when you wake up. Speaking of which, you can even set an alarm and have the Force wake you with vibrations that you will feel but your partner won’t.

There are lots of great things about the Fitbit Force, but as I mentioned, there are some features found on other devices that the Force lacks. But after comparing a number of these fitness trackers, I found that the Force had the combination of features that appealed to me and my lifestyle the most. That’s why I’m hoping there’s one sitting under my tree on Christmas morning.

How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During Thanksgiving

How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During ThanksgivingFirst, let me start off this post by responding to a comment I received the other day. The commenter said that this blog has turned into an Onnit advertisement compared to what it once was. I agree that as my blog posts have become less frequent more have been focused towards Onnit than just general posts about staying healthy.

I have a list of topics I want to write about, and I also have a list of Onnit news that I think might appeal to readers of this blog. I can understand how my enthusiasm for the company, its products, Joe Rogan, and his podcast can seem purely like an advertisement, but my intentions aren’t simply to shill Onnit products.

I started out this blog as a way to answer the questions that I had about things related to health and fitness. Like, what is kale and why is it healthy? Why do my knees make so much noise, and should I be worried? How can I prevent a hangover? I’m going to tone down the Onnit posts and keep them limited to when an exciting new product launches and when the company has a sale on its products. I don’t need to cover the minutia of the company and every little product that it releases. I’ll steer this ship back towards what Tight Lightning once was and answer more of the questions I have about living a healthy life while limiting the posts that feel like ads to my readers. I hope that you guys will continue to visit this blog in 2014.

With that out of the way and off my chest, let’s talk about Thanksgiving. As a Canadian, I’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving. It was last month, I’m over it, and it wasn’t a big deal to me. To Americans though, it’s a whole other beast. It’s essentially the beginning of the holiday season. The family, the friends, the shopping and presents, and of course, the FOOD. I work in the food industry so I know how hard it can be to resist everything that will destroy your diet.

So what can you do during Thanksgiving to prevent yourself from ruining all the hard work you’ve accomplished this year? Here are a few ideas to keep you from gaining too much weight over the next month:

Exercise
If you don’t normally exercise on the weekend, maybe force yourself to, just as an added boost to help burn off the extra calories you consume during Thanksgiving. Do this either before the big meal or the day after, if you can muster up the motivation to do so.

Eat a Balanced Breakfast and Lunch
If you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast and follow it up with a filling lunch, you may be inclined to eat less during dinnertime. For breakfast and lunch, choose protein and whole grains to keep you feeling full right up until Thanksgiving dinner.

Don’t Deny Yourself
It’s important that you don’t deny yourself of anything that you want during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season. However, as I have talked about on this blog in the past, the key is moderation. Have one cookie, not four. Have a piece of pie, but skip the ice cream. Have a plate of dinner, but not seconds. Keep your portion sizes in control and give yourself a limit and you shouldn’t feel too badly once you head back to work after the long weekend.

Eat Slowly
Everyone knows that the slower you eat, the more time your body has to respond to what you put into it. You’ll feel more full quicker and end up eating less if you don’t inhale your dinner. So slow down, relax, and enjoy the time with your family and friends.

Don’t Get Drunk
Alcohol is not only full of extra calories you don’t need during the holidays, it can crush your willpower as well. The more inebriated you become, the more likely you are to eat what you otherwise wouldn’t, and you’re more likely to wake up hungover. What happens when you’re hungover? You crave more food and you definitely don’t exercise. It’s a slippery slope, so be careful.

Take a Picture
I’ll admit it, I have a picture on my computer of what I used to look like when I was about 20 lbs. heavier. I also have one for inspiration when I was at my prime. Where I’m at now is somewhere in the middle, but I can use both of the pictures to keep myself in check. One shows me what I can turn back into if I get lazy and unfocused, and the other shows me what I’m capable of when I set a goal and accomplish it.

And there you have it. Those are my suggestions on how you can keep your body and your diet in check during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season. If you have any tips you’d like to share, feel free to post about them in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout

The Ultimate Steel Mace WorkoutThe problem with owning exercise equipment like a steel mace  or a steel club is that workouts are a little hard to come by. You can’t exactly stream this stuff over Netflix, so you’re left with ordering obscure DVDs over the internet that may or may not be what you’re looking for. Because these DVDs don’t sell high volumes, the cost of them is often higher than you’d pay for something like The Avengers on Blu-Ray. Of course there’s always home-made YouTube clips of guys swinging around steel clubs, but the production leaves a lot to be desired.

What Onnit has done is taken the next logical step in its fitness empire. The company is not only bringing steel maces and steel clubs to the masses, its now also providing the workout routines so you can make the most of this equipment. A smart move, I thought, but what I like even more is the delivery method. Gone are the days of physical media, either in the form of a video tape or disc. No longer will you have to wait days or weeks for your video to arrive in the mail. Onnit is now offering digital downloads, the first of which is The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout.

The advantages to a digital download are plentiful. Pay for it, download it, and begin your workout within a few minutes. No waiting by the mailbox for your video to be delivered. Going on the road? Copy the video file to your laptop, tablet, or even your smart phone to take it on the road with you. Back it up to a USB stick and ensure you never accidentally delete or lose it. The workout can be with you wherever you go–indoors or out–and you won’t have to be tied to your television.

But enough about the format, let’s talk about The Ultimate Steel Mace Workout itself, which is hosted by Mr. Onnit, Aubrey Marcus. Aubrey has designed a workout that’s suitable for any skill level. Obviously, newbies will want to start with the lowest weight possible, and savages can go for the heaviest if they can handle it. Aubrey then puts you through an intense full body workout that pushes your cardio and strength to its limits, and then brings you back down with a yoga cooldown.

The video also features “extras” or bonus features in the form of videos that outline the history of the mace and techniques you’ll use in the video to ensure proper form. Priced at only $5, it’s cheap enough to take a gamble on if you own and use steel clubs. Don’t have steel clubs? Onnit is selling them right now at a 10% discount.

I haven’t yet purchased The Ultimate Steel Mace workout, but I’m definitely intrigued, and with Onnit’s track record, I’m sure it’s a quality product.

Think “Instead” of Rather Than “No” When it Comes to Food

Think "Instead" of Rather Than "No" When it Comes to FoodThe brain is quite powerful. The placebo effect can trick us into thinking something is having an effect when it’s not, and we can even use it to help us lose weight, too. One way to do this is by thinking of “instead” rather than “no” when it comes to food, specifically your snacking habits. This can be better than telling yourself that you can’t have something.

A blogger at Lifehacker wrote an interesting post about thinking of “instead” rather than “no” when dieting, which is based off something written in an office management book by author Heidi Grant Halvorson. Heidi said that the key to passing on snacks at the workplace–though this can work at home as well–is to think of what you will do when temptation strikes in advance. Her example is to tell yourself that you can have a cookie, but if you want a second, drink a glass of water instead. By using the water as a replacement instead of telling yourself no, you can more easily move past the urge to have that second cookie.

On a related note, researchers at Utrecht University found that the more you think about NOT doing something, the more likely you are to do it. Sitting around telling yourself that you won’t have that second cookie and that you’ll drink that glass of water instead might actually make you eat the cookie. Tell yourself ahead of time that you’ll have the water, but don’t sit around thinking about not eating the cookie. Focus your mind on other things instead of the delicious cookies.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking that drinking a glass of water won’t take the place of eating a cookie (or pizza, or chips, or candy, or…) but I can guarantee that after you eat that second cookie, you’ll regret it and wish you had that glass of water instead. At the very least, this method is worth a try. Your brain might surprise you and this little mind hack could prove to be a useful tool when it comes to choosing the healthier option.

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Onnit Zombie Bells Now Available!

Onnit Zombie Bells Now Available!Oh shit! Everyone has been waiting weeks for these, and now the Onnit Zombie Bells are finally available. I say “they” because there is actually more than one Zombie Bell. In fact, there are four Zombie Bells in total, varying in size of course, and they’re all available right now. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and now it’s that much cooler.

Let’s get right into it and take a look at each of these Zombie Bells working from smallest to largest, from the right side of the image below over to the left:

Onnit Zombie Bells Kettlebells

Brain Goblin Zombie Bell
This is the smallest of the Zombie Bells, weighing in at a half pood, which is 18 lbs. He has rotting flesh, exposed teeth, and angry lifeless eyes that stare back at you as you swing him around.

Staple Head Zombie Bell
The Staple Head Zombie Bell weighs a full pood or 36 lbs. He’s missing his nose and his lips and his scalp has been ripped off revealing his skull underneath, what’s remaining of his flesh is held to his head with staples.

Ghostface Thrilla Zombie Bell
The Ghostface Thrilla Zombie bell weighs 1.5 poods or 54 lbs. This guy has an angry sneer, he’s missing a nose and his lips, and like the others, his flesh is rotting off his face.

The Mega Death Zombie Bell
The most badass of all the Zombie Bells is the two pood 72 lb. Mega Death Zombie Bell. This guy too is a little angry that he’s a member of the living dead. Someone’s gotten to him and managed to clamp his mouth shut. While you won’t have to worry about him biting a chunk out of your body, he’s definitely the most intimidating of the Zombie Bells to workout with.

All four of these Onnit Zombie Bell kettlebells are crafted with chip-resistant iron, so if you want to workout with them, they’ll stand the test of time. If you want to display them as works of art, they’re perfect for that too. They’ll also make incredible weapons should a zombie apocalypse take over the world at any time.

As I said, these Zombie Bells can be displayed as works of art, and that’s not hyperbole. They are beautifully crafted with incredible attention to detail. Each Zombie Bell is made to human skull proportions. They’re balanced perfectly as well, so if you do want to work out with them, you can, and they’re feel just like a traditional kettlebell will. But these are infinitely more badass.

Like the Primal Bells, the Zombie Bells are available for a limited time only. If you want to buy one, don’t wait. If you think you might want the whole collection, scoop them all up. If you choose either of the two biggest Zombie Bells in your order, you’ll also get a pair of Onnit Zombie Bell wrist guards to sweeten the deal.

Happy Halloween!

Lose Weight Eating Only Beer and Sausages

Lose Weight Eating Only Beer and SausagesFor some guys out there, I’m sure this seems like the ultimate diet. Eat only sausages and drink only beer and still lose weight. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. It’s just a matter of numbers.

About three years ago, Arizona resident Evo Terra changed up his diet to include just beer and sausages, inspired by Octoberfest. Over time, Evo managed to shed 14 pounds. His health wasn’t impacted that negatively, either. According to his doctor, Evo’s cholesterol actually dropped by a third in addition to the weight loss.

So how is the possible? As I alluded to earlier, it’s a matter of numbers. Let’s say that Evo consumes 1,500 calories worth of beer and sausage on a particular day. If he burns anything over 1,500 calories on that day through work or exercise, he’ll be at a calorie deficit. Evo will be burning off more calories than he actually consumes.

This is the key to his diet, as wacky as it sounds: watch your calories, and burn off more than you eat. You could replace beer and sausages with anything that you want to eat on a daily basis, like Oreos and milk or pizza and Diet Coke. So long as the calories you take in are less than the calories you burn, the weight will fall off. Of course, most people like a bit of variety in their lives, so limiting themselves to a diet of sausages and beer, for instance, isn’t that appealing.

Via: Foodbeast

The Howler Primal Bell from Onnit Now Available!

The Howler Primal Bell from Onnit Now Available!I know everyone is all excited about the new Onnit Zombie Bells, and I am too. I say “bells” plural because there is more than one. Aubrey Marcus said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast that there will actually be four Zombie Bells kettlebells in various sizes. So, it looks like this will be an ongoing thing for Onnit: kettlebells in four different varieties each with a different look. (Update 10/28/13: Zombie Bells now available!)

The first of these stylized kettlebells was of course the series of Primal Bells. Three were first released; the chimp, the ape, and then the orangutan, and yesterday the fourth in the series was released. This one is called The Howler!

The Howler is the smallest of the Primal Bells, weighing just a half pood, or 18 lbs. in terms we can all understand. This one looks like a screaming chimp with his fangs exposed. While it’s the smallest of the Primal Bells, it’s definitely the most menacing looking!

Like all the Primal Bells, The Howler is crafted from chip-resistant iron that will stand up to regular wear and tear and rusting as well. You can use this like a savage and keep it on display in the meantime. It’s a work of art that’s perfectly balanced, meaning you can use it like a traditional kettlebell and it won’t feel any different. It just looks infinitely more badass than a cannonball with a handle attached to it.

Check out the whole line of Primal Bells at Onnit, and if you haven’t bought any yet, you can buy all four in a bundle at a significant savings. You can save 15% total when you purchase all at once! But make sure you save up a bit of money for the Zombie Bells which are now available, just in time for Halloween!.

Check out this 360 degree view of the new Howler:

Onnit The Howler Primal Bell Kettlebell 360 Degree View

Health Myths and Misconceptions Debunked

Health Myths and Misconceptions DebunkedThere are a lot of myths and conspiracies in the world, from UFOs to 9/11 and ghosts as well, and there are a wide range of shows devoted to these topics. But myths can apply to your health, too. These are in the forms of myths like eating fatty foods can make you fat, foods with carbs can make you fat, and things along those lines. But which ones are fact and which are fiction?

I read many blogs, with one of my favorites being Lifehacker. Recently Lifehacker posted an article (linked below) which outlines a number of these myths and misconceptions. For instance, fatty foods don’t necessarily make you fat. In reality, our bodies need fat, the key is which fats you eat, and in what quantities. The right fats can also help you to feel full, and as a result, aid in weight loss.

Years ago the Adkins craze was in full swing, with tens of thousands of people cutting carbs out of their diets completely. Once again, moderation proves to be key rather than completely eliminating something from your diet. In the case of carbs, much like fats, the type of carbs you eat is what’s important.

Check out the full article for more details about food myths, including the ones mentioned above, along with others related to MSG, gluten, and high-fructose corn syrup. What the article finds is that some of these things may not be bad for you at all. There are also some myths related to exercise–such as exercises that purport to burn fat in specific areas–that I think readers of this blog, and those who are looking to lose weight and get healthier could really benefit from.

Via: Lifehacker

Save Up to 25% Off Onnit Fitness Gear

Save Up to 25% Off Onnit Fitness GearAnyone who follows this blog knows that I’m a fan of Onnit as a company and of its products. I often talk about new products when they drop, review them whenever I can, and let you guys know when an Onnit sale is going on. Typically the sales are on the Onnit supplements and food products. Rarely do any of the Onnit coupon codes or discounts apply to the wide range of Onnit fitness gear.

That’s why I was surprised when I got an email from Onnit saying that it was slashing the prices of all its fitness gear by up to 25 percent. You’ll have to visit the Onnit Fitness page to view all the details, but you could save as much as 25 percent off any of the gear and exercise equipment that Onnit carries.

For the unfamiliar, Onnit has available traditional cannonball-style kettlebells, along with its line of Primal Bells, steel clubs, steel maces, clubbells, battle ropes, jump ropes, medicine balls, and more. It’s too much stuff to list right here, but there’s stuff if you want to build muscle or stuff if you want a more cardio-oriented workout as well.

This Onnit fitness equipment sale runs for less than a week and ends on October 9, 2013 at 11:59 CST, which is 12:59AM EST or 9:59PM PST. If you’ve been curious about any of the fitness gear that Onnit carries, now’s the time to place an order. I doubt this stuff will be on sale again before the end of the year.

The Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks

The Healthiest Alcoholic DrinksI’ll admit it, I like to drink. I go out occasionally, drink way too many pints, get bad food on the way home, and wake up the next day hungover. Of course that day becomes a write off as well, mainly because I’m too hungover to get out of bed and do anything, so I mainly lie around and eat even more bad food. As you can see, one night of drinking can lead to days of overindulging and thousands of extra calories consumed that you otherwise wouldn’t have ingested.

With this in mind, there are a few things you can do to bring down the total amount of calories you’ll take in during a night of drinking, or at the very least make some healthier choices. One of my favorite blogs, Gizmodo, put together a list of the nine “healthiest” alcoholic drinks that you can have when you’re going to tie one on. I put healthiest in quotes because there aren’t really (m)any alcoholic drinks that will have a positive effect on your health–especially when you’re drinking a lot of them at one time–but there are definitely ones that aren’t as bad as others.

The standard for anyone who’s watching their weight is the vodka soda. Vodka is a spirit with a low amount of calories (relatively speaking) and the soda has no calories. In my opinion, this is boring and only recommended if you are looking to get drunk quickly. You don’t really sit around sipping and enjoying a vodka soda.

As I said, Gizmodo has compiled a list of other drinks in addition to the vodka soda that will appeal to anyone who’s looking to take a healthier approach to drinking, opting for drinks made with fruits and vegetables–or just straight alcohol–rather than ones made with sugary fruit juice cocktails and soda. Check out the list complete with recipes at the link below.

Via: Gizmodo