What Keeps Me Up At Night

To maximize my sleep, I need to stay motivated. So today I am sharing some thoughts on how to stay motivated, and keep things in perspective.

 There are two things that can keep me up at night. The first being my cats who fight and sprint around like crazy as I’m lying in bed. I call it the “furry fury” hour. The second being the thought that I am not doing everything I can to help  my clients and those I interact with on a day to day basis. To be the very best professional and person I can be, I do a lot of reading. This is because I not only want to know the science behind my profession, but I want to know how I can best communicate my knowledge to those who need it. To maximize my sleep, I need to stay motivated. So today I am sharing some thoughts on how to stay motivated, and keep things in perspective.
 For me, productivity is only obtainable when I have a (relatively) clear mind. This means I can’t be bogged down by trivial nonsense or things I can’t control. Incorporating strength training, yoga, Pilates, and meditation are great ways to reduce stress and keep me productive. Just as important to me, is the concept of work life balance. Loving what I do comes with the burden of an immense time commitment to my place of work. To avoid burn out, I make time to do thing I love during the week. Whether it’s blocking out time to get lunch with my wife, or simply playing a round of disc golf in the middle of the day, I commit myself to loving life. In turn this allows me the will power to redouble my efforts while at work. Because everything you do is either going to raise your average or lower it.
Be Happy
 When it comes to achieving goals, being happy with you efforts is essential. This is particularly true when it comes to health and fitness goals. Motivation needs to come from within, and being able to sleep at night will be much easier if you know you did the best you can in pursuit of your goal. Fortunately, science shows that exercising makes us happy! Unfortunately, most of us know that it’s getting the courage to go to the gym that’s the hard part. So here are 10 excuses to not exercised squashed.
1. “I don’t have time” – Schedule it and make it a priority.it only takes 10 minutes to make a difference.
2. Too expensive – There are so many outlets for no-equipment workouts. And there are free services to take advantage of at O2 and almost any other gym.
3. “I don’t know what I’m doing  – You get two free sessions from a trainer at O2 so take advantage of our knowledge. If you don’t want to do that, just ask someone who knows what they’re doing for help. People a generally nice, and you may even make a new friend.
4. “I’m too out of shape” – We all need to start somewhere. And unless you’re grunting, no one will really judge you for what you’re doing at the gym.
5. “I can’t commit” – Paying for a service is a great way to commit and follow through. Here are some more ideas that don’t require financial commitment.
6. “I don’t like exercising” – There are so many forms of exercise that, trust me on this, you just haven’t found the one you enjoy yet. Keep trying new things!
7. “I lack motivation”Plan ahead. Schedule yourself to run a 5k or make plans with friends to meet at the gym consistently.
8. “I’m too tired” – Guess what… exercise releases endorphins, increases energy, and elevates your overall mood. So stop being lazy and get it done!
9. “I look good enough” – Loving yourself the way you are is indeed important. But exercise is more than that. It reduces stress, improve your cardiovascular health, improve your mood, sleep better, and feel better.
10. “I’m too old” – NOPE! As we age weight-bearing exercises become super important to maintain bone mass, making modified strength training ideal. Using low impact activities such as water aerobics, yoga, walking, or Pilates are also great ways to stay active.
 Being healthy and motivated means different thing to everyone. So my final thought on the matter is to find yourself a roll model. I look up to people like James Fell, Alan Aragon, and Spencer Nadolsky. But the best roll model I have in my life is my wife. She is the hardest working person I have have ever met, and she is incredibly intelligent. So you may not have to look too far to find the inspiration you need to find success and sleep sound at night.
Bonus picture of the two responsible for keeping me up at night 🙂

Meal Frequency: The Truth Is Out!

Does eating more meals a day boost your metabolism, or just your dish count?

What if I told you “the more you eat, the more you will lose weight?” Sound too good to be true? Well, you would be right. Over eating will lead to weight gain. Which is why it drives me up a wall when people say that eating small meals more frequently will boost your metabolism, make you feel fuller on fewer calories, and/or balance your hormones (i.e. insulin) and thus help you lose weight. Not only are these claims not true, but at the end of the day, we suck at guessing how many calories we eat. Try it yourself by taking a quiz if you want. In general, if you eat more meals, you’ll overeat at more meals. So let’s take a look at the claims, and what you should try instead!
Mo Meals Mo Problems!
I don’t know about you, but I hate doing dishes. So when I was advised to eat meals more frequently to keep myself lean, my laziness made me skeptical. What I found out was that eating more meals really just boosted your dish count and not your metabolism. I mean sure, you will increase your energy expenditure by eating (1). But if you think that you will every out burn the calories you’re taking in you’re crazy! This is because with most meals you will only burn around 10% of calories consumed regardless of frequency. So if you think eating more meals per day is going to help you lose weight or decrease your fat mass %, you’ve got another thing coming (2). And that would be dishes.
Fill Er Up
Do you save time and money by stopping for gas every day? No (at least I hope you don’t have to drive that much). It would probably only annoy you to stop that frequently, and you would waste time and energy doing it. Same goes for eating meals at a greater frequency. Not only will it not hep you with burning fat, but it may leave you feeling less satiated (hunger satisfied) at the end of the day (3). Of course, this may not be true for everyone but that’s the point (4). It’s not “a fact” that more meals are superior because they keep you feeling full. If you eat more frequently just because someone told you it will help with weight loss, you may end up being annoyed that you have to stop what you’re doing just to fuel up for no reason (5).
I’ve written about how insulin is not to blame in the past. But time and time again the insulin monster comes up in the media as if our pancreas is out to get us. But more and more studies are coming out showing that “Current scientific evidence does not support the ‘carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity’” (6). In fact, when it comes to controlling insulin, eating two meals a day is probably better than eating 6 meals a day (7)! At the end of the day bringing up insulin is a moot point. If you’re eating too many calories you will gain weight irrespective of how much insulin you have flowing through your veins. The only exception to consider here would be the amount of protein you’re getting. It’s generally better to spread it out through the day rather than get it in a couple of large doses (8). Even then, the net benefits are negligible for most casual gym goers.
So What Now?
If more isn’t better, then what is? Well the answer to that question, like so many others, is that it’s up to you. The best advice I can give regarding meal frequency is that it should fit your lifestyle. If you want to eat a bunch of little meals or just a few large ones, that’s fine.Just be consistent in your approach because irregular eating patterns may negatively impact your metabolism (9). If you’re looking for some hard and fast guidelines, I’m not the best guy to go to. However, generally speaking, I would suggest three daily meals spaced out no more than every five to six hours to promote lean muscle.
1. Mercier, I., LeBlanc, J., & Nadeau, A. (1993). Components of postprandial thermogenesis in relation to meal frequency in humans. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 71(12), 879-883. doi:10.1139/y93-133
2. Jon Schoenfeld, B., Albert Aragon, A., & Krieger, J. W. (2015). Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: A meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews, 73(2), 69-82. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuu017
3. Ohkawara, K., Cornier, M., Kohrt, W. M., & Melanson, E. L. (2013). Effects of increased meal frequency on fat oxidation and perceived hunger. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(2), 336-343. doi:10.1002/oby.20032
4. Smeets, A. J., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2008). Acute effects on metabolism and appetite profile of one meal difference in the lower range of meal frequency. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(6), 1316-1321. doi:10.1017/S0007114507877646
5. Cameron, J. D., Cyr, M., & Doucet, É. (2010). Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(8), 1098-1101. doi:10.1017/S0007114509992984
6. Bosy-Westphal,A, Hagele,F., & Nas,A. (2016). Impact of dietary glycemic challenge on fuel partitioning, Eur J Clin Nutr, 1038(10), 1476-5640. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.230
7. Kahleova, H., Belinova, L., Malinska, H., Oliyarnyk, O., Trnovska, J., Skop, V., . . . Pelikanova, T. (2014). Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomised crossover study. Diabetologia, 57(8), 1552-1560. doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3253-5
8. Areta, J. L., Burke, L. M., Ross, M. L., Camera, D. M., West, D. W. D., Broad, E. M., . . . Coffey, V. G. (2013). Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. The Journal of Physiology, 591(9), 2319-2331. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2012.244897
9. Farshchi, H. R., Taylor, M. A., & Macdonald, I. A. (2005). Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and fasting lipid profiles in healthy obese women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(1), 16.

Hungry For Success?

Food is so much more than a fuel for your body. It’s an experience, it’s joy, it’s a way we socialize.

I’ll start today’s post by asking you a few questions, and I want you to answer them as honestly as possible. What diet are you on right now? What diets have you tried in the past? How well did it (or has it) help you reach your goal? Finally, why did you stop your past diets? These questions are important to answer when searching for the true motivation behind an action such as dieting. But inevitably almost every diet fails due to the same reason. It robs you of something you enjoy! Food is so much more than a fuel for your body. It’s an experience, it’s joy, it’s a way we socialize. So today I am going to talk about why diets shouldn’t stop you from breaking bread (literally) with friends, family, or the weird neighbor you’re not too sure about.

Extremely UN-satisfying 

Most say “STOP” when it comes to eating a particular food. Fats, carbs, beans, meats, and gluten are just a few examples of things that are awesome, but get snatched away when we start a diet. In fact, many fad diets thrive on creating the fear of something (weight gain, disease, toxins, etc.). And when we buy into these notions, what we might fear is the pleasure of the foods, but then we want to rationalize it by saying that what we really fear is its effect on our health. Ultimately, this means that we walk around unnecessarily robbing ourselves of foods we enjoy.


Science Said So!!!

Many fad diets claim to be science based, but generally the science is garbage. In fact, it’s pretty darn difficult to study diets/nutrition in general. Just as importantly, science is filled with conditionals and fad diets are not. They don’t take into account individual needs or cultural norms/taboos. Ultimately what happens when we diet is we decrease our caloric intake, and often alter our vitamin and mineral consumption. There’s a plethora of weight loss hormones that get all jacked up when we alter our nutrition so severely. And guess what? Our natural response to such strict dieting is actually to over eat due to hormonal disregulation!

What To Do

Stay hungry. For long-term weight loss and happiness, avoid banning foods. This creates a cycle of cravings, inevitable indulgence, and guilt. Make all foods fit by eating smart 80% and food loses its power. In turn, you wont over indulge and/or give up and therefore you’ll a guilt free happy dieting experience.

Shift your pants. Not my best pun, but it has a point. When you shift your focus from dropping pant sizes to eating foods that are enjoyable and satisfying, you might actually consume fewer calories. Savoring your foods means you eat slower and feel satisfied with less.

Be realistic. Diets are not meant to be followed forever, so allowing yourself to eat all foods in moderation forms a realistic and sustainable approach. Long term success boils down to healthy lifestyle choices.

Balanced your diet. Proteins are for growth, maintenance and repair. Fats provide vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, and formation of cell structures. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. Don’t rob yourself of any of these functions by eating foods in moderation.

These last four tips are… well… the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nutrition. Make sure you go with your gut when looking at a new fad diet. And if you’re skeptical, use trusted websites to help in making an informed decision.

Big Belly, Big Biceps, Big Training Mistakes

We make efforts to get to where we want to be, but often times we do the minimum to get there and never really breach our comfort zone.

Why do you exercise? Are you trying slim down that big belly? Looking to have shirt-busting biceps? Or perhaps just trying not to become a three-toed sloth (even though they are cute)? Well, I can tell you that we all make mistakes in our never-ending quest to be fit as a fiddle. It’s in our nature to be comfortable. We make efforts to get to where we want to be, but often times we do the minimum to get there and never really breach our comfort zone. So if you have ever asked yourself, “Why isn’t this working?”, read on to see some classic mistakes you’re probably still making.
Tummy Training Troubles
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At some point in our lives, we have all wanted our midsection to look at least a little bit different. Whether you’ve wanted to have washboard abs, a flat stomach, smaller pant/dress size, or even to see your toes again, we have all had goals. Training to see these goals come to fruition, however, can often feel like an uphill battle on a treadmill covered with petroleum jelly. No matter how hard or fast you move your feet, you just seem to see no progress. When it comes to seeing progress around your midsection, the difference is truly made in the kitchen and not the gym. This is because no matter how many crunches you do (or adductor machine squeezes you do for legs), you won’t see a bit of difference in fatty tissue laying over those areas (1). In reality, trying to zap away your problem areas is literally an exercise in futility, because spot reduction DOES NOT WORK (2)!!!! Furthermore, burning fat does not mean you’re losing fat (3). If you want to lose the muffin top, you should weight train (no not cardio), eat at least 500 fewer calories than you burn in a day, and face some of these hard truths:
1 – You will fail. Not everything you’re going to try will work. Keep trying new ways of losing weight and stick with what’s working for you. Whether it’s more exercise, eating less, or cutting out booze, find your weight-loss sweet spot to see that belly boil down to nothing.
2 – Your body is your fault. You’ve spent your entire life getting into the habits that have turned you into the person you are. Whether you’re happy with the way you look and feel, or get upset every time you look in the mirror, the sooner you start to take responsibility for your health and body, the sooner you’re going to make a change.
3 – Fat loss sucks. It’s damn hard and there is absolutely nothing “effortless” about it. You WILL have to get out of your comfort zone.
4 – You will never look the way you want. Our imaginations get the better of us by blowing things way out of proportion which results in some hybrid, demi-god version of ourselves. If you have ever thought to yourself, “I just want to look like I did when I was in high school/college”, then I’m sorry to burst your bubble Uncle Riko, you probably didn’t look that good in the first place. Our memories stink, we all think we are above average/better than we really are, and we are all getting older. Which leads me to my last point.
Inline image 3
5 – Men and women lose fat differently, and our bodies don’t work the same as we age. This is especially true for postmenopausal women who have a harder time losing weight due to drastic hormone changes (4).

Programming Your Exercise For Getting Big

Getting bigger muscles is not easy. It takes dedication, lots of effort, and most importantly, consistency. Spending a few weeks lifting weights in the gym is not how you get bigger or stronger. You need to spend months, and even years, of heavy lifting to look like a muscle-bound gym rat. And even then, you will need to be doing a few key things to see success. To be clear, if you’re a high-level athlete there are a few very specific things that you need to consider, but we are not going to get into those topics here. If you are trying to get into a generally better body, then take a gander at what you need to be doing.
 * Ignore the overrated minutia of training that just about everyone online is talking about. Even smart people and trainers get bogged down in the never-ending pile of garbage that’s out there these days.
 * Progressive overload is the name of the game. More weight, more reps, more volume, more frequency, more quality, more efficiency or more intensity (of effort). These are all different forms of overload and this increased workload from one workout to the next is fundamentally what triggers muscle growth.
 * Beginners can add weight to the bar at almost every workout, and enjoy rapid muscle gains with about 5 sets of exercise a week per muscle group. Experienced lifters will see gains come slower and need about 10 sets of exercise a week per muscle group (5). So don’t get frustrated; keep at it.
 * Think long term. Not only does muscle growth happen slowly, your progress rarely occurs in a continuous, straight upward line.
 * Sacrificing form for weight is unacceptable. I know you want to see more weight on the bar, but if your form goes to crap, then what’s the point? Strict form is always important for results and safety, but a standardized form is also a must when it comes to quantifying your progression from one workout to the next.
 * Keep a training journal. Your memory isn’t so hot either, so write it down. How can you possibly get better if you don’t remember the sets, reps, and weights you did last time?
Bottom Line
When it’s all said and done, you need to take care of you. Everyone experiences weight loss and muscle gain differently. What works for me probably won’t work for you. But if you’re not making an effort to get out of your comfort zone, then nothing will work. If you’re not tracking your process, successes, and pitfalls, then you won’t know which direction to go next. Work hard consistently to get to your destination.
1. Vispute, S. S., Smith, J. D., LeCheminant, J. D., & Hurley, K. S. (2011). The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(9), 2559.
2. Idoate, F., Ibanez, J., Gorostiaga, E. M., Garcia-Unciti, M., Martinez-Labari, C., & Izquierdo, M. (2011). Weight-loss diet alone or combined with resistance training induces different regional visceral fat changes in obese women. International Journal of Obesity, 35(5), 700-713. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.190
3. Stallknecht, B., Dela, F., & Helge, J. W. (2007;2006;). Are blood flow and lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue influenced by contractions in adjacent muscles in humans? American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, 292(2), 394-399. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00215.2006
4. Green, J. S., Stanforth, P. R., Rankinen, T., Leon, A. S., Rao, D. C., Skinner, J. S., . . . Wilmore, J. H. (2004). The effects of exercise training on abdominal visceral fat, body composition, and indicators of the metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women with and without estrogen replacement therapy: The HERITAGE family study. Metabolism, 53(9), 1192-1196. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2004.04.008
5. Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2016). Effects of resistance training frequency on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 46(11), 1689-1697. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8


Winter {Weight} Is Coming

Because Winter is coming, we know the holiday feasting season is coming. So today I thought it would be prudent to go over some motivational, nutritional, and exercise advice to get you through it healthy and happy!

Because Winter is comingwe know the holiday feasting season is coming. So today I thought it would be prudent to go over some motivational, nutritional, and exercise advice to get you through it healthy and happy!
Step 1 – Set yourself up for success
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t go into the holidays thinking “I’ll just eat healthy and be fine.” That’s not how it works… No one ever say a plate of grandmas (insert holiday of choice her) cookies and thought “Nope! I’m eating healthy!” By planning for moments like these you will be better equipped to just eat one, or handle yourself to not eat regrettably. This means you need to learn to be OK with being “not OK.”No one is perfect. You are human. You are normal. You are not a weirdo. You are not alone. Make a plan, and no matter how ridiculous you think it is, stick to it.
Step 2 – Anticipate obstacles
This goes along with step one, but has a few key differences. Instead of planning to have one cookie to let grandma know you love her and that she’s a heck of a cook, in this phase you need to make sure you don’t fall victim to the same traps over and over again. Do you skimp too much on dinner then lose it at the dessert table? Do you eat a dozen hors d’oeuvres before the real meal even starts? Crack a beer early in the day in anticipation for football? Anticipate these obstacles and set up an alternative course of action.
Step 3 – Tighten up home court
Starting NOW you need to tighten up your healthy habits. It’s much easier to maintain a good habit than it is to create a new one. So take a look at what you do well and lock down those healthy habits ASAP. So continue on with your workout routine, and start looking into delicious and healthy travel/holiday meals.
Step 4 – Adapt and adjust
During the holidays, and throughout your fitness journey, you will experience successes and setbacks. This is called learning, and it’s the only way to make long-term progress. So if somethings not working, experiment with your exercise and nutrition to figure out why. It’s not always about the “eat less and move more” formula. In fact, it is certainly possible to gain weight in a calorie deficit! Your strategies will need to continuously adapt, but the lessons you learn will stay with you. So plan ahead, stay motivate, an keep your chin up to get the most joy and the most health out of this, an every, holiday season.

What’s In Your Protein Shake?

it’s not the when, but the what and how much that truly matters.

Lifting weights and drinking protein shakes go hand in hand. Because getting that protein flowing through your veins immediately after a workout is the essential,right? Well, not really. Because it’s not the when, but the what and how much that truly matters. So whether you’re a vegetarian, meat eater, or milk drinker, I have the shake answers for you!
Why Not When?
The old way of thinking that you must get protein within your “anabolic window” after you workout is nothing more than a meathead myth. There have been loads of studies on the matter, and we know with a pretty high level of confidence that having protein immediately after your workout will have the same result as having protein 6 hours after your workout (1). Unless you’re Wolverine and have super fast healing powers, your muscles take a long time to repair and regenerate after getting broken down during your workouts. In fact, muscles can be highly sensitive to the anabolic influence of protein up to 2 days after a workout (2)! Now, I will say that there is one caveat to protein timing. It is most beneficial to consume protein every 3 hours. However, that point is moot if you’re not getting enough total protein.
What Totally Matters?
What matters more than the type of protein and the timing of protein is the total protein you get in a day. Like sleep, if you’re not getting enough, it doesn’t matter when you get it. Just get more! There really is no limit to how much protein you can have in a day. We know that very high protein diets don’t result in harmful effects on blood lipids (cholesterol) or liver and kidney function (3). We also know that not getting enough can result in sub-optimal recovery from exercise, and poor health outcomes especially for an older population (4). While the general recommendation is 1.2 to 2.2 g/ kg of body weight (1g/lbs) of protein per day, I personally recommend shooting for 100g of protein a day as a starting point. That means getting 20g of protein every 3 hours. This isn’t a strict recommendation. Your body can process a lot of protein at one time, especially when the protein eaten. Even if you drink your protein, the old myth of your body only being able to process 20g of protein at a time has been busted. Especially after a full body workout, you will utilize every bit of a 40g protein drink without wasting anything (5).
Inline image 1
Yo Soy Whey Cool
So what does all the previous information have to do with protein shakes? Well, for most people, trying to get 20g of protein every 3 hours means drinking a shake every now and then. It may also mean that when your choice of protein sources is limited (vegan/vegetarian), that you will need to find a way to get a few key protein components into your routine. This is due to the fact that plant protein sources, such as soy and peas, are often low in key amino acids such as methionine, tryptophan, lysine, and leucine. This means you will need to plan ahead to make sure that you get all of these essential amino acids, leucine being of the greatest importance, especially after a workout. Regardless of the source, you will want to look for proteins high in leucine because that’s the component that will help your muscles repair and develop the best (6). Instead of blabbering on, I’ll finish with a list of fun facts and pertinent tips:
Best protein sources for weight loss – casein and soy. These protein sources will fill you up the best, which means you need to eat less, which means you lose more weight (7).
BCAA’s are worthless – Drinking protein during your workout won’t really do anything at all to help you gain more muscles. BCAA drinks won’t make you feel full or burn more calories than eating your protein or drinking a shake either. Unless you’re in the middle of a marathon, skip the BCAA’s.
Confused? Here’s what to do – Focus on getting more protein in general. Don’t worry about the minutia until you nail down the basics. When it comes to protein, the more the better!
1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., & Krieger, J. W. (2013). The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: A meta-analysis. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 53-53. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-53
2. McGlory, C., Devries, M. C., & Phillips, S. M. (2016). Skeletal muscle and resistance exercise training; the role of protein synthesis in recovery and remodelling. Journal of Applied Physiology, , jap.00613.2016. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00613.2016
3. Antonio, J., Ellerbroek, A., Silver, T., Vargas, L., Tamayo, A., Buehn, R., & Peacock, C. A. (2016). A high protein diet has no harmful effects: A one-year crossover study in resistance-trained males. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2016, 1-5. doi:10.1155/2016/9104792
4. Deutz, N. E. P., Bauer, J. M., Barazzoni, R., Biolo, G., Boirie, Y., Bosy-Westphal, A., . . . Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap. (2014). Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: Recommendations from the ESPEN expert group. Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 33(6), 929-936. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2014.04.007
5. Macnaughton, L. S., Wardle, S. L., Witard, O. C., McGlory, C., Hamilton, D. L., Jeromson, S., . . . Tipton, K. D. (2016). The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports, 4(15), np-n/a. doi:10.14814/phy2.12893
6. Phillips, S. M. (2016). The impact of protein quality on the promotion of resistance exercise-induced changes in muscle mass. Nutrition & Metabolism, 13(1) doi:10.1186/s12986-016-0124-8
7. Acheson, K. J., Blondel-Lubrano, A., Oguey-Araymon, S., Beaumont, M., Emady-Azar, S., Ammon-Zufferey, C., . . . Bovetto, L. (2011). Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(3), 525-534. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.005850

What’s Trending?

Like fashion, fitness trends seem to be cyclical. Every 5-10 years an old trend gets re-branded as something new and exciting (e.g. was Adkins now it’s Paleo).

After a brief break, I am back with a new post! This week we are taking a look at some health and fitness trends, and what you need to know about them. Like fashion, fitness trends seem to be cyclical. Every 5-10 years an old trend gets re-branded as something new and exciting (e.g. was Adkins now it’s Paleo). So let’s dive into the “new” trends and take a look at what they have to offer!
The Way You Move
The term “functional training” can mean a lot of things. Are you training to become better at a technical skill like a golf swing? Then sure! That’s functional training. But outside of getting better at a task, the resurgence of functional training has me shaking my head. You’ve probably seen the proponents of various “movement system” training at the gym or Youtube. Crazy folks standing on a wobble board to do squats, trying to mimic the movements of various animals, or doing all manner of contortionist circus tricks while standing on a physio ball attached to various bands, and so on. The people claiming that these exercises are necessary may use sciency-sounding words to justify what they are doing. In reality, there is no real standard to which functional training exists because we all move differently. There is no textbook form/function for specific exercises, but rather guidelines to prevent injuries while exercising. In all, there really is no justification for doing these crazy moves other than wanting to change up your routine. But if you’re trying to get strong and lose weight, well you may want to focus your efforts on practices that have been proven to improve those outcomes.
Expert Confusion
Holy crap I’m tired of seeing all these “experts” online. Everyone and anyone with an Instagram account and bulging biceps is apparently qualified to be a coach. This maddening concept is partly responsible for the resurfacing of the “muscle confusion” concept. Good lord it’s time to put that garbage term to bed. Adopting a periodized approach, rather than just winging it and doing something different every time you enter the gym, is a far superior way to see results. These coaches are also to blame for the social media fitness “challenges” that ask for both demanding and dangerous feats of athleticism. Fitness challenges may keep things entertaining, but it may come back to bite you.
Lose Weight Fast!!!!
Losing weight is easy. Just sweat a bunch, and you will lose weight. But because most people are looking to improve their body composition, it’s not weight loss that matters. That’s why the “lose weight fast” movement drives me crazy. Here are the tag lines of many “coaches” and/or companies that are essentially scamming us:
You don’t eat enough meals in the day to help your metabolism
You skip breakfast, which means you don’t “turn on” your metabolism to start the day
You don’t do intermittent fasting, which means your hormones are messed up
You eat too late at night and those calories are more likely to become fat
You eat “starchy” carbs, which are transformed into sugar
You eat white foods, such as white rice, which make you fat
You eat gluten or non-organic food sources, which pollute your body
All of these statements are laughably wrong (feel free to ask me for more info if you have questions). But millions of people waste money on products and services each year because these ludicrous statements are branded so well that they become social facts.
One Simple Trick!
It takes years of education and experience for fitness professionals to be able to properly help those they serve. So the insinuation that there is “one simple trick/plan” to help everyone is insulting and maddening. So when you hear/read some of the following statements, think “crap”:
Obesity isn’t a complex disease at all. It’s simple!
Calories don’t count; you just need to balance your hormones.
Hate exercise? There’s a wrap for that, and It Works!
Do fasted cardio to burn fat!
When it comes down to it, if you’re not eating well and regularly moving, then there really is no reason for you to even consider these trends. Try to master the basics of eating lots of fruits and vegetables and moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Because like everything else in life, achieving your fitness goals takes patience, dedication, and effort. If it’s truly meaningful to you, shortcuts are not an option.

Thoughts For Food

The “why” behind our food choices.

Today’s post is short and sweet. It comes from an article by the Health Science Academy about factors influencing our food choices. This fantastic review takes an in depth look at the “why” behind our food choices. Although we may think that it’s a simple decision, there are actually a lot of things that we can do to positively influence our decision making. Here are a few tips on how to make great nutrition choices!
1. Get enough sleep
2. Get a lot of exercise, especially when you’re stressed
3. Learn to say “no” to extra work or social events that will do nothing but add stress to your day
4. Hug Someone! This simple step can decrease stress hormones and positively influence your food choices
5. Control your environment by making healthy decisions easily seen and accessible

Tech Time

Although technology wont make you any more fit, they can provide you with a plethora of information and motivation.

Today we are talking tech! By now most people have heard of fit bit, my fitness pal, or one of the may other apps and fitness equipment that can be worn to track your level of activity. Although these utilities wont make you any more fit, they can provide you with a plethora of information and motivation.
This weeks post is inspired by Dr. Geier, an orthopedic surgeon I follow and highly recommend you do too. In an article for Reuters he, and others, talked about some of the benefits of fitness technology. Here are a few highlights:
According to the CDC, 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week can reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers as well as help strengthen muscles and bones
In other words we are looking to walk about 10,000 steps a day
Although tech can’t necessarily help you reach that goal, it can be a great motivator and help you realize just how much (or little) you are actually moving throughout your day
When talking about smart phone apps and step counting, Apple tends to over count steps and android tends to under count steps
If you don’t have a smart phone, try investing in a $10 to $30 pedometer before you decide to buy a $100 fitness band
While these factor are important for self realization of activity, I think it is also important to harp on the nutrition side of things as well. In simple terms, when you are in a hypocaloric diet (eating less calories than you’re using in a day) following the minimal guidelines can result in fat mass loss as found by a recent study. I attached the study for those of you with an eye for scientific research, but I will say that these data are not conclusive for every individual.
The bottom line is that for most people hitting the minimum 10,000 steps per day while in a hypocaloric diet is enough to produce meaningful results over a few months. See the article for more on technology, and the research for information on diet and exercise combined (warning, it is not an easy read for all).

Burn More Fat!?

Today we are busting some big fat burning myths!!!

Today we are busting some big fat burning myths!!! For those of you who have trained with me, much of this post will sound familiar. BUT, I am certain that everyone will discover something new this morning 🙂
So there are a lot of “fat burning” promises out there. From fad diets to new and improved exercise programs to miracle pills. It seems like everyone has the magic Quick Fix that no one has ever thought of before. But I’ll let you in on a little industry secret… NOTHING replaces hard work. Now although there are no magic pills that allow you to sit on your butt and reach you reach you health goals, there are smart ways to use your time in gym. Here are a few highlights from this weeks article talking about do’s and don’ts.
Believe that there is any one thing you can do to loose fat (especially taking a pill)
Take time to educate yourself. Take time to learn about a given intervention such as a diet, exercise program, and how they will interact with your lifestyle and health concerns. You need to incorporate all of these things by creating new habits to see meaningful results.
Just walk on the treadmill. Slow steady state (low to moderate intensity for 1hr) exercise wont burn fat efficiently.
Participate in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)! This style of exercise will differ for everyone, but in general it will allow you to work for a shorter amount of time with greater fat burning power. Our March Boot Camp is a great example of HIIT.
Rely on the way you feel to gauge the intensity of exercise. Everyone responds to stress (yes exercise is a stress) in different ways.
Purchase a heart rate monitor. Investing in a quality heart rate monitor will show vast returns in your health. These inexpensive devices are imperative to the HIIT principle and will ensure that your workouts are effective, but most importantly, safe!
To learn more about HIIT, fat burning tip, as well as some common myths you can access the original article here.