diet

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Along with the new monthly payment system, I hope to continue to provide incentives to STAY CONSISTENT. 

Why? Well, consistency is the key to success!

Besides the fact that the science behind the Supercompensation Theory is based on hitting muscles consistently; it truly comes down to being able to maintain healthy habits over a long period of time. 

Let me give you a personal example from just the last few months:

As many of you know, I had a photoshoot that I cut down heading into. What it was though, was an unsustainable cut that involved ridiculous classes up to 5x a week, on top of strength training, and on top of cardio. In terms of diet, I was intermittent fasting on top of a low carb diet with little to no alcohol intake. It worked...well...until the photoshoot. After that I was so exhausted from the cutting down that I packed on weight for the next month or so. 

In order to make a point - and not much else haha -I decided to take seriously the idea of intermittent fasting and apply it daily to see how much of an effect it would have on my body fat content and how that would compare to pre-photoshoot me when done strategically and less intensely over about the same period of time. 

What is interesting is that today, even after putting on some weight and without the crazy workout schedule, I have fallen into a pattern that has gotten me to a LOWER body fat percentage than I was even at the time of the shoot! My favorite part? I haven't been saying no to alcohol! Now, I am not saying go out and drink like a fish, BUT, what I am saying, is that the consistent dieting and consistent workout schedule result in BETTER long-term changes than crazy intense dieting and workout routines. 

Making healthy habits doesn't mean hating life! It means changing your perception of 'healthy' foods and adopting a strategy that lends itself to consistency so that you don't have to worry about anything. Just let the consistency do the work!

My daily ritual:
-Casein protein supplement for breakfast
-5 WHOLE eggs, a salad, AND some oatmeal or sweet potatoes for brunch
-Salad with typically low-ish fat content dressing - think vinaigrettes (but don't mistake this for the lack of good fats on the salad - like avocados and lean proteins) for lunch
-Vegetable and (low glycemic OR high benefit) fruit smoothie alongside chicken patties for dinner
-2-3 High protein/high fat snacks during the day (Kind + bars, nut mixes, flax snacks)
-Casein protein supplement for before bed.

 

 

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What it takes to lose/gain weight

I have been inspired by a client this week to talk a little more about what it takes to put on and lose weight. 

Let's talk numbers first:
Calories in a pound (lb) of fat = 3500
If FAT was purely FAT (it is made up of other stuff too), it would take 3500 Calories, or 500 Calories per day in a 7 day week to burn a single pound (of fat). 
Average BMR (daily Calories needed to survive) of US citizens:
--Men: 1,662 (eh, probably a little higher than the reports showed for the average male)
--Women: 1,492

To lose weight: Calories OUT must be GREATER than Calories IN
That means:
- (YOUR BMR + YOUR Activity, in Calories) MUST BE GREATER than (Calories you eat)

For example: Say my BMR is 2200 and I burn about 700 calories a day form working out. I have to eat less than 2900 calories a day to lose weight. 

THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD STARVE YOURSELF to lose weight. It means to take it like a staircase of calories. Start with cutting down 200 net Calories a week, then 200 Calories less the next week. This is how we prevent Yo-Yo dieting. 

The opposite is true for gaining weight.
(YOUR BMR + YOUR Activity, in Calories) MUST BE LESS than (Calories you eat)

SAME IDEA. Adding 200-400 calories to your daily regimen weekly is the best way to gain weight without getting fed up with overdoing it for a little bit and slingshotting back. Luckily, what I find happens when bulking however, is that your stomach is a good guide. Pushing a little past the point of satisfied is a good way to gauge if you're eating enough when starting to bulk. 

You might be able to tell that I am not huge on working around numbers as I find that it can be exhausting, time consuming, and due to poor measurement devices/Calorie reads, a bit imprecise anyway, but this is there for anyone that likes that type of guide. Personally, I am all about the small lifestyle changes that accumulate to weight loss and weight gain, but all ways are good! Whichever one works for you is the one that you should pursue!

Ah, that part is the (relatively) easy part. Calories in versus Calories out. Next, I want to explore the difference between eating junk food and eating healthy food when dieting/gaining weight. Additionally, exercise TYPE has a bit of a roll as well, which we have talked a little bit about, but will go into more to continue this discussion.

Fun Fact: If you are wondering why I keep capitalizing the C in Calories (not sure if I mentioned this in the past):
1 calorie = the amount of heat required at a pressure of 1 atmosphere of pressure to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degrees Celsius. 
In other words, it is a TINY amount of energy

1 Calorie = 1000 calories. We measure our food and energy consumption in the 1000s - saves a lot of zeros being written down and makes MATHS a little easier. 
 

:)

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Are all fruits and vegetables created equal?

In short, 'No'.

Over the next few weeks I am going to do everything in my power to post about AT LEAST ONE fruit or vegetable family (or one of each) EVERY DAY. The reason? Because of the question posed above. 

Since we became an agricultural society (many, many years ago) we have done a  lot of damage to the nutrients we find in our fruits and vegetables. The result? A problem that seems to contradict everything we know about the healthiness of these wonderful foods. 

As the saying goes, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'

...umm not quite. The thing is, certain fruits and vegetables have lost some OR MOST of their nutritional value due to our way of modifying, growing, transporting, storing, or cooking our food. These next posts are meant to breakdown some of the findings regarding which fruits/vegetables have retained their beneficial properties; which variations of fruits and vegetables should be focused on at grocery stores/markets; and which storing/cooking methods should be used to maximize these nutrients. 

To keep the post short, today we will only talk about Leafy Greens

1) Look for the darker colored (more bitter) loose-leaf varieties of lettuce/greens (but when compared to bagged greens, heads of lettuce win in level of phytonutrients)

2) To preserve nutrient levels, preparation after purchase can change the game. Soak lettuce for ten minutes in very cold water - dry - store in pin-pricked sealed bag to maximize nutrients whilst stored. 

3) If using bags of mixed greens, look for most colorful combination of freshest leaves.

 

This information has been pulled from "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson. An amazing resource to check out if you don't want to wait for posts. Hope you enjoyed!

 

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FAT, FAT, FAT

What do you think about when you hear those words? 

I almost guarantee you, the average person in our society thinks negatively about fat. On the contrary, fat is quite important to you, AND it can dramatically affect weight loss (specifically fat loss) results. 

Watch me keep this post super short, but super informative!

What is fat?

  • Efficient energy storage (9kcal/g of energy in fat vs 4kcal/g in carbohydrates or protein)
  • Transported through the blood as fatty acids (3x Carbon-Hydrogen chains attached to 1x glycerol)
  • Essential to the human diet in the form of Omega-3s and Omega-6s
  • Needed for fat-soluble digestion of Vitamins A, D, E, K

    Types of Fat (based on structure and chemical response within the body)
  • Saturated (No double bonds in C-H chain, solid at room temperature; i.e. butter)
  • Unsaturated (At least 1 double bond in C-H chain, liquid at room temperature; i.e. oil)
  • Trans (Double bond gets hydrogenated and shaped like a saturated fat, solid at room temperature; i.e. Crisco) - Just stay away from these (you can tell if it is in the ingredients if it says anything related to 'partially hydrogenated ______ oil'

All good so far - mandatory science out of the way. How do we strategically use fat in our diet?This is why we talked about Insulin previously. Say you are trying to keep your body in a 'fat burning zone' and want to make sure you aren't stimulating your insulin response, thus maintaining your fat burning rather than fat storing systems. Well, what else would you eat to stave off hunger and get the job done? I hope you don't say "Well, I just wouldn't eat."

You've got it! FAT (and protein)!

On top of low glycemic veggies, fat and protein are your best friends when trimming fat off of your body.

This saying goes a long way in the fat burning world (because there is one?): 

"In the presence of protein, your body will opt for fat as an energy source"
-This is the case because your body prefers to use fat over protein for energy.
-So make sure you are getting your protein, and maintain a relatively low insulin response to get your body to do the fat loss work for you. 

Boom. 

No need to continue from here, but I am going to go into some of my favorite fats because it makes me happy AND they are a huge part of my diet (and therefore life).

  • The almighty Avocado (fun fact: Avvocato in Italian is 'lawyer').
    -I eat probably a whole avocado every day. True happiness right there.
  • Bacon and red meats.
    -Relatively fatty (saturated), but do not be afraid of these fats as they can still be used in your diet strategically
  • Eggs. 
    -THE ENTIRE EGG TOO. Cholesterol talk to come soon - let's just say that there is a lot of bad information out there. My cholesterol levels are great btw.
  • Nuts, nuts, nuts - especially the expensive ones! Mmmm cashews

    PLEASE don't hesitate to click on the title of this post and comment your faves! 

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Insulin Part 2 - Glycemic Index vs Glycemic Load

Hi there! Happy Sunday! 

Let's get back into the discussion about our buddy Insulin.

While everything I said previously is true, and a great starting point for losing weight (fat mostly), there is another fun aspect that is important to talk about - glycemic load.

Quick review of previous post: High Glycemic Index (HGI) Carbs are responsible for big spikes in insulin, our fat and sugar storage hormone. So, a good way to manage weight and increase weight loss is to manipulate the spikes in this hormone. Timing the spikes can result in large blocks of time in which your body prefers to burn fat (when protein is present). More on protein soon.

Glycemic Index (GI  <55 is Low) vs. Glycemic Load (GL <10 is low)
Glycemic Load is calculated by multiplying the Glycemic Index (GI) of a food by the number of Carbs present in an average portion of that food (or the amount we might eat). Certain foods are denser than others in that regard. 
Example 1, Carrots
Glycemic Index (GI) is sort of high: 71. Its glycemic load (GL), however, is 7.2 (in the low part of the scale)
Example 2, Corn Flakes.
GI is 84 (high). GL is 23 (high)

So...what exactly should I be avoiding then Austin? The answer is 'nothing'. You should never cut anything from your diet unless it physically causes a reaction. I put this here so that you can strategically plan your meals so as to effectively manipulate fat burning/fat storing zones.  Here is the bullet point version I have condensed for you of the confusing glycemic index/loads. 

  • Pretty much all fruits and vegetables. Yes, even pineapple, watermelon, pumpkin, carrots, corn (corn having one of the highest GL of vegetables in the medium glycemic response range) are GOOD FOR YOU.
  • Generally, potatoes are high on both, not ideal for cutting weight/fat, but can be used strategically. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic load than regular potatoes.
  • Milk, even the full fat versions are actually quite low on the glycemic index/load scales.
  • Even wheat breads are somewhat high in GI and moderate in GL, avoiding wheat and refined grains is generally for the better. Save for cheat meals or bulking.

Here is an international list of foods and their respective GI and GL. Kinda cool to check out, but again, look for trends, and plan your diet around what is convenient but fits in your plan to remain in a fat burning-as opposed to fat storing-zone for as long as possible. 

Please let me know if you have any questions! And please take a minute to follow me on Instagram/Twitter and like my page on Facebook. Buttons below!

Thanks!

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FOOD FOCUS: Insulin and its Effects on Our Metabolism

While I plan on ranting about a lot of things on this blog, something I hope to do more of is educate. I want people coming here to learn something useful to take home and apply to their goals/lifestyle. 

TODAY'S TOPIC! 

INSULIN!

I am going to do my best here to REALLY OVERSIMPLIFY and clear up what I find to be the key to success in the diet world - the manipulation of Insulin. 

It's kind of interesting to see all of the pop-up workout places (as discussed in previous post/rant). Their goal continues to be to provide the most intense workout. Correct, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is pretty much the BEST and the FASTEST way to shed fat - from a workout standpoint. Not only does it stimulate fat loss (EPOC) and muscle gain (from increases in GH production, etc.) at the same time (some think of it as the combination of cardio and strength training), but it also FEELS like a workout. People love it, and ideally, everyone that does these pop-up workout classes would possess God-like physiques...right?

Some say that abs are made in the kitchen. Even as a person that does not do "phrases" like this, or 'stick in the mud', or 'the pot calling the kettle black' because I think they are inefficient uses of our vocal cords and mindspace; I do agree. We all have abs, they just need to be uncovered and to some extent bulked up so that we can see them better. The point being this: your [fat loss and muscle gain] results are going to come a lot faster (let alone at all) with an increased focus on diet. 

Why the roundabout way of getting to the main topic of Insulin?

1) This is my blog so I can do whatever I want.

2) It is important that these posts promote a general healthy lifestyle for which most of my clients and people that will be reading this, should be striving. I am here to fight Wall-E becoming a reality (at least some aspects of it - wouldn't mind the vacation spaceship thing).

3) Because it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for people to realize that not everyone should just be turning up the intensity without tweaking other aspects of their life in order to see results. 

Okay, here we are now - Insulin. 

But first, let me take a selfie.

Okay, for real now. Insulin is a major hormone in our body that has a direct effect on BOTH glucose (sugar absorption) and fat storage.

We need insulin to help transport blood sugars into the cells - which is a good thing because it will be used or stored within the cell for use as fast energy later. 

We also need it because it allows the liver to store extra sugar as well. All fine and good so far.

As humans, it is important to have insulin for this other reason: fat storage. When no more can be stored in the liver or cells as glucose/glycogen, the body basically has to store it somewhere else as fat. Yeah, it sucks, but it still makes sense in terms of energy because it still possible to turn that fat back into usable energy later. So, what I am saying is don't hate on our buddy insulin. He's a hard working one that insulin. 

So let's take a look at how this works in our diets. 

Every time that we eat, insulin is released. The amount that is released is largely dependent on the type of food eaten. I will simplify things into these groups: Low Glycemic Index (LGI) Carbs, High Glycemic Index (HGI) Carbs, Protein, and Fat. Some examples of LGI carbs would be beans, cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, some berries. Some examples of HGI carbs would be white bread, candy, potatoes, honey
Here is a list of things on a glycemic index - don't get too into the detail, it can get exhausting, look for trends.

Sorry, getting lengthy here, so I will try to hurry this up
LGI carbs, Protein, and Fat stimulate a relatively low insulin response
HGI carbs stimulate a relatively high insulin response 

Now, imagine you eat a steady amount of all four at every meal. Try a steak sandwich (fat, protein, HGI carbs) with a small side salad (LGI carbs) for every meal of one day, for example. In regards to insulin, it is constantly at work, constantly being told by the liver and cells that they can no longer store any more sugar, so it has to store it as fat. Sure, not the worst, or even unhealthiest thing around, but it wreaks havoc on the body over time. Not only are you storing fat more because your body can't take up any more purely because of volume; your body even starts getting desensitized to insulin's presence. And there you have it, Type 2 Diabetes.

Not everyone I train is on their way to Diabetes by any means, but it is important to understand that even if you feel like you eat 'healthy and organic,' there is more going on than just that in terms of fat loss.

Quick side note: Will probably rant about FAD diets soon. But it is interesting to digest why they become FADs and what the science is behind them. More to come.

ALSO, my favorite part of the Insulin spiel: Guess who acts like our boy Insulin and actually stuffs blood sugar into cells without insulin around? Our girl EXERCISE. Yes, this is why exercise is SOOOO important for fat loss, overall health maintenance, etc.

Now let's talk about strategy. 

NEVER, EVER eliminate an entire food group from your body unless it actually causes an allergic reaction. We need all of the Macronutrients (HGI/LOW GI carbs, fat, protein) and Micronutrients to maintain overall health, but there are ways to make sure doing this doesn't affect your fitness goals negatively. 

ALWAYS think about timing. I actually think of it in terms of insulin response. Obviously, different goals, different strategies in terms of carbs (i.e. bulking). I also like to imagine (I learned this from something, but don't quote me too hard), that our bodies take 8 hours to work through the carbohydrates we eat at a meal. Again, oversimplification, but if you imagine those 8 hours need to go by before you are in what I call a FAT BURNING ZONE (because your body is no longer running on fast carbohydrate energy/insulin/FAT STORING) then you will see why I choose to have all of my HGI/LGI carbs around late morning/lunch.

Fat Loss meal plan strategy - again, basic, but it doesn't tell you to stop eating anything, just time it right

Breakfast: Low/No Carb, Hi Fat/Protein
Lunch: Med-High Carb (both HGI and LGI good here), Med-Hi Fat/Protein
Dinner: Low Carb (mostly LGI at that), Hi Fat/Protein
FAT BURNING ZONE shortly after dinner and throughout the night until I stimulate insulin production around Lunch the next day.

The reason for doing it into sleep is simple - more time to not have to think about being hungry or craving carbohydrates for the drugs they are. Plus, your body is still burning fat when asleep, so might as well make it as easy as possible for it to do so.

Simple and effective. The trickiest part for most people to overcome is the energy in the morning without something like a fruit. I personally go for black coffee with some cinnamon on it and I feel satisfied and energetic. 

 

 

 

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