Three Must-Eat Foods for Fitness, Fat Loss, Health, and Disease Prevention

The Science of Nutrition continues to make advances in discovering the keys to a fat loss lifestyle.

When it comes to burning fat, there is one thing we all have in common: IT’S NEVER EASY. Okay, well maybe it’s easy for a short period of time, but for sustainable fat loss and lean lifestyle it will definitely take some effort.  Continue reading

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What you don’t know about eating healthy could be holding you back from fat loss

Are you losing fat at light speed or slower than a turtle?

Over the years as a professional in fitness, I’ve heard many statements about how people eat.

“I eat pretty healthy already.”

“Oh, my diet is pretty good.”

How come I keep doing this and my body never changes, feels like I'm going nowhere!

How come I keep doing this and my body never changes, feels like I’m going nowhere!

“I know how to eat healthy.”

And yet… these people are still not satisfied with their bodies. If you accept that you could not possibly eat any healthier, then you are either a highly successful health wizard or quite simply you are settling for less.

Will you ever be happy by settling for less than your best?

Most people have very little understanding of what it means to truly eat healthy, but they think they do. From my experience of people who are interested in improving their fitness and getting that lean, toned body of their dreams, people usually fall into one of several categories.

Category 1: People who buy processed foods that have deceptive labels and have little to no health benefit (or even negative health effect)

We like to believe that if somebody tells us that this is good for us AND that it tastes good, then it’s healthy enough for you. But you’re settling. Here’s an example:

What's wrong with this image?

What’s wrong with this image?

In the above picture, the Nestle brand promotes their juice product by adding small amounts of DHA (an omega-3 constituent) and then claims that this product supports brain development since research has shown DHA is good for the brain.

The problem: By consuming very sugary drinks, it’s not good for the brain unless the body is truly deprived of energy source. After consuming dense sources of sugar such as processed fruit juices, the body must respond by releasing insulin hormone into the blood stream. Over time, with regular consumption of sugar laden foods, the body enacts an immune related inflammatory response which eventually does more damage to the major organ systems. You think diabetes is good for the brain? Think again.

The solution:  Be mindful about what you are truly consuming. Read the label entirely before you make the decision to put it in your shopping cart. Limit processed foods.

Category 2: People who, with good intentions, lower their calories too much and eventually starve their body of nutrients

These people are the quick fixers. They want to lose weight and they want to lose weight now, they will do anything it takes. They think that by exercising six days a weak and eating below maintenance calories that they will achieve the body of their dreams in time for their trip to Cabo San Lucas.

nutrientdeficiency

The Problem: By depriving the body of nutrients and over-exercising, the body becomes stressed and other systems within the body begin to degrade. For example, when the immune system begins to weaken, the body will put more value on immunity than fat loss… even if that means holding on to fat!

The Solution: Focus on nutrient density. Whenever you are at a caloric deficit, the overall value of every calorie becomes much more important. That’s why vegetables, fresh juices, herbs, lean proteins etc. are the best approach to fat loss. And not just fat loss. Healthy body composition, hormonal function, longevity, disease prevention and more.

Category 3: People who invest their time in learning about nutritional approaches from different perspectives and viewpoints, apply it to their lives, and LISTEN to the signals from their body

Long term success in fitness comes down to one thing…

But before we get to that, let’s take some examples of people who fit into this category. An example would be the person who joins a fitness studio and learns about a diet such as the zone diet. They start to place certain “values” on the specific foods that they consume, all the while becoming more mindful about what they are literally putting in their bodies.

Here's one for the paleo fans out there

Here’s one for the paleo fans out there

While a specific diet approach may not work for them, they will take the bits and pieces that resonated with their body and continue to seek and learn.

Which brings us back to long term success in fitness:

It’s a Lifestyle

We have so many opportunities to be led and to be our own leaders. At times we allow the experts to feed us knowledge and support, meanwhile the answer to your motivation lies within you.

motivationstyle

How can you leverage that intrinsic motivation which is somewhere inside us all? Maybe you need to spend more time around that person with healthy habits that start to rub off on you. Maybe it’s a book that changes your life, or gosh even a blog like Dre Fitness. If you sat down and had a conversation with me, would it help?

Based on overall population data, there’s a good chance that you don’t eat nearly as healthy as you think you do

More than two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Hundreds of thousands of people per day die or suffer from preventable diseases because they either lack the nutrients or they are taking in way too many toxins for their body to handle.

Accept that your learning will never end and that your concept of healthy eating will always be out dated unless you make an effort to be more mindful about your foods.

keepcalmbody

To conclude this article, my last point is that maybe you don’t even have to keep reading at all. What if you just TRULY listened to your body and experimented with different foods. Stop weighing yourself and start looking at yourself. Did that cake make your belly a bit rounder? Or on the other hand, maybe drinking fresh celery juice made you feel energized, tightened up your skin, and improved your joint pain.

My goal will always be to empower you

Comments and engagement always appreciated, stay tuned for more…

End Scrawny: 5 Fixes to Gain Muscle Mass for the Skinny Guy

How to Gain Lean Bulk for the Skinny/Underweight Male

Guys who are skinny are skinny for either one of two reasons.

1. They are young, somewhat active, and still experiencing growth

OR

2. Most skinny guys haven’t learned how to eat properly

The author with a 50 lbs difference in body mass

The author with a 50 lbs difference in body mass

Consuming food is easy, while consuming nutrients takes dedication.

Because most underweight males are at their weight due to lifestyle choices, we should focus on certain quick fixes to help gain some success and confidence. First I will discuss a few quick fixes, then I will relate the reasons why it is fundamental to create new eating habits.

Quick Fix# 1: Breakfast 

This is simple and it should be happening at least 6 out of every 7 days. Sure I can speak for days as to how breakfast enhances human metabolic processes… but you just need to do it.

  • Smoothies (berries / milk / protein)
  • Oatmeal (milk / whey / almond butter or peanut butter / or coconut oil)
  • Shake (fresh juices, vegetables, fruits, powders)
  • Eggs + vegetables
  • Many possibilities

Quick Fix# 2: Allow yourself a minimum of 20 minutes for breakfast

Okay, so the first two MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO are both related to breakfast. That should give you a glimpse as to how extremely valuable this time is for your body.

You cannot rush through breakfast and expect to have healthy digestion and consumption.

Go to bed 20 minutes earlier the night before if you must.

Quick Fix# 3: Eat Big Carbs before / after workout

To gain muscle mass, you want to increase the energy storage within the muscle. Carbohydrates, particularly glucose or food that readily converts into glucose are the muscles preferred sources of energy.

This guy understands the benefits of healthy carbs.

This guy understands the benefits of healthy carbs.

As muscles adapt to training stimuli, the overall amount of glycogen stored within the muscle will be increased.

Let me put it this way: The more lean, athletic muscle you possess, the more carb-based energy will be stored within the muscles. This is one reason that gives the muscles a larger physical size/appearance. It also means you have the potential to be more powerful than most other people.

Quick Fix# 4: Consume Protein before / after workout

Protein contains bonds of amino acids which are essential for the body. Powerful body-strengthening mechanisms are activated by protein.

After your workout, your muscles will be increased sensitivity to uptaking carbohydrates and glucose. When the muscles uptake glucose more readily, it has a carryover effect of uptaking protein as well. In other words, carbs help attract muscle building amino acids into the actual muscle tissue.

Quick Fix# 5: Take Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement 

Some people eat Wild Alaskan Salmon three times per week — and they might not need an Omega-3 supplement. However, most people, especially skinny guys NEED the nutrients and will utilize Omega-3’s to support anabolic processes.

You will cripple your progress unless you consume adequate omega-3s.

You will cripple your progress unless you consume adequate omega-3s.

A lot of people talk about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids — I know all about them. If you want to know more, google that. Let’s talk about the MUSCLE BUILDING and ANABOLIC properties that omega-3’s possess.

  • Improved insulin sensitivity (translates to –> more protein/glucose IN your muscles)
  • Joint lubrication (translates to –> less achy joints, quicker recovery time from exercise)
  • Supports Inflammatory process (translates to –> inflammation is regulated to improve adaptation to exercise)
  • Brain health (translates to –> you learn skills /exercise form quicker and can progress faster)

Gaining Lean Mass requires Lifestyle Alteration

Regardless of genes, your lifestyle is the reason for why your body looks the way it does. In order to enhance the muscularity of the body, you must also enhance the internal health.

I take a strong holistic approach towards gaining weight in a healthy way. You must pay attention to the bio-feedback and signals from your body in order to truly achieve a state of wellness.

A few things to consider during your journey:

  • The role of gut health / bacteria in nearly all realms of human health condition
  • Sleep and other cycles
  • Hormones, how to optimize male / human hormones to exist in a muscle building state
  • Stressors — your ability to adapt to everyday stress
  • Coping strategies. Example… health = exercise. Unhealthy = smoking / drinking.
  • Antioxidants and intracellular optimalization

Muscle mass must be earned, every day. every week. and every month. 

The best things in life don’t come for free. The requirements to achieve greatness will always come with sacrifice and character building opportunities.

You can choose to make excuses… or you can force mental adaptation (lifestyle change).

Some perspective…

Exercise: 3-4 hours per week

For the other 164 hours of the week, you need to be owning up to habits which promote healthy metabolic functioning. And in your case, that means forcing physical adaptation through recovery methods (sleep, nutrition, unstress, and soft tissue work).

Stay tuned for the next post for an Exercise Routine to help the skinny guy.