Time To Emerge

Nutrition

 

DIET AND PERFORMANCE NUTRITION

Diet n. 1. The usual food and drink of a person or animal.

2. A regulated selection of foods,especially as prescribed for medical reasons.

3. Something used, enjoyed, or provided regularly: subsisted on a diet of detective novels during his vacation

fitness-lifestyle

Sections: (click to jump)

 

The Dictionary gives us a few definitions of the word diet. I am sure most people who think of this word would think of at least one of these definitions. Unfortunately most of those people would think of definition number two. I say “unfortunately” because when we now say the word “diet”, it brings to mind eating food we don’t like, constant cravings and fears of failure.

I like to think of the word diet as definition number one, your diet is what you eat or drink PERIOD. That’s all it is. It doesn’t have to be something you are on. It is just something you, like everyone else in the world, have had since before you were born.

We have been eating since before birth and our diets have evolved and changed more over our lives than probably anything else. Some for the better and some for worse, but one way or another we have always been dieting. So lets look at dieting as just eating and drinking, nothing more and nothing less. It is time to get back to basics, time to understand how we can make better choices regarding what we eat and what result these choices will have.

Okay, now we are at the hard part, this is the meat and potatoes (pun definitely intended) of getting into shape. You are only in the gym for 1 hour of the day, the other 23 hours are spent on rest and this topic. You have heard the expression “you are what you eat”. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You are what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat and so much more.

I find it fascinating how little changes in our diet effect our body composition and overall health. My approach is not based on a fist or palm sized portion or so many point values for food. It is based on science and accuracy. I want you to eat exactly what you body requires at any given time of the day. No guesswork or averages here, if there is one thing I have learned in all these years of training, it is that there is no average. Everyone is so different, from their genetics to their daily routine, so no cookie cutter diet will fit all people.

I do not like the typical diet that doesn’t require you to count calories or monitor the types of protein, carbohydrates and fats you consume. Maybe the average sedentary person who is going to try and lose weight by diet alone, can use this haphazard approach but you can’t. Basic nutrition and performance nutrition are two completely different things. The diet approach you will learn will keep your body a well
tuned machine.

You can apply some of my nutrition techniques in a simple manner where you don’t have to weigh or measure your food. You will still see results, but you will not get the kind of results that you would if you follow my approach to the letter. If you are not following a precise calculated approach, you won’t know what to change to make your diet suit you better.

 

PLANNING AHEAD   backtotop_hover

The key to success with your diet is to plan ahead. If you know you are going to be eating three pounds of chicken breast over the week, then you should precook all your chicken for the week and store half in the refrigerator and the other half in the freezer. As the week goes on and you start to get low on your chicken, you thaw the cooked chicken from the freezer. The same can be done with vegetables that you need to chop or slice and any rice or pasta you will need cook.

meal-prep2

If you take a few hours one day of the week to do all this prep work, it will save you many more hours during the week preparing meals. It will only take you a few minutes to weigh and measure each of your meals for the following day before you head to bed each night.

Using my own fridge for example, if you look in there you will see many zip lock bags with different vegetables chopped up in each one. All I have to do is take a measured scoop of this and a measured scoop of that to prepare each meal. I will also have a plastic container of cooked whole wheat pasta that I will use either cold or reheated. There is always a container of boneless skinless chicken breasts, usually grilled and lightly seasoned. This way, I can alter the seasoning depending on the dish I am going to put them in.

There will also be containers with the meals I have prepared for the next day or few days depending on how ambitious I am. Obviously, I have other items too. However, this will give you some idea of how to keep things ready to go at all times. It may seem like a lot of work in the beginning but most of my clients find that after the first week they realize that it is an overall time saver.

 

MACRONUTRIENTS   backtotop_hover

All right, its time to learn a few things about the food you eat and what it does to your body. The more information you are armed with, the better you can see your problem areas and start addressing them. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with too much information but enough that you get a really good understanding without your brain going numb.

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There is a very distinct correlation between the calories (cals) from macronutrients and the fat loss or muscle gain experienced while dieting. Lowering calories alone will not get the job done, it may help you lose unwanted weight but at what expense? Raising calories alone will not get the job done. You may gain weight but how much is muscle? It all comes down to the types of foods we choose and the quality of macronutrients in those foods.

All foods are made up of macronutrients, these include Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Having a diet too high or too low in one or more of these macronutrients can result in impaired bodily functions, catabolism of muscle and increased fat storage.

Let’s take this time to dig a little deeper and find out what each of the macronutrients are comprised of and how they effect our bodies. By the way, this is how I want you to think about food from now on. Forget the four food groups, as far as I am concerned there are only three, protein, carbohydrates and fats. Focusing on these three macronutrients makes constructing a diet much easier.

 

Carbohydrates   backtotop_hover

1 gram = 4 calories

As far as I am concerned, the type and amount of carbohydrates you consume can affect you diet dramatically. They offer both advantages and disadvantages, sometimes you need to consume lots and other times as little as possible. Carbohydrates are probably one of the most misunderstood of the macronutrients and are often eaten without regard as a low fat healthy food choice. The overeating of carbohydrates has helped lead to the increase in both obesity and diabetes, more so than dietary fat.

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel. All tissues in the body have the capacity to use glucose for energy. Some tissues, however, (notably the heart) prefer to use fats under normal dietary conditions. There are no “essential” carbohydrates, this means that the body can function normally in their absence. This is done by converting proteins and fats to glucose in the absence of carbohydrates in our diet.

Carbohydrates can be classified three ways:

  • Monosaccharides: Simple sugars like glucose and fructose, these simple sugars can be found in honey and fruits
  • Disaccharides: Sugars like table sugar (sucrose) and lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk
  • Polysaccharides: Sugars often referred to as complex carbohydrates or glucose polymers. These include starches (dextrose, cellulose, pectin, and glycogen). These can be found in whole grain, vegetables, nuts, some fruits and legumes

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When carbohydrates are consumed, your digestive system converts them to blood sugar (glucose). The glucose is then stored as glycogen in your muscle cells and liver. When training at a high intensity, glycogen stored in your muscles is used to provide energy for muscle contractions. When intensity is low, your blood sugar is used as an energy source.

If you replenish carbohydrate stores (ingesting carbohydrates) prematurely while still having adequate levels of glucose in your blood, the remaining carbohydrates will be stored as fat. There is a reciprocal relationship between carbohydrates and fat oxidation (burning of fat). When carbohydrate burning goes up, fat burning goes down. Basically what this means is, when you consume carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates, your ability to burn fat is shut off until you use up the ingested carbohydrates.

Fibres are indigestible complex carbohydrates (Polysaccharides) and they provide no energy to speak of. They do, however, play an important role in our diet. This indigestible bulk helps promote efficient intestinal function and helps regulate absorption of sugars into the blood stream.

Fibre is found together with both simple and complex carbohydrates in various plant foods. These foods include, fruit, leaves, stalk, and the outer coverings of grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. High fibre foods help keep you regular and help promote fullness, so you can eat less and be satisfied. Studies estimate the recommended daily fibre requirement should be between 40-60 grams. This can easily be achieved with the aid of a fibre supplement if need be.

To determine the best carbohydrate choices for our diet, we turn to the Glycemic Index (GI). The Glycemic Index is a rating system that was developed to tell us what carbohydrate sources provide the best energy over a prolonged period of time. It also tells us how fast various carbohydrates and other foods elicit an insulin response.  Simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates can fall anywhere on the list depending on how refined the carbohydrates are. Sugar or glucose (a simple carb) for example have a score of 100, however instance rice (a complex carb) is 128.

Below is a list of various foods and how they rate according to the glycemic index, for a more complete list you can find various sources online.

GI FOOD
HIGH
109+ Instant rice, baked potato, Cornflakes, Rice Krispies
100-109 Glucose, watermelon, white bagel, Cream of Wheat,
maltodextrine
80-99 Nutrigrain bar, carrots, parsnips, potatoes (instant mashed),
white rice, honey
70-79 Bread (white), Oat bran, Brown Rice, Weetabix cereal, broad
beans (fresh), potatoes (new), Special K, Chocolate
MODERATE
60-69 bread (whole grain), rice (brown), Muesli, green peas, Banana,
All Bran cereal, grapes, peach, raisins
50-59 buckwheat, pasta (bleached), sweet corn, digestive biscuits,
oatmeal biscuits
40-49 Pasta (whole wheat), oatmeal, Beans (canned, Navy), orange,
peas (dried), barley, yams, parboiled rice
LOW
30-39 butter beans, black eyed peas, milk (skim), milk (whole),
apples and juice, kidney beans
20-29 lentils, yogurt, tomato, fructose
10-19 soybeans, peanuts

You want to choose mainly moderate to low GI carbohydrate sources to provide a more stabilized blood sugar level. This will help provide sustained energy instead of having peaks of energy then crashing shortly after. There are times when you want to ingest a high GI carbohydrate, this would apply to your post workout meal.

After you workout, you want to release insulin as it is a potent anabolic. Insulin also increases the total quantity of protein in the body by increasing the flow of amino acids into cells. So it stands to reason that a meal of high GI simple carbohydrates and an easily absorbed protein is ideal post workout.

You can manipulate the GI rating of a carbohydrate by ingesting a protein or fat at the same time as the carbohydrate. Basically, foods that are high in protein or fat have a lower GI rating, when you combine these foods you lower the over all GI rating.

I feel that controlling your insulin levels while trying to lose fat or gain muscle is very important. You want to take advantage of the anabolic properties of insulin at the right time of the day and keep your insulin levels low for the rest. You should always be thinking about this fact when constructing your diet, do you need to be in an anabolic environment at this time or a fat burning one? Your carbohydrate source is going to be based on this answer.

The following is a list of food choices that are moderate to lower GI complex carbohydrates, these foods will help maintain blood sugar levels and give you a steady supply of energy:

  • Old Fashioned Oatmeal – I am not talking about the oatmeal that comes in a little pouch and tastes like apples and cinnamon. I am talking about the stuff that you could plaster a wall with. Only buy oatmeal that is 100% rolled oats, there should be nothing else in the ingredients. Oatmeal should be a staple of your diet, I have all my clients start their day with it. Ideally you do not want to add any sugar, if you need to add something throw a few berries in instead.
  • Yams/sweet potatoes – Choose yams over your average white potatoes. They are both complex carbohydrates but the yam has a lower GI. You still get the comfort factor of a potato texture without the insulin release.
  • Whole wheat foods – If you are going to eat bread and pasta, stick with the mixed grain or whole wheat varieties. Whole wheat pasta is higher in fibre as well as having a lower GI than regular pasta. With whole wheat breads, make sure you read the ingredients on the bag, often bread will appear to be whole wheat but the first and main ingredient is actually white flour. The first and main ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Remember the more refined a flour is the higher the GI.
  • Rice – Your best choice with rice is to choose long grain brown rice from a nutrition standpoint. It’s a little more effort to cook but it is also more flavourful and better for you. The cooking time isn’t an issue since you are preparing all your foods ahead of time anyway, right? If we are just looking at food from a GI standpoint and fat loss stand point your typical long grain white parboiled rice is actually lower GI than the brown rice so it is definitely an option.
  • Beans – There are various types of beans (kidney, Lima, black eyed peas and chick peas to name a few) that are low GI and can fit into many types of meals. They are a great way to get a hearty starch into your diet to help provide energy without worrying about the insulin spike caused by many starchy foods. You can buy your beans dried or in canned form, personally I like the convenience of the canned beans, as they are ready to go after a rinse. The canned variety does however have a higher GI rating due to the high temperatures the beans are processed at prior to canning.
  • Fruit & Vegetables – Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eat some fruit but avoid fruit juices! Fruit juice is an easy way to over consume calories and increase body fat. I am talking mainly about fruit juice from concentrate. The processing reduces the fibre and nutrients and whole fruit is more filling. If you must drink fruit juice you are better off making it yourself.Vegetables speak for themselves. We have been told they are good for us from day one, and they are. Like fruit, they also provide vitamins, minerals, and fibre. The general rule of thumb with vegetables is the darker the colour, the more nutrients they have. They are also a great way to add bulk to your meals if you are reducing your calories. Just keep in mind that you want to stay away from the root vegetables as they are higher in calories and glycemic rating.

Carbohydrate Summary:

  • Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel choice by the body
  • There are however no “essential” carbohydrates
  • All carbohydrate sources are converted to glucose
  • Carbohydrates include, simple sugars (simple carbohydrates), starches (complex carbohydrates), and fibre
  • Glycemic Index was developed to rate carbohydrate sources to see which provide the best energy over a prolonged period of time
  • Ingesting carbohydrates especially high GI sources raises insulin levels and prevents fat oxidization (fat burning)
  • Best food choices, mainly lower GI complex carbohydrates
  • Excess carbs stored as BF

 

Protein   backtotop_hover

1 gram = 4 calories

Protein makes up nearly half of the dry weight of your body. Studies have shown that within six months every protein molecule is broken down and completely rebuilt. As well, the more intensely you train the more protein is required for repair and growth.

Although protein isn’t converted to body fat as easily as carbohydrates and fat, consuming more protein than your body can utilize will result in fat storage. Also, too much protein can result in the formation of a toxic ammonia called urea. Since urea is excreted, an overabundance puts added strain on your liver and kidneys. Studies have shown however, that this is only the concern of individuals with pre-existing liver or kidney problems, or a family history of them.

foods-high-in-protein

How much protein is too much? How much protein is just enough? This depends on our activity level as well as the individual. I have found through my own experimentation over time that I can consume and utilize a significant amount. I have taken as much as 2.5 grams per pound of body weight in a day. My days were long and active (16 hour work days with 15 one hour clients per day) and I would consume about 10 meals a day at approximately 30-40 grams per meal.

You can generally consume and process up to 40 grams of protein per meal, obviously the smaller the individual the smaller the amount of protein they can process. Like choosing carbohydrates in your diet, you want to look at protein absorption rates. You want to have proteins that are absorbed quickly at certain times of the day and proteins that are broken down and absorbed more slowly at others.

Whey protein is generally absorbed quickly. There are however different types of whey that have faster and slower rates. Other protein sources like that found in meat or dairy products, are broken down and absorbed more slowly. Using this information, you can construct your diet with these absorption rates in mind.

I generally design diets with a moderate to high protein ratio in them. Since protein is the building block of muscle, I always approach a diet with the objective of maintaining and/or increasing muscle mass. The body has to work a little harder to process protein than it does for carbohydrates or fat so more calories are burned in the process.

When you consume protein, the molecules are broken down into amino acids. There are 24 amino acids that make up the human body. Of these 24, 8 are essential (your body can’t manufacture them) and must come from your diet. When any of these essential aminos are missing from your diet, your body’s rebuilding process is less effective. The best protein sources of protein have an amino acid composition that most closely approximates the make up of the human protein.

Protein sources are classified as:

  • Incomplete proteins: such as fruits and most vegetables
  • Complete proteins: such as meats, eggs, milk

The following chart shows the biological value of protein in common protein sources:

PROTEIN BIOLOGICAL VALUE
Whey concentrate & Isolates 104-159
Whole Egg 100
Milk 91
Egg White 88
Cottage Cheese 84
Tuna 83
Fish 82
Beef 80
Chicken 79
Soy 74
Casein 71
Peanuts 68
Yogurt 68
Oatmeal 58
Wheat 58

You can see by this chart that your protein source is very important. Don’t just add any protein to your diet. Choose a quality source that helps repair and rebuild your body’s tissues. Not only do you want to consider the BV of the protein but also the amount of fat that comes with that protein. Always choose the leanest cuts of meat like skinless chicken or turkey breast and inside eye of round beef for example.

soyproducts

One protein source I would like to address specifically is Soy Protein. There are many health benefits that soy protein offers to women, like helping with osteoporosis to menopause. However, for men, it may not be something you want to consume a lot of.

A Harvard Medical School study placed 11 men on a soy-based diet that included 40 grams of soy protein daily. Testosterone levels were measured at baseline and at 6 months intervals for 18 months. Soy, a phytoestrogen, caused the participants testosterone to be depressed by up to 76% after the 18th month mark. One thing to keep in mind, is that the dietary fat was also quite low and has been shown to also lower testosterone levels. However, there have been other studies that have shown elevations in the estrogen levels in men consuming high soy-based diets.
Low testosterone levels and raised estrogen levels spell higher body fat levels and a harder time building muscle for men. Soy may be a double-edged sword, good for women but may not be so good for men.

Protein Summary:

  • Nearly half the human body’s dry weight is protein
  • Consists of 24 amino acids, 8 of which are “essential”
  • Every 6 months all protein molecules are broken down and rebuilt
  • High protein diets may raise levels of urea
  • There are complete and incomplete protein sources
  • Choose lean sources with a high biological value
  • Soy protein good for women, may not be so good for men
  • Excess calories from protein will be stored as fat, not as readily as carbohydrates or fat though

 

Fats   backtotop_hover

1 gram = 9 calories

Fat is not always the “bad guy”. We need fat for many reasons. Fat acts as a storage substance for the excess calories we consume, not just calories from fat but also carbohydrates and proteins. Fat is vital in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and transports fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats also provide us with essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce (more on those later). Fat aids in many bodily functions including regulation of cholesterol in your blood and regulation of blood pressure.

fats-images

Often referred to as lipids, fats can be in solid or liquid form. Despite carbohydrates being your body’s preferred fuel choice, fats are the most highly concentrated fuel choice over protein and carbohydrates. This is why foods high in fat are higher in calories.

The important thing to know about fats is what kind and how much we should include in our diets. Too much and we store excess body fat, too little and we impair bodily functions and even impair fat loss. You see your body naturally wants to keep body fat around in case we run into times of famine. Not just for the excess calories but for the proper function of organs that require fat.

If you don’t consume enough dietary fat, your body will want to continue to hold on to stored fat. On the other side of that coin, if you have an adequate supply of dietary fat your
body will release fat stores. Since you are getting a constant supply of fat, there is no point in carrying around excess weight in the form of fat. Knowing this we want to ensure we get enough fat in our diet, but we want to make sure it is the right kind of fat to reduce the chances of storage.

Fats are found in combinations of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

Saturated fats:

  • Animal sources: like meat, milk, and butter. Vegetable, coconut and palm oils are also highly saturated With the exception of these oils saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature.

Unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fats: such as olive, peanut and avocado oils
  • Polyunsaturated fats: such as corn, sesame, and safflower oils.

Unsaturated fats usually remain liquid at room temperature. There is sub group of fats often ignored, these are called Essential Fatty Acids. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are part of the unsaturated fats group.

Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Omega-6 or linoleic acid: Found in margerines, shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • Omega-3 or alpha linolenic: Found in flaxseeds, and in cold water fish such as, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, mackerel and rainbow trout.

Although your body can make up different kinds of fats, it can’t make up omega-6 or omega-3. They have to be supplied through the diet, hence the term “essential”.

Omega-3and6

These EFA’s may help you lose fat and build muscle, as they are involved in the production of anabolic and growth hormones. Today very few people get enough EFA’s in their diets to benefit from them. Well to be more accurate, the average North American consumes enough omega-6. Unfortunately, it’s usually been highly processed and often filled with free radicals and trans fatty acids.

Trans fatty acids can contribute to heart disease, lower immune responsiveness, decrease testosterone and damage insulin responsiveness. If you see the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on a product label, they contain trans fatty acids in there and you don’t want to purchase it.

It is important to maintain a proper balance with our dietary intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Since we consume enough omega-6 in our diets already, we must ensure that we supplement our diets with omega-3. Flaxseed oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids available. A couple tablespoons a day is recommended to aid in the balance. An easy way to get the proper balance of EFA’s is to use blended oils like “Udo’s Choice Perfected Oil Blend”. Keep in mind when you are supplementing your diet with oils, they still count towards your daily calorie intake, generally a tablespoon of oil is around 14 grams of fat or 126 cals.

Good fat choices are:

  • Udo’s Choice Perfected Oil Blend (or similar blend) – This is a great product, it has a mild flavor and can be used in a vinaigrette dressing that makes it an easy addition to any diet. It contains the perfect balance of EFA’s that our bodies need. Do not heat this oil or expose it to light, once opened it must be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Natural Peanut Butter – I don’t mean Skippy and Jiffy type peanut butter. Those processed peanut butters have additives like corn syrup solids, hydrogenated oils and sugar. I’m talking about the natural stuff, just peanuts and salt. This peanut butter has a layer of oil formed on the top of the jar that has to be mixed in then refrigerated. If the fat is an issue for you, you can pour some of the oil out, but I would keep it so you know how much fat you are consuming per tablespoon. Peanuts may be high in fat but only 2 out of 14 grams of fat are saturated. Don’t be fooled by “light” peanut butter, this is still processed. Just stick with the natural kind.
  • Flaxseed Oil – Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, in fact it is probably the best available source. It is unstable oil, in that it must be stored in a cool dark environment and must be refrigerated once opened. Diets high in flaxseed oil may create an imbalance between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, keep this in mind if you choose to supplement your diet with flaxseed oil. Like the Udo’s Choice oil, flaxseed oil should also not be heated.
  • Peanut Oil/Grape Seed Oil – For cooking, peanut or grape seed oil are the oils of choice. They can maintain their integrity at a higher temperature than other oils. When oils are heated they are exposed to light, oxygen, and high temperatures all at once. This breaks the oil down creating trans fatty acids, if you are going to fry food peanut or grape seed oil are your best options.

Fat Summary:

  • Can be in solid or liquid form
  • Calorie dense
  • Aids in many bodily functions
  • Too much dietary fat can result in fat storage, too little can impair bodily functions and fat loss
  • Two main types of fat, saturated and unsaturated
  • Sub group of unsaturated fats, EFA’s (omega-6 and omega-3)
  • Maintain proper balance between EFA’s
  • Excess dietary fat stored more readily than any other macronutrient

So now you know what macronutrients do once ingested, by understanding the effects of these macronutrients we can make clearer choices to help us with our goals.

 

MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS FOR POPULAR DIET APPROACHES   backtotop_hover

So now I will discuss macronutrient ratios, this is a touchy subject. Many diets out there don’t consider these ratios at all, as a matter of fact they don’t even want you to monitor you caloric intake. By following point systems or portion sized systems, you can still lose weight. This is generally only effective for the clinically obese. People who are very overweight will benefit from almost any diet but will still lose lean body mass overtime slowing their metabolism even more.

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The diets that do consider the macronutrient ratios are often pretty slack in the ratios. Some of these diets will give you foods you can eat and foods you cant, but depending on how many of these certain foods you eat your macronutrient ratios will change. You caloric level will vary quite a bit as well, since you aren’t monitoring the amount of food you are eating you have no way of knowing how many calories you are consuming.

The diets that do consider the macronutrient ratios are often pretty slack in the ratios. Some of these diets will give you foods you can eat and foods you cant, but depending on how many of these certain foods you eat your macronutrient ratios will change. You caloric level will vary quite a bit as well, since you aren’t monitoring the amount of food you are eating you have no way of knowing how many calories you are consuming.

Some popular approaches when it comes to diets right now are high carb/low fat (weight watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.), The Zone or South Beach and high protein/low carb (Atkin’s) diets. All these diets are designed with the average person in mind, the average sedentary person that is. You on the other hand, if you are resistance training (which is necessary to maintain muscle while dieting) are an athlete. Hey you are working out hard and breaking down muscle so, comfortable with the tag or not, that’s what you are. So you are going to have to eat like one.

I am going to mention some problems I have with common diets out there today. I am going to approach them from both a muscle gain and fat loss angle so you can understand how they may affect you no matter what your goals are. At the end of the day, any reduced calorie diet approach will help you lose weight and any increased calorie diet approach will help you gain weight. But like I mentioned earlier, we don’t want to lose or gain “weight”, we want to lose fat and gain muscle.

At the end of this section, I am going to touch on the ratios I developed for the Emerge Lifestyle. I have found these ratios to be very effective, often building muscle while on reduced calories and in many cases fat loss while increasing calories for muscle gain.

 

High carbohydrate   backtotop_hover

With your typical high carb low fat diet (approx. 20% protein, 70% carbohydrates and 10% fat), you can run into a few problems, especially as someone that works out. When looking at this approach from a fat loss goal, you have a few glaring problems.

As I mentioned when I wrote about dietary fat, when consuming less than maintenance level calories. If you don’t consume enough fat, your body will tend to retain existing body fat at all costs. Usually this cost is lean muscle mass, as you know, this will lower your metabolic rate over time making it harder to get or stay lean.

Since you aren’t consuming much protein, the building block of muscle, you will also have a hard time maintaining muscle when on lower calories. The higher carbohydrates should have a protein sparing effect but often the amount of protein is so low that it just isn’t enough to repair the damaged cause by high intensity workouts.

The biggest problem I see comes from the carbohydrates themselves. Many people following this type of diet approach don’t consider the types of carbohydrates consumed and tend to eat a lot of refined carbohydrates. There are so many low fat products available today but they often have a lot of refined carbohydrates, as you know this will generally lead to a high GI rating. So now you have to try to lose fat with insulin always present in your system. Not an easy feat. You will tend to burn the dietary carbohydrates or muscle tissue over the stored body fat.

This type of diet will also make it harder to build muscle when on a higher calorie diet. You have plenty of carbohydrates for energy and a protein sparing effect but like I stated earlier, the amount of protein isn’t conducive to muscle gain or repair. Also, diets low in fat have proven to lower testosterone levels, making it harder to build or maintain muscle and lose fat.

 

Zone style diets   backtotop_hover

The Zone in my opinion is actually a pretty good diet (30% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 30% fat) for the average person. Overall it is a good maintenance style diet and pretty easy to follow. There are a couple things I don’t like about it, such as people just following the general rules to eating and not getting too specific with their exact caloric and macronutrient amount. As well, I don’t like the precise ratios from meal to meal, more on that in a minute.

With this style diet you do have an adequate amount of dietary fat to give your body what it needs, so you can tap into fat stores more readily. Obviously, since the amount of fat is considerable, you want to make sure that your fat sources are high quality healthy fats. I do feel that this amount of fat may be a little high when you are on a higher calorie diet and may result in a gain in body fat.

The amount of protein is also adequate so that you should be able to maintain or lose very little muscle mass while on reduced calories. Also, you should be able to build muscle quite well on a higher calorie diet.

The carbohydrate choices are mainly low GI which is good. Except that there are times when you will require higher GI foods. This isn’t addressed in The Zone approach, again its designed for the average person, not an athlete. I feel the carbohydrate level is a little low when on a high calorie version as you will want to spare as much protein as possible to aid in muscle growth. Although The Zone states that athletes can thrive on the diet I haven’t personally found that to be the case.

The one main thing I don’t like about The Zone is that you are required to eat the same ratio 30/40/30 each meal of the day. This is regardless of your activity level for that time of the day. The overall daily ratios are okay in my mind but I don’t think they should be the same for each meal. I have found that certain times of the day require different ratios of macronutrients. Certain times of the day your body requires more or less of each macronutrient but this is not addressed with the Zone style approach.

 

Low Carbohydrate/High fat diets   backtotop_hover

(also known as Ketogenic, Atkin’s or Protein diets)

These types of diets generally want you to consume very few carbohydrates over the course of the day. Usually the magic number is around 30 grams for the day, the rest of you calories will come from protein and fat.

You can lose a lot of weight within the first few weeks of this type of diet, the thing is it is mostly water weight. This is due to the fact that your body depletes its glucose and glycogen stores. When this happens your body slips into ketosis, this is when your body starts to convert body fat and dietary fat to ketones. The water weight returns quickly when you start to consume carbohydrates again, but it is just water, not fat.

I have been on many types of ketogenic diets over the years, some where you introduce carbohydrates for a day or two a week to help maintain and or build muscle. Cycling your carbohydrates when on a ketogenic diet is a body building type diet where your muscles will super compensate and retain more carbohydrates and water making your muscles appear larger and fuller. I have also been on ketogenic diets where I have consumed no more than 10 grams of carbohydrates a day for months at a time.

Many people find lower energy levels when on a keotgenic diet, and a flat feeling in the gym. Since you have no carbohydrates in your system you will not get a pump when you work out and this can mess with your mind somewhat. One of the biggest issues I have with many keotgenic diets on the market today, is that they seem to promote a haphazard approach.

Often, they let you eat anything that doesn’t contain carbohydrates and as much as you want. If you consume too many calories, you will not lose fat. Calories are calories. If you consume too much saturated fat, you will store fat more readily. Yet everyone is eating bacon and eggs for breakfast and fatty steaks or burgers and butter the rest of the day.

When I experimented with ketogenic diets, I chose lean protein sources and mainly essential fatty acids. For example, I wanted to see how fast I could get lean by consuming only protein powder with water and flax seed oil, or skinless chicken breasts and shot glasses of a blended EFA oil. Fat came off fast except for the fact that I was bored with the lack of variety and feeling flat in the gym.

The other major issue I have about ketogenic diets is that most people will make a minor cheat and eat a carbohydrate source that they shouldn’t and screw up days of sticking to the diet. Once you eat too many carbohydrates (like a slice of bread), you are kicked out of ketosis and may take up to 4 days to get back in.

I have applied many of the rules behind the ketogenic diet theory when I came up with the Emerge approach. I have found the Emerge approach to be the most versatile type of diet that keeps you in a fat burning zone when you need to be and an anabolic zone when you need to be. With the Emerge approach you never feel like you are missing anything, since you are still eating breads and pastas as well as having an adequate amount of fat.

 

“The Emerge Lifestyle” approach   backtotop_hover

high protein moderate carbohydrates and fat

Okay, so what do I recommend for my clients? Obviously I am not going to give all the details in the article but I will give you the theory behind the Emerge approach. I like to use all the information that I have on macronutrients and how your body is affected by them. I also want to use the information regarding meal timing and frequency. So knowing how our bodies react to certain foods as well as resistance training, I have constructed a simple scientific approach that focuses on fat loss, not just weight loss and it focuses on muscle repair and gain, not just weight gain.

By the way, you should eat this way all the time. You will just eat less when you want to get leaner and eat more when you want to gain muscle. This is not a temporary diet approach it is just a well balanced way to eat to ensure that your body is always in a positive healthy balance. After all, I don’t call this approach the Emerge Lifestyle approach for nothing; it is exactly that, a lifestyle to be maintained for life.

Like I stated early in the Diet and Performance Nutrition section, I want to have people weigh and measure their food to start. Once you get used to the portion sizes of items, you will be able to eyeball them and be fairly accurate with your macronutrient estimations. I have people count their calories to better understand what their meal sizes will look like so they can just wing it down the road and remain fairly accurate.

Basically I want you to be as precise as you can. You will still see an improvement if you wing it from the start and just follow my diet principles but I wouldn’t recommend it from the start. If you are putting the time and effort into your diet and training you may as well go all out. Often people think that if they give it an 85% effort they will get 85% of the results, not the case at all. 85% effort may only give you 50% of the results or less, so why not go that extra 15% for 100% of the results.

Alright, now to the main points of the Emerge Lifestyle diet approach. I found that most people benefit when they reduce their carbohydrate intake, so I like to keep carbohydrates rather low. I focus mainly on complex whole grains and vegetables. Vegetables add so much bulk and help fill you without the extra calories. I always take into account my clients activity level during the day and tailor the type of carbohydrate (high or lower GI, simple and complex) they will consume at different times. This applies mainly to the workout days more so than the non workout days.

Since they are resistance training and constantly breaking down muscle, they have a higher protein requirement than the average sedentary person. Also, our bodies work harder to process protein and doesn’t store it as body fat as readily as carbohydrates or fat. For these reasons, I have a moderately high protein ratio in my diets. I have found that most people don’t consume enough protein in their diet, or they choose poor quality protein sources. It always amazes me how many clients gain muscle mass even when consuming as much as 1000 calories below their maintenance levels. This is due to the timing of the macronutrients in the Emerge approach as well as the diet being very nutrient dense.

By now you should know that diets too low in dietary fat will lead to fat storage as well as making it harder to stay in an anabolic environment. You also know that saturated fat is instantly stored as fat but your body requires essential fatty acids that you can’t produce yourself. Since you tend not to store these EFA’s as readily, you can fool your body into thinking you are getting plenty of fat. Therefore, forcing the release of fat stores by consuming a diet rich in EFA’s.

Knowing all of the above, I like to have maintenance level or caloric deficit macronutrient ratios higher in protein with moderate carbohydrates and fats. These ratios change when following a bulking or higher calorie approach, then I increase the ratio of carbohydrates and lower the protein and fat somewhat. I lower the fat due to the overall increase in calories I don’t want you to consume too much fat, too much will lead to storage on some level. I also don’t want you to consume more protein than your body can use, so I lower the ratio so that the protein stays at a high level to build new muscle with little to no waste. The carbohydrates are higher to take advantage of the extra energy supplied and to use the anabolic effects of insulin to our advantage.

I have had great success with clients using the Emerge ratios. Most people find they maintain energy levels so there are no peaks and valleys. They also have muscles that feel full even when on lower calories. As a matter of fact, I have constructed maintenance level diets for some recreational bodybuilders that know their bodies very well. Within a week, their muscles feel fuller and tighter and body fat levels dropped.

When I am planning the day’s meals for a client, I look at their requirement for each part of the day. I have them eat six meals on average, breakfast, mid morning, lunch, mid afternoon, dinner and evening. The ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats will change from meal to meal. Again, these ratios depend on their specific needs at certain times of the day. First thing in the morning, your metabolic rate is highest, so you need more. As the day goes on, the carbohydrate need lessens and so on. These requirements are even more complex on workout days.

The fact that the Emerge approach is so specific to the individual and their specific needs is the reason that it works so well. This does make the diet rather complex to put together for the average person, however the clients at Emerge don’t have to worry about this since we lay everything out for them in a very simple to follow approach. As well they are educated about this new lifestyle since that is the only way to maintain it. Knowledge is the key to success in anything in life especially when it is something as complex and nutrition and the science behind our bodies and how they respond to internal and external changes in diet and training.

If you want the knowledge and power to change your body for life, contact Emerge today and start to Emerge tomorrow.

 

LOSING FAT AND ONLY FAT   backtotop_hover

Alright, so you know how to maintain your body at your present body fat So how do we get rid of excess fat? This is going to require a caloric deficit of some sort. How much is too much and how much is too little, that depends on the individual.

Fat Loss.

Most people want to loose as much fat as possible in a short period of time. The thing is, if you are losing weight really fast chances are it’s mostly lean body mass (LBM), not body fat (BF). If we drop our calories too low, we trigger our “famine alarm”. Your body assumes that we are in a famine situation and starts to store BF and burn LBM.

Basically this is how it works:

After a few days with too high a caloric deficit, your body realizes that it isn’t getting enough fuel to function. This will trigger your Famine Alarm, in some cases your body can trigger the famine alarm after going as little as four hours between meals. When this happens, your body seeks most accessible fuel source, this is usually the carbohydrates that you have in your system.

Once this occurs, you will stop burning stored fat and start storing fat with your next meal. Not only that, but if the famine alarm is triggered for days at a time, you will find that it will hold on to existing body fat levels like they are gold and start to burn muscle (the reason you need more calories) to make up for the caloric deficit. As you know by now, the less muscle you have the lower your metabolism goes, making it harder to burn calories.

This is usually when people start to experience the diet plateau. Their bodies have adapted to the lower calories by losing lean body mass, therefore, lowering the amount of calories required to maintain normal bodily function. They stop loosing weight and generally cut their calories even more. All this does is start the whole catabolic process all over again.

By the time they give up on the diet (usually from not feeling as healthy as they did before the diet), they have lowered their metabolic rate so much so that when they start to eat normally again they increase body fat very easily.

When you are trying to lose fat, you want to keep your basal metabolic rate (BMR) at the same level it was when you started your diet, or even better, raise your BMR. You do this by never letting your body adjust to your daily caloric levels. This is accomplished by adjusting your calories up and down, keeping the body guessing and keeping your Famine Alarm at bay. This gets even trickier when your requirements change daily due to changes in activity levels.

To lose fat and maintain as much lean body mass as possible, you should generally follow these “conservative” rules. Obviously Emerge clients are following a very specific approach and not just general or conservative rules hence the lighting fast results.

One pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories, knowing this you can determine your caloric deficit for the day to come up with the amount of weight loss you want to achieve each week. Subtract 2 calories per pound of body weight from your daily caloric intake. This calorie reduction should be spread over your daily meals, do not skip any meals to account for your caloric deficit. Then, by increasing your caloric intake for two or three days a week by 2 calories per pound of body weight, you keep your famine alarm in check.

So for example, if you weigh 150lbs (150 X 2 calories per pound = 300 calories) and you’re eating at least 5 meals per day you could reduce each meal by 60 calories or just randomly take the calories from certain meals. As long as you deduct the 300 calories over the course of the day without skipping any meals, that is the most important thing. By reducing your daily calories by 300, you can expect to lose 2.5lbs of fat per month, assuming you are trying to maintain as much LBM as possible.

This may not sound like much fat loss but this applies to someone who is already quite lean. If you have a higher level of BF, you can afford to reduce your daily calories more. You see if you are eating too few calories, this can cause a substantial lean body mass loss, while eating higher calories (but still below maintenance calorie levels) preserves more lean body mass. However, people with higher body fat levels don’t have to be as cautious as those with lower.

Experience has proven that I can reduce the calories quite a bit with someone that is fairly overweight VS a leaner individual. No matter if it is a substantial caloric deficit or a small one, the more overweight person will lose a greater ratio of fat to lean body mass. In a substantial caloric deficit, the leaner person will lose more lean mass than body fat but with a small caloric deficit the opposite is true.

In both caloric deficits, the people with higher body fat levels will lose less lean body mass then the leaner individual. This tells us that the leaner we are the smaller a caloric deficit we want to have in order to preserve lean body mass, while the higher body fat individual can afford to have a much higher caloric deficit.

The take home message for dieting to lose BF should be:

You must always use a combination of exercise when taking in a restricted calorie diet in order to maintain lean body mass. Take your initial body weight and body composition into account before deciding how severe your diet should be. The higher your body fat level the more severe you can be.

As you diet and get leaner, you should adjust your calorie deficit so that it actually gets smaller. So if you start a diet eating 1000 calories below maintenance, as you get leaner, your daily deficit should decrease to 500 calories per day and so on. If you don’t decrease your calorie deficit as you lose fat, you will begin to lose and unacceptable amount of LBM. Make sure to change your caloric levels so that you consume more calories on your workout days than on your non workout days.

So how many calories will I deduct from someone’s diet in order for them to lose fat while preserving lean body mass? It depends on the individual and their many unique factors (metabolic rate, weight/body composition, past weight loss history), but generally it will go something like this.

Someone who has a slow metabolism and a high level of body fat, I will deduct up to 1000 calories a day from their diet. This would be on both workout on non workout days (the calories will still change from day to day to the original maintenance levels being different for each day). A weekly 7000 calorie deficit will result in a 2lb fat loss a week.

If the person has a moderate metabolism, I might deduct 250 to 500 calories on the workout days and 1000 calories on the non workout days. This way, they have more nutrients coming in to support muscle repair and energy yet still have a major caloric deficit on days that the activity level is low.

With a fast metabolism, I might only deduct 250 calories from a workout day and only 500 from a non workout day. Since the metabolism is fast, I don’t want to risk muscle loss and I am more conservative.

These of course are very general and each client’s case is different. As a rule, you usually start slow with the reduction of calories but I have found that you can lose the most fat and retain or build the most muscle in the early stages of a diet so I like to start off big. If I find that the calories are too low after a couple weeks due to over training symptoms or poor energy levels, I will raise the calories by 1 – 2 calories per pound at that time.

Generally, as long as you don’t deduct so many calories that you are consuming less than is required to meet you basal metabolic rate, you are ok. Since this is not your average diet and you are consuming high quality nutrient dense foods, you should have a lot of room to play with.

You know by now that I am not a big cardio fan, therefore, I will deduct a higher amount of calories taking this into account. If you were to perform cardio on a daily basis (I hope after reading my thoughts on it you wouldn’t), you would have to be a bit more careful with your caloric deficit.

Once again, to achieve great results and the lean toned body you desire requires a well tuned approach. As usual with all aspects of achieving this desired body image it isn’t easy or simple. Losing weight is very simple, losing just fat is very complex. At Emerge its what we do 24/7, let us take the guess work out of your quest for a better body and get you on the right track right away.

 

GAINING LEAN MASS, AND ONLY LEAN MASS   backtotop_hover

Many people strive for ways to gain muscle. In order to gain weight (by “weight” I mean lean body mass of course) you must increase your daily caloric consumption. You must consume more energy than you use. Often when people try to “bulk up” they end up gaining lots of fat along with the muscle. Since you don’t want to gain fat you must know how to increase your muscle mass without increasing body fat.

shutterstock_61377076

It is said that a successful weight gain is one of 75% lean mass and 25% body fat. I have had most clients gain lean mass while losing fat on a high calorie diet, once again everyone is different. As a matter of fact there are so many misconceptions out there about “bulking up” and this is usually because most people will never get as precise as they have to in order to gain just lean mass without gaining body fat. At Emerge it’s our job to ensure your approach is a precise one that enables you to add muscle without having to worry about the fat loss diet to follow to get rid of the fat you gained in the process.

To gain lean body mass and maintain or lower body fat levels keep these general rules in mind.

One pound of muscle is equal to approximately 1800 calories, mainly from protein and carbohydrates (glycogen). To gain lean mass with minimal fat gain, you would generally add 2 calories per pound of body weight to your daily caloric intake. The added calories should be mostly protein and complex carbohydrates.

Spread the calories equally over your daily meals. If you can, you may want to add more meals to make up the extra calories. You still don’t want to consume meals that are too big. If you eat too much in one sitting, you may find yourself storing body fat.

For example, if you weigh 150lbs (150 X 2 calories per pound = 300 calories) and you’re eating at least 5 meals per day you should increase each meal by 60 calories. By increasing your daily calories by 300, you could possibly gain a pound of muscle every week. This should occur with minimal fat gain, provided you are fairly lean to start. I would like to mention that the increases in lean body mass can not continue forever, obviously muscle gains will hit a genetic limit. If we could gain 1lb of muscle a week forever we would have 1000lb bodybuilders all over the place. Most of the men I have trained with the Emerge bulking diet and training have gained 10lbs of lean mass in their first month while losing fat at the same time.

There are general rules when it comes to increasing lean body mass, the leaner you are to start with the more muscle you will gain versus fat when you consume above maintenance calories. This just means you can adjust your daily calories that much higher and gain lean body mass faster, without the fear of major body fat gains. The higher your body fat levels, the opposite is true. I would recommend getting your body fat levels lower prior to increasing calories to gain lean mass.

If you have a higher level of body fat then you have to monitor your weight gain very closely. You will tend to gain more fat then muscle, this shouldn’t be a huge problem for you though if you are fluctuating your caloric levels throughout the week.

Like calorie reduction, I have given you some general guidelines to follow when increasing your calories. And like calorie reduction, I tend to change these guidelines depending on the individual.

If I am training someone with a fast metabolism and or a low level of body fat, I will tend to increase their calories quite a bit. I have found that naturally lean people will benefit from taking in at least 1000 calories above maintenance, or even more. I will make sure that the increase is “clean” nutrient dense foods and not an all out binge on anything in sight. I monitor their weight gain closely and if I find that they are starting to store body fat then I will lower the caloric increase somewhat.

Now, taking in 7000 calories or more above maintenance doesn’t mean that you are going to be packing on 4lbs or more of muscle each week. But you should see a significant lean mass gain in a very short time provided your training is intense and you are getting adequate rest.

I am far more conservative with someone who has a higher level of body fat. I will usually recommend that they lose some fat first. If they are not concerned about the present (or future) level of body fat and just want to increase muscle gain, I will still try to keep the fat gain to a minimum and follow the 2 calorie per pound approach.

So the take home message for dieting to increase lean body mass is:

Always use exercise in conjunction with a diet to promote muscle gain and keep body fat levels under control. You must consider your initial body fat level before deciding how many excess calories your diet should contain. When starting a diet with a lower level of body fat, your diet can be higher in calories since you will gain a much higher percentage of lean body mass to body fat.

As you diet and you start in increase your lean body mass, you should adjust your calorie intake so that it actually gets larger. So if you start a diet eating 300 calories above maintenance, as your lean mass increases, your daily calories should increase to 500 calories per day and so on. If you don’t increase your daily calories, you will stop gaining lean body mass. It takes those extra calories to grow, as your lean body mass increases you obviously require more calories to maintain it.

Once again like losing only fat, gaining only lean mass isn’t easy and often general rules don’t work for everyone. If you want to gain lean mass and keep body fat at bay achieving a lean more muscular body in record time you should contact Emerge today!

 

“WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CHEAT MEALS AND WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CHEAT WITH MINIMAL EFFECT TO YOUR DIET?”   backtotop_hover

Cheat meals are a nice way to keep your sanity and that is about it. The theory behind a cheat meal a week is to keep your metabolism from dropping due to consuming low calories all week. Well that one meal isn’t going to change a thing in that regard. It may not do a lot of harm either so what’s the concern?

The thing is that most people who have a cheat meal do one of two things. They either eat an insanely massive dirty meal or they have a cheat day. When you do this, you will generally have a negative effect, but if it is a clean(ish) meal that is off your diet you should be ok. The cheat meal is exactly that, a cheat, and why are you cheating? To reward yourself for sticking to your healthy diet? Good thing we don’t look at marriage this way isn’t it. Guess what, we shouldn’t look at our diet this way either. That one cheat can ruin everything you accomplished over the last week, is it worth it? Not as far as I am concerned. Saying that…

cheat-meal

People often assume that I have a will of steel when it comes to watching what I eat. In order for me to maintain low body fat levels through out the year, my diet is very strict as a rule, HOWEVER, I am not a saint. From time to time, I have to cheat on my diet, either for my sanity or because I cant say no to the occasional dinner out. Ok, you got me, I don’t HAVE to cheat, I CHOOSE to, but I do it as safely as possible.

Also, I maintain single digit body fat all year round and I have for years. At this stage of the game my metabolism is like a calorie furnace and I can get away with the odd indulgence. Most people, especially those that are just starting to eat properly and lower their body fat levels are not even close to being ready to get away with cheats

However here are MY little secrets for cheating and getting away with it (for the most part). Ideally you wont need this information but it will at least help reduce the risk of falling too far off track if you “must” cheat.

The first part, and most difficult is to get your metabolism fired up. You will need to be eating at least 6 small healthy meals a day for a month or two, ideally with no cheat meals for that period of time. This will get your body accustom to processing your food in an efficient scheduled manner. Once your body stops storing calories as fat from meal to meal and starts using them as energy and muscle repair, you are on your way to becoming a human furnace that burns through calories.

You need to train with weights at least 3 times a week, this will ensure you maintain and or build muscle while restricting calories. Basically, you require calories for your bodily functions and to feed your working muscles. The more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn, even when you sleep. For every pound of muscle you gain you require up to 100 additional calories a day to maintain.

Now, lets assume you have been resistance training 3 days a week and have been eating 6 small meals a day for the last couple months. You have been losing fat and have gained a few new pounds of muscle. You have now elevated your metabolism about as far as you are going to on your own. Its time to take it to the next level, here is where you look to supplements. By adding a fat burning supplement, you can kick your metabolic rate even higher. Choosing a fat burning supplement that addresses many areas such as thermogenisis, elevating thyroid output, shutting down fat receptors and increasing insulin sensitivity is the best approach.

Okay, so now you are dropping body fat even faster and maintaining your lean body mass. At this stage, you usually feel your body temperature rise shortly after eating as your internal furnace burns through the calories. You are now ready to approach cheating and get away with it, but we need a couple more tools first. I have great faith in the new Fat Blockers, Insulin Mimickers and Carbohydrate Inhibitors on the market. With the aid of these supplements, you can block up to 20 grams of fat, 500 grams of starch and shuttle the sugars into your muscles or burn them as energy more effectively. Taking these supplements 15-60 minutes before your OCCASIONAL dirty meal will help you get away with diet murder and ease the conscience.

This is the “meat and potatoes” of it, however, there are a few more little rules to follow. Make sure you eat your regularly scheduled meals before and after your cheat meal. Don’t try to starve all day thinking you can use the calories when you cheat later in the day. This will only make you store the calories more readily. Also, don’t fast for the rest of the day because of the extra calories you just consumed. Continue to eat every 3 hours after your cheat meal, but you might want to cut these meals down a little, especially if you are not that hungry. The main thing is we want to keep your body in a fat burning zone by eating every 2.5 to 3 hours, going any longer will just cause you to store calories.

Another way to ensure your cheat meal has the least impact on you, is to workout before your cheat meal. After you workout with weights, your metabolic rate is very high, this will help you burn through the excess calories that you consume.

These rules if followed should help you cheat as safely as possible, however everyone is different. People that are really lean are going to be able to get away with more than someone with a higher body fat level. Obviously, if you have been able to get your body fat levels really low your metabolism is fast, if you are having a hard time getting you body fat levels lower then your metabolism still isn’t up to par so be careful.

At the end of the day, the best way to stay on track and not let a cheat meal affect your diet or progress is to not have that cheat meal. Sometimes one cheat meal leads to another and another until you are no longer eating the way you should. For most people one cheat meal a week is fine, for others maybe more or less.

I hope this helps you and by the way try not to feel guilty after your cheat meal. Make up your mind before you eat and justify it then, if you can live with possible negative outcome then dig in and enjoy. If not, then don’t have it and regret it for days after, it’s not worth it.

To summarize the proper way to cheat on your diet:

  • Get your metabolism fired up by eating 6 or more small meals a day every 2-3 hours
  • Start taking a fat burner on a regular basis to increase your metabolism even further
  • One and a half hours prior to your cheat meal workout with weights to jack up your metabolism. A one hour workout should leave you with a half hour before you eat.
  • Thirty minutes before your cheat meal you will take your Fat Blocker and your Fat Burner of choice.
  • Fifteen minutes prior to your cheat meal take your Carbohydrate Inhibitor and Insulin Mimicker.
  • 2 – 3 hours later eat a small meal and you are back on track

 

“I AM GOING AWAY TO A RESORT, WHAT SHOULD I DO IN ORDER TO STAY ON TRACK?”   backtotop_hover

This is the “meat and potatoes” of it, however, there are a few more little rules to follow. Make sure you eat your regularly scheduled meals before and after your cheat meal. Don’t try to starve all day thinking you can use the calories when you cheat later in the day. This will only make you store the calories more readily. Also, don’t fast for the rest of the day because of the extra calories you just consumed. Continue to eat every 3 hours after your cheat meal, but you might want to cut these meals down a little, especially if you are not that hungry. The main thing is we want to keep your body in a fat burning zone by eating every 2.5 to 3 hours, going any longer will just cause you to store calories.

vacation

Another way to ensure your cheat meal has the least impact on you, is to workout before your cheat meal. After you workout with weights, your metabolic rate is very high, this will help you burn through the excess calories that you consume.

These rules if followed should help you cheat as safely as possible, however everyone is different. People that are really lean are going to be able to get away with more than someone with a higher body fat level. Obviously, if you have been able to get your body fat levels really low your metabolism is fast, if you are having a hard time getting you body fat levels lower then your metabolism still isn’t up to par so be careful.

At the end of the day, the best way to stay on track and not let a cheat meal affect your diet or progress is to not have that cheat meal. Sometimes one cheat meal leads to another and another until you are no longer eating the way you should. For most people one cheat meal a week is fine, for others maybe more or less.

I hope this helps you and by the way try not to feel guilty after your cheat meal. Make up your mind before you eat and justify it then, if you can live with possible negative outcome then dig in and enjoy. If not, then don’t have it and regret it for days after, it’s not worth it.

 

EATING ON THE RUN “WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I HAVE EAT AT A RESTAURANT?”   backtotop_hover

When having to eat at a restaurant all you have to do is use a little common sense. I don’t know how many times I have had people tell me about the terrible meal choice they made when eating out. “I had to go to McDonalds so I had the chicken nuggets, it’s chicken!” I guess it is … in name.

There are certain things we want to stay away from and there are certain things that we should be drawn to when looking at a menu. Lets cover cooking terms that you should stay away from. Deep fried, pan fried, sautéed, battered and breaded to name a few.

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We also want to keep clear of most starches, unless you are taking in a fair amount of daily calories and have starches in your present diet. Foods like potatoes, pasta, rice and breads are all higher GI starches that can ruin your diet if you are trying to get or stay lean.

Many protein sources in restaurants are pretty bad too. Most cuts of beef you will find are quite high in fat. The same goes for cuts of pork and any foul with skin or dark meat.

Then there are certain things we should look for on a menu. Cooking terms you should be looking for are grilled, steamed, broiled, poached and baked for example. These techniques will generally be a way of preparing food without having to add fat.

As far as good carbohydrate choices go, look at mainly vegetables and fruits. If a meal comes with vegetables and rice for example, you can often substitute the rice with more vegetables. Just make sure they aren’t drowning in a sauce or butter. The same goes for any salad you may order. Make sure your dressing is served on the side. Many dressings can contain as much as 12 grams of fat per tbsp, and you would be surprised how much dressing can be poured over a salad.

With protein sources, you want to look at leaner cuts of beef, sirloin is probably you best bet in a restaurant. Skinless chicken breast and fish like salmon (which is high in omega 3 fatty acid) are good choices. Most seafood for that matter is, lobster, shrimp and scallops for example are quite lean on their own. You want to make sure with any meat that you cut off all visible fat.

When it comes to eating out an easy way to stay on track is to think of your present diet, the amount of food you would generally eat per meal and the type of food for that specific meal. Lets say you are out for dinner and you would normally have a meal of chicken and vegetables at home. You can order a meal like that almost anywhere.

If you must go to a fast food joint look at their lighter menu. Many places offer chicken salads or grilled chicken sandwiches. Again, look out for mayo and sauces on these sandwiches. Even though you can get something fairly clean, I think you should try to stay clear of most fast food restaurants.

If you are going out to eat, use your head and make a logical choice, there is no reason to sway too far from your diet even when eating out.