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How to Lose Five Pounds Fast

Celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternak, reveals the exercises, recipes and sleep habits to help you drop stubborn weight.
  • Walk five miles a day
  • Sleep at least seven hours a night
  • Unplug at least one hour a day
  • Do resistance exercise five minutes a day
  • Eat protein and fibre five times a day

Meta-Mocha Cooler

  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 scoop or 3 Tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 1 1/2Ttbsp Metamucil® Original Coarse
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Ice cubes
  1. Combine milk, protein powder, Metamucil®, instant coffee and cinnamon in blender. Pulse together.
  2. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth and frothy.
Makes two cups

Per serving: 270 calories, 4 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 375 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 17 g fibre, 16 g sugars, 25 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin E, calcium and iron.  

Cumin-Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Black Bean Salad

The delicate texture of quinoa is a perfect partner to hearty sweet potatoes and black beans, but you can also substitute farro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 2 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On baking sheet, toss the sweet potato cubes with the oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 18 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for five minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. If serving the salad at room temperature, refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes.
  3. In a serving bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and quinoa with the lime juice, beans, onion, and cilantro. Line two serving plates with arugula, mound the quinoa on top, and sprinkle with the feta.
Makes two servings

Per serving: 355 calories, 17 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates

Salmon and Goat Cheese Melt

A single pita or a slice of high-fiber bread should contain at least 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein and no more than 100 calories. You can also use vacuum-packed salmon, which doesn’t need to be drained and patted dry.

  • 1 can (6 ounces) salmon packed in water, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, cored and thinly sliced (about 6 slices)
  • 1 ounce soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried
  • 3 high-fiber pitas cut into wedges or slices of bread, toasted and cut in triangles
  1. In a small bowl, toss the salmon, oil, and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Arrange the tomato slices, overlapping them slightly, on a large microwave-safe plate. Top with the salmon mixture and the goat cheese. Microwave or put the plate in a toaster oven for 2 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and the salmon is warmed through. Sprinkle with the oregano.
  3. Serve hot with the pita wedges or bread.
Makes two servings

Resistance Exercises

Stiff-Leg Dumbbell Deadlift
Muscle groups worked: Hamstrings, glutes

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand in front of you, palms facing in toward the front of your thighs.
  2. Inhale and, while bending at the waist (keep your back straight), push your butt backward and slide the dumbbells down the front of your thighs.
  3. Push your hips back as far as you can, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings.
  4. When you can no longer push your hips any farther back, slide your hips forward, back to standing.
  5. Repeat.
Standing Dumbbell Curl Press
This is a compound movement and combines a biceps curl with a shoulder press, efficiently targeting two areas at once.
Muscle groups worked: Biceps and shoulders

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing toward your body.
  2. Slowly curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders, and then continue to press
  3. them up toward the ceiling.
  4. Do the same in reverse as you lower the dumbbells down to starting position.
  5. Repeat.
Standing Dumbbell Side Bend
These movements will not only tone your sides but also help carve the inguinal (the sexy lines that go from your hip to your groin).
Muscle groups worked: External and internal obliques (a.k.a. “love handles”)

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Gently tilt your upper body to the right as you stretch your left “love handles.”
  2. Then reverse direction as you slide the dumbbell back to starting position.

Unplug from Technology

  • Using most electronic devices involves sitting, which makes it more difficult to lose weight. Multiple devices and additional functions have dramatically increased society’s use and magnified inactivity.
  • Watching TV is associated with mindless overeating, poor food choices, and obesity. The more hours you watch, the heavier you’re likely to be. You’re also more apt to lose track of what you’ve eaten and eat more throughout the day. Cutting TV time has been shown to enhance weight loss efforts.
  • Overuse or constant pinging of devices can result in stress and depression, which can lead to overeating. Social media use can also create anxiety. Depression, stress, and anxiety are all associated with overeating and obesity.
  • The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with melatonin production and impair sleep, which is directly linked to weight gain.
  • A sluggish thyroid, which might be associated with increased exposure to electromagnetic fields of cellphones, slows the metabolism and often results in weight gain.

Sleep is Vital

  • Getting less than seven hours of continuous sleep a night (or experiencing poor quality sleep) can significantly hamper weight-loss efforts for a number of reasons. You’re inclined to eat more, especially refined carbohydrates, when sleep-deprived. There’s a clear association with sleep deprivation and a higher BMI.
  • Several hormones can create a perfect storm for weight gain. When you’re not well rested, your insulin response may be suppressed, increasing the likelihood of storing fat rather than burning it. Levels of ghrelin, an appetite stimulant, also rise, while levels of leptin, which signals satiety, decrease. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol also rise.
  • Melatonin is another key hormone to good sleep. Your body produces melatonin during the day. Low melatonin levels at bedtime make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Modern life has interrupted our natural body clock, or circadian rhythms. Spending too much time in front of electronic devices that emit blue light also messes with your body’s internal clock.
  • Establishing regular bedtime habits, getting enough exercise, exposing yourself to sunlight or other light, and eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates are all integral to falling asleep and staying asleep.

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