Fat loss

DrawBacks of a Low Carb Diet

In this post I’d like to share a guest contribution from a good friend and one of my mentors, Joseph Hughes (Fit N Sync). Joe has extensive experience competing in physique competitions as well as coaching many other women and men for physique, figure and bikini contests. He also helps the average individual lose unwanted body fat while following a balanced, sustainable nutrition plan.

Joe helped me prepare my nutrition plan for my first Men’s Physique competitions last year, leading me to a first place victory in my Regional contest and 3rd place at the Provincials, qualifying me for the Nationals. We share the same philosophy regarding flexible dieting, also called If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), which relates to tracking your calories and macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) and eating a variety of foods while meeting your calorie and macro needs, based on your individual goals.

creamy-filled-berry-gluten-free-protein-packed-crepes

One big aspect of nutrition that Joe really helped me gain a more balanced and evidence-based perspective was related to getting over my “fear of carbs”. Like many fitness professionals I was sucked into the belief that “carbs make you fat”, and that they were basically an unnecessary nutrient that we could do without (or at least consume as little as possible). Once I looked at the evidence and began to consume a healthier amount of higher carbohydrate foods (particularly on my training days), while still meeting my calorie needs, my training progress accelerated and my physique improved. I asked Joe to share some of the myths and facts about low-carb diets with us in this post. Enjoy! Continue reading

What Videos Do You Want to See Next?

Continue reading

Fat Burning Ladder SuperSet Workout

What the heck is a Fat Burning Ladder workout?

A Ladder Workout is a training technique that I often use, especially with bodyweight / calisthenics workouts. It’s also one of the training methods I will be introducing in my upcoming ebook/ video program, Bodyweight MASS Builder. It’s a high-intensity, high-volume super-set workout that will build muscle, increase muscular endurance, and burn fat. It’s a simple but challenging form of antagonist supersetting that you can apply to almost any exercises, but which I find particularly well suited to body weight exercises.

ladder-workout

Here’s how you perform this workout protocol: choose two exercises, typically one pushing movement and one pulling movement (antagonist muscle groups), OR a lower body exercise paired up with an upper body exercise, and you super-set these two exercises, moving back and forth between them with minimal rest. But here’s where the ‘ladder’ technique gets interesting: you begin with only ONE repetition on one exercise and gradually increase reps on every set, and you start with a high number of reps on the other exercise and gradually decrease reps on each set. One exercise moves up the ladder in reps and the other one moves down.

Here’s an example, starting with 1 to 10 repetitions, which should be suitable for most beginners: Continue reading

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Your Body

Nutrition seems to be one of the most debated topics in the fitness industry. I’ve had numerous discussions or debates with other trainers about the value of tracking your food intake using some form of journal or nutrition diary. I argue in favor of using a journal or a free app like My Fitness Pal to track your calories and macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs), or to at least have some awareness of portions and approximate macro intake. Those who oppose tracking often recommend just “listening to your body” to determine how much to eat.

Roast Chicken Dinner Continue reading

How to Keep the Fat Off after You Lose It

Why the Biggest Losers Regained The Weight

A few weeks ago there was a “Biggest Loser Study” that was getting a lot of media attention. It basically showed that 6 years later the majority of the contestants on the show had regained most of their weight. Even worse, it also revealed that their metabolism was slower than it was previously. For more details check out the Research Review of this study on the Precision Nutrition site at www.precisionnutrition.com/the-biggest-loser-study.

The unfortunate thing is that this study paints a dismal picture that it’s impossible to sustain fat loss over the long term. Of course, the mainstream media loves these types of stories and they jumped all over it. However, that conclusion is absolutely false. The Biggest Loser Study failed to fully explain why these individuals regained most of the weight. We need to ask the question: “What mistakes are they making on the Biggest Loser program that is contributing to this problem?” I’ll get to that later in this article.

Loser-study Continue reading

Fat to Fit in 6 Hours? Physique Transformation “Tricks” Revealed

Same_Day_Transformed

Do you ever wonder if some of those “amazing physique transformation” pics are actually legit?

“Before and After” transformation pictures can be very motivational to those who are working on transforming their own physique, and an impressive progress photograph is one of the most powerful testimonials you can have for any given product, supplement, training program or nutrition plan.

However, in many cases there is more going on in these pictures than meets the eye.

While you can’t just assume that any unbelievable transformation pics are “fake”, IMO it’s also important to realize that most before/after or ‘progress’ photos involve a little tweaking… such as tanning, shaving, optimal lighting, posing, sticking your gut out vs flexing, pumping up, water and carb manipulation, etc.

Even just the camera angle or changing your body position can create an “illusion” for the camera. This isn’t even getting into the discussion of whether photoshop was used, or steroids for that matter.

While some of the strategies I mentioned above don’t necessarily qualify as “cheating”, but it helps to know this if you expect to achieve the results you see in those ‘testimonials’. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t aim high and set very challenging goals for yourself, however it can be very disappointing to work hard towards an unreachable goal you set based on unrealistic expectations as a result of the crazy transformation promises made by some products and programs. Continue reading

4 Proven Benefits of a High Protein Diet

With every new year comes new fad diets promising fast fat loss. These range from low carb, low fat, elimination diets, food timing diets, liquid diets, “clean-eating” diets, and the list goes on. But like I’ve said many times before, the fundamentals of fat loss nutrition remain the same:

1) Caloric deficit – take in less energy than you burn off.

2) Appropriate macronutrient ratios – particularly higher protein and adjust carbs and fats according to calorie goals.

3) Food quality – choose less processed foods, adequate micronutrition and fiber, and consume mostly natural “whole” food.

4) Nutrient timing – consider WHEN you eat, such as meal frequency and timing your carb intake primarily after exercise.

Nutrition pyramid

Check out my blog post on this topic:

=> TOP 5 PRIORITIES OF FAT LOSS NUTRITION

Protien_2.27kg_Tub

The one recommendation that I most often see debated is following a High Protein Diet. There is still a lot of confusion and misinformation about whether eating more protein is good or bad for you, and some misguided recommendations have evolved from poorly conducted or misinterpreted/misunderstood studies suggesting that a high protein diet is “bad for you”.

The mainstream media has been polluting us with anti-protein propaganda recently with claims that simply aren’t supported by sound scientific research. For example, some people bring up research showing that people with kidney dysfunction should restrict protein intake, however a high-protein diet itself has never been shown to ’cause’ kidney damage.

Also, while there are claims that a high-protein diet increases the risk of osteoporosis, research clearly shows that it actually helps prevent osteoporosis. There is enough solid research now available to prove the benefit of consuming more protein, especially if you are trying to lose body fat.

Why is Protein Important?

Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Your body uses the amino acids from protein to build muscle, tendon, organ, skin, as well as hormones and enzymes vital to life. You need to consume enough quality protein to get certain Essential Amino Acids that your body needs to survive.

Animal-based sources of protein are the most complete, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, but certain plant-based proteins like rice and pea protein are high-quality sources of protein as well. Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas Fitness

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Here’s my gift to you: The 12 Days of Fitness (Christmas Workout). I had several of my clients perform variations of this program yesterday… it’s a fun way to get in a decent circuit training workout for the holidays.

There’s 12 rounds of this circuit, each round adding another exercise with one more repetition (up to 12 repetitions for the final exercise, of course). It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on your rep speed and rest intervals. Here’s the video tutorial I created for it (you’ll be impressed by my angelic singing voice!):

The 12 Days of Fitness – A Christmas Workout

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here’s how you do it: Continue reading