Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

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Just so we’re clear, there is absolutely no¬†supplement out there that is going to make up for crappy nutrition and destructive eating habits.¬†Supplements are there to supplement your diet.

With that in mind,¬†food is always going to be superior to supplements. There’s no debate in saying that your nutrition should primarily consists of¬†whole foods ‚ÄĒ it’s a given. But, there are a handful that I strongly recommend looking into.

1. Curcumin

 

Curcumin is the yellow pigment associated with Turmeric ‚ÄĒ and is perhaps the most powerful supplement I’ve taken. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, its other effects range from pain management to benefits that affect nearly every organ system in the body. One of my long-time clients who has osteoarthritis in both knees has experienced tremendous feedback from supplementing with curcumin.

The caveat, though, is that it has poor bioavailability. So, you need to ingest curcumin as part of a formula that contains piperine (black pepper extract) to enhance absorption.

2. Vitamin D

 

More than 40 percent of American adults are thought to be deficient in vitamin D. ¬†In fact, every time I ask my clients for their blood work, more often than not, their vitamin D level is sub-optimal. Interestingly enough, when carbohydrate intake¬†is controlled, I’ve found that supplementing with Vitamin D has a positive effect on Hemoglobin A1c. So, if you’re pre-diabetic, look into your Vitamin D levels. Of course this is just anecdotal evidence.

3. Magnesium

 

Magnesium is a big player for a number of biochemical reactions that keep the body functioning properly. Unfortunately, most people across the population are deficient in it. A deficiency has been shown to increase blood pressure and has a negative effect on carbohydrate metabolism.

If you don’t want to supplement, nuts and leafy vegetables are among the best food sources.

4. Fish Oil

 

It’s pretty obvious¬†that we all¬†should be taking this due to it’s variety of¬†health benefits. There’s ample evidence that suggest¬†it promotes¬†healthier blood vessels, and lowers lipid count. Omega-3 fatty acids¬†delivers potent anti-inflammatory effects, and the most obvious is that it has a positive effect on brain and cardiovascular health.

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Eugenia Reverse Sled Drag

 

1. Cardio Is Still Important

 

I’ve said many times in the past it’s possible to reduce your body fat and improve your body composition with¬†little cardio. I’m not anti-cardio, so don’t take things out of context. There is a caveat.

If you’re a part of population that works the typical 9-5 shift sitting at a desk, your energy expenditure is going to be relatively low compared to the person who works in…let’s say, construction or delivery. Guess who needs cardio? In order to facilitate lipolysis (breakdown of fat) you have to increase your energy expenditure. So yes, that means you’re going to need to add in some form of cardiovascular/aerobic work in conjunction with strength training. Whether it’s high-intensity interval training or steady-state cardio, that’s¬†entirely up to you. There’s no right or wrong. They both work.

2. Your Diet Is Whack

 

It’s no question folks looking to lose weight are more prone to fads and gimmicks ‚ÄĒ and because of that they engage in many dietary practices. Just because something makes you lose weight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy for you (i.e. juice cleanses, detox). What you ideally want in a diet is sustainability, nourishment, enjoyment, and… does it actually promote a healthy lifestyle? Put another way, if your diet sucks no amount of exercise is going to overcome that.

Don’t mistake simple for ineffective. Rather than resort to extreme methods, you’ll find that all the magic can be found in getting quality sleep, adequate hydration, eating your fruits and vegetables, and minimizing junk food.

3. Fat Loss Is Not Linear

 

My primary goal has never been fat loss. It’s always been about getting strong and building lean muscle. That having been said, ¬†what we need to¬†appreciate more is that¬†progress is never linear. ¬†From a coaching standpoint, it’s really hard to pick¬†the best course of action for individuals who keep second guessing if what they’re doing is right. If you expect to see results after having only done two weeks worth of training, you’re delusional.

It’s not a sexy answer, but you have to be patient. Just because the scale didn’t drop in one week doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not heading in a positive direction.

Take home message: the body transforms in a wave-like approach.

4. You Go “Screw It Mode”

 

I applaud discipline and consistency, but to deprive yourself of a certain food group¬†results in unwarranted mood swings and self-sabotage.¬†If you continuously tell yourself you can’t have something, all you’re going to do is fixate on that. On some level avoiding it entirely does help, but believe me when I say: the longer you restrict yourself, the bigger the binge.¬†¬†One bite or serving of indulgence then all hell breaks loose and you have now entered,¬†“screw it mode.”¬†This phenomenon repeatedly happens¬†‚ÄĒ and unfortunately, it makes it more and more difficult for you to lose fat.

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More¬†pressingly, food avoidance¬†in an effort to lose fat¬†only works in the short-term. In fact, I’ve found that not everyone can adhere to a protocol like that. True, it will create a calorie deficit which is essential for fat loss, but you’re missing the big picture. Rather than avoiding completely, practice portion control and mindful eating. You can still eat the foods you want and still make reasonable progress, but you can’t eat¬†as much of it as you want. We want to develop good habits, and a rigid diet¬†tends to lead us in the opposite direction.

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Now that the calendar has switched over another year, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more people in the gym.¬† By no means is this an attempt to downplay their attempt to get in shape. Far from it. In this post, I want to share some tidbits I’ve learned this past year. Here they are:

1. It doesn’t matter what training protocol you do. You can’t out-train a destructive lifestyle.

 

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Perhaps the biggest perk of regularly working out is that you can afford to have higher allotment of indulgence. Meaning, you get to drink and eat more. To that end, it’s amazing how naive we are to think that progress is made in the gym.¬† Regardless of the training method, all you’re doing is breaking your body down.¬† What you do outside is going to dictate your results. If you live for the weekends, you’re not going to get anything in return.¬† Yes¬†‚ÄĒ there are people who can get away with eating crap, and getting minimal rest. But there is a tipping point.

Good intentions and justifying yourself on social media doesn’t mean much. Consider the different elements in your lifestyle that are a hindrance. Work to gradually change them and in turn, you’ll maximize results in the gym.

2. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean productivity.

 

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When I first started out as a trainer in a commercial gym, I did everything and anything to fill up my time slots. Early in the morning, sure thing. ¬†Late afternoon, you got it. However, the more I advanced and grew, I realized that I had to be more efficient with my time ‚ÄĒ especially now that I’m a business owner. Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism,¬†refers to this as discerning the vital few from the trivial many. To give context, you have to¬†recognize what’s important¬†‚ÄĒ and from there, you prioritize.

3. Prioritize single-leg work. You’re welcome.

 

Just to be clear, I’m not¬†against lower body bilateral training. ¬†In fact, I love the squat and deadlift. I’ve achieved a 315lb Front Squat, and a 405 Deadlift. Your body, however, takes a beating. There’s only so much load that it can tolerate before it starts to breakdown. So, why not split that load in half and do it one leg at a time. You still get a comparable training effect without imposing a ton of sheer force on the spine. You’d be surprised at just how much value focusing on single-leg work can bring.

4. All the training won’t matter if your diet royally sucks. (Get this through your head)

 

This ties in with the first point above. It’s a clear observation that completely disregarding the importance of proper nutrition is foolish, to say the least.¬† Look, I get it ‚ÄĒ it’s incredibly hard. But consider how many benefits have the potential to dramatically improve your physique and performance if your diet was on point. ¬†Understand that there is a trade-off and you have to exercise serious discipline (not restriction).

5. Being strong doesn’t mean jack sh**¬†if you move like a tin-can.

 

If you’re as strong as an ox, good on ya’. But if you can’t move well, you’re not going to be able to perform at a high level. Don’t be like the traitor from 300.¬† Maintain quality of movement by devoting at least 5-10 minutes on the foam roller in conjunction with your dynamic warm-up.

Trust me.

It’s much easier to maintain, than it is to regain it back.

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6. If you don’t like the way you look, do something about it.

 

We can’t all look like a bikini competitor, model, or physique athlete. But that shouldn’t stop you from training to improve your appearance. How you look is a testament to your health and vitality¬†‚ÄĒ take pride in it.

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