Protein 101 – What, Why, And How Much?

Protein; what every gym rat likes to talk about. The truth is, protein is very important for everyone looking to maximize his or her health. To keep it simple, protein is made up of the building blocks of tissue – amino acids. In addition to muscle, protein also makes up hair, skin, nails, hormones, and enzymes.

Besides being important for rebuilding muscle, protein has a few other pretty important attributes;

Protein helps with satiety, or fullness, and will help control overall intake and hunger pangs.

Also, 20-35% of calories from protein are burned through digestion or the Thermic Effect Of Food (vs. 5-15% from carbs, and 0-5% from fat) – so eating a higher protein diet keeps your metabolism revved up. Have you ever gotten the meat sweats after eating a ton of meat? It’s a real thing…

High protein foods are pretty much anything that comes from the flesh of animals, or anything produced by an animal that is edible (milk, eggs, and dairy based protein powders). High protein, non-animal sources include tofu and beans – which also are a moderate protein source at best and also a significant carbohydrate source.

Protein is probably the most under consumed macronutrient in the average diet. For a healthy individual looking to maximize performance (performance not necessarily meaning athletic performance, but overall performance through out day to day tasks) , health and overall strength, I always recommend eating 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. (200 lb. healthy male = 200g of protein per day).

Where this recommendation changes a bit is in overweight or obese individuals. If looking to lose body fat, a caloric deficit is still crucial, and if somebody is 300 pounds, eating 300 grams of protein per day might not be possible or necessary.

In these cases, I like to use 1.25 grams per pound of Lean Body Mass.

 So lets say that someone is 260 pounds, and 35% body fat. 260 x .35 = 91 pounds of body fat. Taking the total weight (260) minus the body fat (91) gives us 169 pounds of lean body mass x 1.25 = 211 grams of protein.

If you are serious about your training (or health for that matter), you need to be serious about your protein intake. Training is catabolic – meaning it breaks down muscle tissue. Sufficient protein is key for proper recovery and boosting performance.

If you are more sedentary, maybe its time to consider getting some weight training in – but that’s for another time. Our bodies eventually get to a point in our 30s and 40s where we start losing muscle mass. This is called sarcopenia. It has been proven that this process can be slowed or even reversed by following even a basic full body strength program and eating enough protein to facilitate recovery and maintain muscle mass.

So take a good look at home much protein you currently eat, and most likely you will be looking to increase your intake. If you are currently eating 100 grams, and your goal is 200 grams, I don’t recommend trying to make that jump overnight.

First, try to find what your consistent daily average is. (100 grams per day)

Then, try increasing by 10 grams per day for whole week (110 grams per day). Keep increasing by 10 grams per day every week until you get close to your goal intake.

I have found that naturally when people focus on increasing their protein intake, they start cutting out more and more less nutritious foods, especially foods that are loaded with junk carbs and greasy fats.

By simply starting slow, and slowly increasing until you get to your desired goal intake, and you will be once step ahead of everyone else who is still trying to jump from fad diet to fad diet.

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Sweat Out The Stress: 3 Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed


I talk a lot on here about the benefits of working out – weight training in particular – but one often ignored benefit is the power that exercise has on our emotional well being.

While exercise in itself is technically a stressor (intense exercise causes elevations in cortisol, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) – it can provide a ton of anti-stress effects and feelings to give you some pretty awesome benefits.

It has been found in numerous studies that  even just 5 minutes of physical activity can decrease feelings of depression and anxiety. I’m not claiming that a quick 5 minute run with make all your problems go away, but it might make you feel better.

So how does this all work? Is it from that feel good rush of endorphins we get? Maybe not…

When it comes to the “old” field of thought, exercise will increase your brains endorphins (your bodies endogenous – internal – opioids). However this is little evidence to support that this is a significant amount and we don’t see many hardcore gym goers looking like they are strung out on heroin.

Now many may say that they feel a “rush” of energy or improvements in mood during exercise – while exercise may increase endorphins slightly, the main reason we feel better during a workout is much more physical rather than hormonal – you are just moving, and the body is meant to move! Exercise increases blood flow, oxygen flow, and damn it just feels good to feel your body improving your time or weight lifted.

What has been proven – and is pretty neat, is how exercise helps improve your mind OUTSIDE of the gym

Exercise is technically a stressor on the body – it elevates cortisol – and the more intense the exercise is, the more elevation you get.

Just like training might be a form of practice for a sport or activity, training is also a form of practice for your bodies ability to handle stress outside of the gym.

Along with cortisol being elevated, the hormone norepinephrine (NE) rises as well. This is the hormone that is the target for elevation for most anti-depressant drugs. When NE rises, it forces the bodies systems (cardio, renal, muscular, nervous) to communicate better with one another, and manage stressful situations more efficiently.

So by exercising and increasing our NE during exercise, we are training out body to handle rises in cortisol more efficiently outside of the gym, and from our regular everyday stressors.

Now here’s a curveball…

As I have noted before, too much intense exercise (especially coupled with extreme dieting) is a big no-no and will only lead you down a path of wrecked bodies and hormones.

There is a popular quote out there that says something like “The Only Workout You Regret is The One You Missed”.

While this sounds badass and motivational, it’s wrong to a certain point.

The workouts you regret are the ones where you didn’t listen to your body and guilted your self into doing some crazy high intensity workout while going off of 3 hours of sleep, no food, and in a severely dehydrated state. You don’t get a medal of honor for being a tough guy or gal in this case – you get a weakened immune system, a possible injury, and a body overwhelmed by stress.

To get the stress relieving benefits of exercise you need to train – but it has to be smarter, and not harder.

Here’s how:

1) Workout’s are only as beneficial as your recovery.

if you aren’t sleeping enough, not eating enough, and not taking time to just chillax a little bit, you will not be getting much out of your workouts, and only setting yourself up for more frustration. People need to start listening to their bodies more. If you know you are tired, and underfed – go for a 30 minute walk instead of doing the latest 100 Burpee Challenge (the worst thing ever invented).

You will be fine, you will feel better, and you will be better prepared for your next actual hard session.

2) Exercise is VERY Important…but isn’t for weight loss.

Stop counting your calories burned from exercise. Read that again. Yes, a trainer is telling you this.

When we put the stress of “I’ve gotta burn X calories” we take the fun out of training. Here’s a buzzkill – your calorie burn trackers are inaccurate anyways.

Exercise has so many amazing benefits, but as a primary source for weight loss it’s a terrible idea and its a trap that many gyms like to sell people on…

Exercise is for health, strength, fun, stress relief, social interaction, longevity, vitality…but not weight loss.

3) Have a plan A and B for your workout.

Ever go to bed, thinking about how you are going to CRUSH the weights the next day, or burn the pavement up with your epic sprints…only to wake up feeling sore, beat up, and groggy?

Instead of trying to stick to plan A and grind through, keep a plan B in your back pocket. That doesn’t mean do nothing, but it means pick something that is less stressful. Your body is probably trying to tell you something here.

Maybe work on mobility, lower intensity cardio, a more dynamic effort workout (lighter weights for speed), or at least shorten up your intense part of your session and couple it with some lower intensity walking and foam rolling at the end.



Don’t get me wrong – this is not a pass to start going “easy” on all your workouts – because most people truly don’t push themselves to an intensity that they can actually handle – but if you are a hardcore gym goer, and starting to feel a little burnt out, maybe it’s time to take a little step back and let your body level out a bit.

So next time you are feeling “blah”, go for a walk – even 5 minutes – and then assess what’s going on. That might be all you need, or you might be ready to toss around some weights – but either way, listen to your body, and keep the enjoyment in exercise.



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Learn For Yourself, Think For Yourself, Speak For Yourself


This weekend I saw a segment on the morning news about the investigations into Russian Troll Farms. These are the places that pump out emotionally charged, often ridiculous, social media posts, in order to sway your views, votes, and your opinion – and further divide our country.

For example, from the presidential campaign:

Page: Army of Jesus – “A Vote for Hilary is a Vote for Satan” – clearly targeted at Christian voters.

Page: Born Liberal – “Bernie Sanders: The Clinton Foundation IS the Problem!” – followed by some “quotes” by Bernie Sanders ripping on the Clinton Foundation – clearly targeted at potential Liberal voters, in order to sway votes from Clinton.

These are from sites that have been proven to be fake accounts, with the main goal of creating division and emotional knee jerk response.

The problem is people share, share, share, and share these posts as FACT, without even looking into them.

I see it all the time on social media – people simply sharing viral memes, and infographics that have cherry picked data, clever editing, and “facts” that don’t often tell the whole story.

So what the heck does this have to do with fitness and nutrition?

It’s the exact same problem.

“This ONE Food Will Trigger You to Gain Fat Instantly!”

“This 4 Minute Workout is ALL You Need to Get Shredded!”

“This supplement changed this woman’s life, and she’s sharing her secrets!”

“Lose 14 pounds in 4 days with this SCIENCE BACKED CLEANSE”

“Cut out carbs, and never DIET AGAIN!”

All this is bull****. But people click, click, click and share share share.

Just like the political posts, these are meant to get you to buy products (in the case of political posts – your support via votes)

We have become a society of instant gratification, social media justification of education (it has been proven that most people share things not to try and educate others, but to prove that they are “smart” about said topic), and using dumbed down memes to display our feelings and thoughts about various topics.

So here is what I encourage you to do:

1) Learn For Yourself

See a claim that one food will solve all your problems? Look for references. Look for data. Look for the source of the article. Look into the claims before jumping to a conclusion and buying an entire case of grass fed butter to put in your coffee. Reach out to a professional, ask questions, and learn about the claims being made.

Does the post tell the whole story? Or did they leave out some pretty important details?

2) Think For Yourself

After looking into claims, ask yourself “Does this make sense?”

Do you agree with the claims being made and feel that they are legit, and credible. Come to your OWN conclusion based off of actual research and data.

While social media does a lot of good – it also has created a mass echo chamber where everyone “likes” and “shares” stuff with the simple click of a button – and we become numb to actually thinking for ourselves. “If this guy has Dr. in front of his name he MUST be legit!” or “She has a killer body, so she MUST be a fitness and nutrition professional!”

Spoiler alert – if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!

3) Speak For Yourself!

Instead of just sharing a selectively suggestive post, write up a few sentences expressing how YOU feel. Create your own content. Speak from the heart. If this is how you feel – be confident in your position, but also be open to adult conversation and debate.


If you are convinced that “Carbs Are the Devil” – be ready to share what you found from looking into studies and examples – and be ready for some discussion.

I fully respect and support anyone who can come up with their own beliefs and conclusions, and will support their right to these beliefs – even if I don’t agree with you.

So lets do better folks. Start learning for yourself, thinking for yourself, and speaking for yourself.

Only then can you actually start DOING for you yourself.

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The Best “Lent Approved” Lean Protein Sources

This could be titled: the best lean protein sources that are not poultry, red meat or pork…so I hope everyone reads it whether or not you practice the season of Lent.

But I had to represent for all my people out there who are struggling to know how they can keep their gains on Fridays.

Here’s the deal – Lent is 40 days long, so there are 5-6 Fridays that fall in that span. If you don’t quite hit your protein numbers for the day you will be totally fine.

HOWEVER, if you are like me and can’t miss an opportunity of your attempt to be packing on as much muscle as possible before beach season (2 week span in Wisconsin) we gotta get that protein in! 

Here are the best sources of protein based on the amount of protein per what I would consider a decent size serving (20-30 grams of protein).

1/2 cup Egg Whites + 1 whole egg

4 oz. of any white fish (tilapia, cod, walleye, perch)

  • **4 oz. is roughly the size of a deck of cards.**

4 oz. of salmon

5 oz. can of tuna or salmon 

4 oz. of pretty much ANY seafood, shellfish, fish, etc.

1 scoop of protein powder (do not try getting all your protein from powders)

1/2 cup dry oats + 1/2 cup fair life milk + 1/2 cup Oikos Triple ZERO Vanilla Greek Yogurt.

1 cup of cottage cheese

1 cup of Greek Yogurt

1 cup of FairLife Milk + 3/4 cup Special K Protein Cereal

1 cup of Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix (also contains 60 grams of carbs)


Notice I didn’t say stuff like beans, peanut butter, cheese sticks, nuts…

While it is true that all of these do have some protein in them, I would not consider them protein sources, rather fat or carb sources with some protein in them.

Thats not to say that they cannot be eaten, but just that I wouldn’t consider them high protein foods to base a meal around.

Best of luck this Lenten season, may your gains be blessed.

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The Process Must Match the Goal – Interview With Figure Pro Ariel M

“I want to look like ______”

The statement gets thrown around way too often and way to “irresponsibly”. I believe that having a goal is always a great idea, but it also much be realistic. Nothing is impossible, but it might take much more than you believe.

If you ask me what I would ideally look like, I would say the classic physique of Steve Reeves. Muscular, proportionate, and a full head of hair…

Will I get here? Maybe someday…but maybe not, and thats cool.

So when someone comes to me saying they want 6 pack abs, chiseled arms, and no flabby saggy skin…and they want it now, and they currently are training 1-2 times per week, and have no clue what they are eating plus weekends spent hungover, I know we have a lot of work to do…but it can be done!

Want to know what it takes?  Look no further than my friend Ariel M, who’s amazing achievements include:

OCB Figure PRO
Nationally qualified Bikini Competitor NPC 2014-2015

Here is her process for getting stage ready:

What made you want to start competing? I was an athlete growing up, and have always been a (friendly) competitive personality. A year into college, I was missing that feeling of challenge and personal motivation. My mother competed on and off for about 7 years which is how I was introduced to the bodybuilding industry. I knew how big of a feat it was to get your body ready for the stage and felt like I was in the right place to compete in a sport on this extreme level.


How far out from getting on stage do you start modifying your training/diet – if at all? Healthy eating and various forms of exercise have always been a part of my day to day routine, regardless of any sport. For competitions, I start following a more strict diet plan and dial in my weight lifting routine at around 20 weeks out. I used to start 16 weeks out but the longer prep time gives me more flexibility to make gradual changes as I go without being too aggressive right off the bat.


What does the average week look like when it comes to training for getting into such amazing aesthetic shape? How many days lifting? How many days cardio? What were your splits? How much time did you spend each day training? For me, 6 days per week lifting, 1 hour on average, sometimes more or less. I have switched up my lifting routine quite a bit over the last 6 years of competing. I have done opposition splits: bi/tri, chest/back, shoulder day, 2 leg days (1 glute and hamstring focused) and a cardio/ core/ total body day. Now I do 2 heavy strength days upper and lower body (10 reps or less) and 2 hypertrophy days (higher rep), 1 core/cardio day, and the last day I do whatever body part I feel like needs attention (usually shoulders, back or glutes). I do 1 day of short HIIT cardio, mostly sprints and stair runs for 15-30 min. When I teach cardio classes I’m doing 2-3 days of spin class, 45 min – 1 hour. Writing this out makes me realize how much time I really spend working out. I love working out, so when I’m in the gym, it feels timeless most days. I’m not usually watching the clock because I enjoy being there.


What was your diet like towards your peak physique? Whew. In the very beginning before I start counting macros or weighing food, I start eliminating processed foods from my diet. I begin drinking less alcohol (baby steps!). I pack all my food so I am sure I’m eating every 3 hours or so. After a few weeks of this, I’m in the mindset. I start following my macro plan (given to me by my coach Lisa Feran) and eating a set amount of proteins, carbs and fats (off my clean grocery list) at around a 15% caloric deficit. Week by week, as I feel like I am hitting a plateau, we change my diet, gradually eating less calories (usually less carbs). Nothing happens too fast though. I try to change as little as possible to see the results I need to see. I try to start as full as I can with the most calories and carbs as possible so that we have plenty of room to make changes. If I’m still progressing and losing body fat at a proper rate, then nothing needs to change! Towards the end I sometimes do a carb cycle with a few days low and one day higher carb. The final week to the show is extreme but keep in mind that I have been training toward this week for 19 weeks already, so it’s not that crazy when you think about it that way.  By the last few weeks I’m eating mostly chicken, fish, salmon, sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs/egg whites, tons of veggies and always plenty of water. Consistent diet, small changes week by week with each week leading into the next and being 90% consistent 100% of the time. 


How much time do you spend working on your nutrition, as far as prepping, weighing, measuring, etc.? (how much is involved). I spend about 2 hours on Sunday cooking, weighing and packing. This prep usually gets me though Wednesday or so. Then I spend around 20- 30 min each night  making sure I keep the rotation of food from the freezer to oven to tupperware. Crock pots help with cooking time. I have plenty of tupperware to make things easy and quick to pack. I go to the grocery store 2-3 days a week to make sure my produce is fresh. Having a good cooler that packs tupperware nicely is another huge help.


How did your diet make you feel, or how did you feel during your prep? Mood? Energy? Any noticeable changes, good or bad? In the very beginning before I start counting macros or weighing food, I start eliminating processed foods from my diet. I begin drinking less alcohol (baby steps!). I pack all my food so I am sure I’m eating every 3 hours or so. After a few weeks of this, I’m in the mindset. I start following my macro plan (given to me by my coach Lisa Feran) and eating a set amount of proteins, carbs and fats (off my clean grocery list) at around a 15% caloric deficit. Week by week, as I feel like I am hitting a plateau, we change my diet, gradually eating less calories (usually less carbs). Nothing happens too fast though. I try to change as little as possible to see the results I need to see. I try to start as full as I can with the most calories and carbs as possible so that we have plenty of room to make changes. If I’m still progressing and losing body fat at a proper rate, then nothing needs to change! Towards the end I sometimes do a carb cycle with a few days low and one day higher carb. The final week to the show is the most ‘extreme’ but keep in mind that I have been training toward this week for 19 weeks already, so it’s not that crazy when you think about it that way. Bodybuilders don’t eat like they do the final week all the time. There is no magic food I’m eating to get me lean. It’s all foods people eat almost every day: lean proteins, healthy fats like coconut oil and almonds, whole carbs like potatoes, oats and rice and a huge diversity of vegetables and plenty of water of course. Consistent diet, small changes week by week with each week leading into the next and being 90% consistent 100% of the time is the key. 


What did you like about competing? What did you not like? I have an amazing coach and team which makes competing fun and rewarding to be surrounded by others like me. Second to my team, the thing I love most about competing is the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction of completion after a long prep process. Being on stage is a way I can express myself and present my art. I have molded my body through self determination and willpower and feel honored to preset my hard work in this way. I recognize that I am not my body, rather my body is just my shell in which I’ve been given to live. This personal embodiment and aesthetic side of the sport is what makes bodybuilding so unique.


Anything else you want to add for people who want to get into stage ready shape? Physical and mental health are of the utmost importance. Be sure to talk with a coach who has experience in the industry. Training for a bodybuilding competition is not like training for any other sport. The mental and emotional side are a different challenge than other types of extreme sports so it is important to have a qualified person whom you trust to help you navigate the journey both to the competition and the time following after!

Learn more about Ariel and give her a follow!

insta: @Fitness.By.Ariel


website: &


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STOP Exercising to Lose Weight

Major benefits of exercise in general:

  • Improved heart/blood health
  • Improved mood
  • Improved coordination
  • Improved blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol

Direct major benefits of pure cardio exercise:

  • Improved cardiovascular endurance
  • Improved resting heart rate
  • Improved performance in cardiovascular events/activities

Direct major benefits of strength training:

  • Improved muscle mass/”tone”
  • Improved strength
  • Improved bone mineral density
  • Improved insulin sensitivity

Notice none of those said “weight or fat loss”?

Relying soley on exercise to lose weight is a terrible idea. Is it part of the equation? Yes, but a much more minor part than most think.

If you constantly think you need more and more exercise, and to do this class, or go on this run, or up your miles, or start 2 a days you are setting yourself up for a major bummer.

Sidenote: if you truly enjoy doing tons of exercise, running, biking, classes, etc. and you aren’t getting worn down, or feeling burnt out – then that is awesome, keep doing them! But you don’t NEED to do them…

If you feel the need to dreadfully add more and more exercise, it is not going to get you anywhere.

From a physiological and thermodynamics level:

Heres some numbers to cheer you up:

  • A 185 pound person will burn about 266-378 calories per hour in a strength training class (a lighter person will burn less)
  • Most people will burn, on average, 100 calories per 1 mile traveled on foot. So if you run 5 miles, thats about 500 calories.
  • Various numbers can be given for different exercises, and modalities – so the results can be very variable and unpredictable

How easy is it to eat 266 calories? That’s about a handful of mixed nuts, a bite of your kids mac n cheese, and a girl scout cookie after dinner. Pretty damn easy to “cancel” out that calorie burn from that workout – I guess it was pointless….

This is the problem with thinking of exercise purely as a calorie burn. Look back to the list at the top of all the benefits of exercise, cardio, and strength training. Those are some pretty awesome benefits. But when you only think of exercises as “how many calories can I burn”, you end up wrecking your relationship with it, and sometimes wrecking your body.

If you are always chasing the calorie burn from exercise, you start to sacrifice form for speed, you start to do stupid things in your workout just because they “burn more calories” or get your heart rate up (Burpee challenges are the worst thing I have ever heard of).

From a hormonal level:

Exercise stresses your body.

Dieting stresses your body.

Life stresses your body.

You body only recognizes this all as stress is stress is stress.

Exercising more and more, and eating less and less will work – for the short term.

Eventually somethings gotta give, and that something is usually your progress.

When we workout out over and over again with a goal to lose weight, we are constantly living in a stressed state, Couple that with most people not eating nearly enough or getting enough nourishment to fuel this many workouts, and you are looking to stall out or even start falling backwards.

Stress in all forms induces cortisol. Constantly elevated levels of cortisol can and will eventually shut your bodies metabolic furnace down, because we’ve got more important things to worry about than trying to burn fat. This will also greatly affect the production of sex hormones, slow down thyroid function and imbalance blood sugar levels. Lastly, it makes it hard for your body to create those ‘feel good’ hormones like serotonin.

And here is the WORST thing you can do when your body is under tons of stress from life, training, and dieting….eat low carb. (and what is the one diet most people gravitate towards these days?)

When your cortisol is already through the roof, your energy levels are zapped, yet you try and force yourself through more and more workouts – well, you body is just starving for carbs, but most people will deprive themselves of them – only putting your body into a crazier hormonal spiral.

So if we should stop exercising to lose weight, what should we do?

Stop exercising with the mindset of having to earn your food, or burn your meal…exercise for the benefits listed at the start of this post.

You may have been able to ignore your diet at the start, but its time to get real and be honest with yourself. Nutrition is the key component for fat loss – but it also doesn’t have to be dreaded or miserable.

Lastly, work to reduce your stress. Take a step back from crazy workouts, work on some breathing exercises, swap out a bootcamp for some yoga, and focus on improving your sleep and nutrition.

Exercise is great, but it should not be done out of guilt, or with a goal of just needing to burn more calories.


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Can Happiness and Dieting Coexist?

If by “dieting” we mean – eating with a goal of losing body fat…then yes, it is possible.

Unfortunately the word “diet” is often associated with pain, suffering, deprivation, sadness, boringness, restriction, and many other negative choice words.

Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone say “oh I’m on a diet and loving it!”?

Here’s the big thing – it doesn’t have to suck.

You don’t need to cut out entire food groups, cut out entire macronutrients, cut out your social life, cut out birthday cake, cut out Christmas cookies…you don’t NEED to do any of that!

So if I can eat birthday cake and not have to stop eating _______, how the heck is it still possible to lose weight?!?!

You are an adult. You choose what your eat and drink. Time to take responsibility for that.

That’s the other secret word – aside from my favorite secret word (consistency) – is responsibility. Food doesn’t decide to jump in your mouth and crawl down into the warmth of your stomach. You CHOOSE to eat it. You CHOOSE to drink it. So first things first is you have to own the F up and be cool with that.

Once you stop blaming food itself, the fast food companies, or the little cute cartoon characters that MADE you eat 3 Quarter Pounders with a large fry and a 24 oz coke…and realize that you are in 100% total and absolute control of what you put in your body, only then will you be able to start your journey towards losing weight healthfully AND being happy aka “dieting”.

Ok, I get it – I am in control. But now what? Don’t I need to stop eating all that is pleasurable?

No. You are in control, and now you have chosen to be a responsible adult.

As a responsible adult you know:

  1. Don’t eat a bunch of candy/sweets/treats/junk food all the time
  2. Don’t drink your calories as much as possible
  3. Eat as much whole, unprocessed foods as possible
  4. Load up on lean proteins, vegetables, fruits on a pretty unlimited basis
  5. Be active

Everyone knows this. So where do we go so wrong?

It’s when it comes to eating and drinking everything else that most people tend to adopt an all or nothing mindset.

NEVER eat carbs if you want to lose fat.


Well I don’t give a hoot about my body and dieting is hard, so I’m just going to keep pounding every carb in sight, from Twinkies, to break room bagels, and even Sandy’s nasty ass homemade brownies she brought in to work…

What ever happened to the idea of moderation and, that magic word again – responsibility?

You can eat carbs and still lose plenty of fat. You can eat processed carbs and still lose plenty of fat. But we need to be responsible and figure out what the appropriate dose is for YOU, and learn how to factor that into your life.

As with many things in life, the dose makes the poison.

So what do I do and how do I find this happiness within weight loss?!?

Thats a loaded and answer, which for some people may take some time to figure out, and peel back layers and layers of years and years of poor mindset, feelings of guilt, negative associations with all things food and life, etc.

The best advice I can give everyone – for free – here it is…

Figure out where you are starting. Figure out what you are currently eating on a day to day basis…then make one little change. Stick to that. Then make another, and another, and another…

It doesn’t have to be a brutal all or nothing approach, you just need to be responsible, be consistent, and take a little step in the right direction every single day.

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Short Term Pleasure; Long Term Pain…

Recently I was listening to a fantastic podcast from my friends at Relentless Dietetics –>

In their most recent episode they were discussing higher level thinking – how as humans we can think and plan for long term, where as animals, live in the now and literally only react to what is currently happening, and don’t necessarily do things in the current time while thinking about how that will impact future.

Which brings up the point of “short term pleasure; long term pain” or vice versa “short term pain; long term pleasure”

The word ‘pain’ does not need to be actually PAINFUL, but it might be the thing you don’t really want to do, or the less desirable of two or three options…

When it comes to being fit, exercising or taking care of your body – its easy to choose short term pleasure by skipping the gym, sleeping in –  skipping the gym, and going out to the bars – even deciding to take the elevator; instead of the stairs…

You consistently choose the easier, more “pleasurable”, more compelling, more mainstream frankly, and more average choice – you are likely to find yourself in the long term “pain” bucket.

Pain in this case being – not happy with how you feel, not happy with how you look, not confident, always thinking that you are a failure – these may sound harsh, but they are all things that I have unfortunately heard.

How about short term “pain” for long term pleasure in regards to fitness/activity/etc?

Going to the gym consistently – not always what we want to do.

Tracking workouts and progress – not what we always want to do.

Taking the stairs – not what we always want to do.

Walking to the grocery store that is 4 blocks away – not what I always want to do 🙂

All things that in the short term might not be the easiest or most pleasurable choice…but they will lead to the long term pleasure of feeling good, being confident in how you look, and living a longer an healthier life.

How about when it comes to nutrition? This is where it gets a little harsh sounding…

Short term pleasure; eating whatever the hell you want. Drinking however the hell you want. Mindlessly eating and not being aware of what you put in your body day to day…etc…

If this is what you have always done, it will lead to what you have always had.

Am I saying that you need to start suffering and eating like a bodybuilder day after day? Nope. It’s really doesn’t have to be THAT painful. Same thing goes for fad diets. When you yo-yo from one extreme to another, you are usually getting SO much short term pain, with the shiny promise of long term pleasure, but is it really worth it? Does it REALLY work??

So what will constitute as reasonable short term pain for long term pleasure?

Learning about food and how much you are currently eating – not the most exciting…

Tracking your calories – but it takes time…

Passing on seconds after dinner because you know you are full, and you know that you are at your goal for the day – very hard

Doing these things might not be ideal in the moment, but what you will gain long term is much much greater than any short term option you can choose.

But here’s the deal – you don’t ALWAYS need to choose short term pain for long term pleasure – you just need to be aware of what you are choosing, and have realistic expectations about how you plan to feel afterwards.

This is where I cannot stress enough about how cool tracking your food is. This has essentially allowed myself and many clients to enjoy short term pleasure, for long term pleasure…ooooo,ahhhhhh…

How do you mean? More on this another time – but I have already touched on the topic before. –>

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Stay healthy my friends,

Is This Your Year?


Happy 2018! We made it!

Every year people come up with New Years resolutions, and every year, people give up or fail those resolutions fairly quickly.

So what will you do to be different? Will this be your year to make the changes you have been talking about for years? Or finally commit to something you have been thinking about for all of 2017, but never pulled the trigger on it?

Whatever your goals or resolutions may be; great, keep them – but if you say you’re going to do something, I hope you have enough respect for yourself to do it. Don’t lie to yourself about what you are going to do, and actually take some action this year.

So how can you make it easier on yourself?

Here’s the thing, people love easy. They want easy. Yet many resolutions they set are not easy. Losing weight that you have put on over the course of 20 years of self sabotage and neglectful bad habits and lifestyle choices…

That is a hard challenge! But it can be done.

However – it IS simple.

Simple doesn’t equal Easy

Instead of moaning about how hard it is, and how easy you wish it was – take a look at how complex and daunting you are making it, and simplify it down to simple, manageable, and small steps.

Think about the hardest math class you ever took (Calc 2?). Did you start in that class from day one of learning math? No. You learned the basics at a young age and built upon it over years and years of practice and learning.

Same goes with any big New Years goal. You have to start from the basics.

Right now with the New Year motivation being strong you might feel like you can tackle all these things at once, and get to the gym 7 days per week, and measure out every gram of rice and chicken you bulk prep over the weekend…but then once the shiny luster of the New Year wears away, and real life kicks you in the face…now what?

  1. Start simple.
  2. Pick one thing each day.
  3. Write it out.
  4. Cross it off when you accomplish it.
  5. Do it again the next day.
  6. And the next… until you have a chain of “x”s lining your paper or calendar…now don’t let that chain break! (this is what Jerry Seinfeld did with writing jokes, seriously –

So pick your one thing, focus on it – build on it, and progress through 2018 like a boss!


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Stay healthy my friends,

The Way We See The Problem Is The Problem

Last night I was reading a book that I have been meaning to read for some time now, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

I got halfway down page 48 and read this line, “The way we see the problem, is the problem”…

I had to re-read it several times to let it sink in. Once it did, it was perfect. The author goes on to write, “people are intrigued when they see good things happening in lives of individuals…that are base on solid principles. They admire such personal strength and maturity…and their immediate request is very revealing of their basic paradigm…”

What is the usual immediate request?

“How do I fix this?” “What are some tricks/tips?” “Tell me what to do…”

Now the author goes on use examples such as kids misbehaving, marriages falling apart, and managers failing at work…but I’ve got to take the nutrition approach.

The way we see the problem, is the problem…

What will me writing out a specific meal plan for you change in your life?

What will me telling you to eat this and not that change in your life?

What will me telling you what I eat change in your life?

What will me telling you the “secrets” to fat loss change in your life?

Sure, answering simple questions might get you a little closer to your goal, but most of the time these type of questions lead to short term solutions, initial progress, followed by back tracking into usual habits.

There are people out there who will gladly give you these answers, for only $49.95, and they will probably help you – in the short term. They may “fix” some of your problems…only to expose deeper issues and struggles when it comes to your mindset and relationship with food.

The more and more you look for a quick fix and an easy solution, the more and more that very approach will contribute to your underlying chronic problem.

So what the heck do you do?

Good question. Everyone is different. Your needs, your intolerances, your habits, your cravings, your guilty pleasures, your body type, your hormone status, your food you enjoy, your food that you hate, your stress and emotional eating tendencies…

This is why cookie cutters rarely work (long term). Remember what I have said, if you lost weight doing something for 12 weeks, and gained it all back, did it really ‘work’?

Because I want to provide SOME actionable content here, I guess I will give you my 3 general “best” practices when it comes to changing your mindset and relationship with food – and playing the long game.

1 – Take away any morality and power you have given to food. It is not bad, it is not good – it is food. It is nourishment. It can under nourish, and it can over nourish. You are a human being, the most advanced creature on this planet, and that is a 2×2 square brownie – who has more power?

2 – Learn about your food. What food contributes to your most calories? What food surprises you when it comes to calories? What food is less calories than you thought? What food is high protein?

If you want to change your body, take some time to learn about what you are putting in it.

3 – Focus on and Enjoy the process. Stop fixating on your goal weight in 6 months. Stop talking about how much you weighed in college. Focus on the now. What are you currently doing to improve your current situation?

Looking to change your relationship with food? I am opening up 3 limited spots in my online coaching program in the New Year. Fill out this quick survey to find out more!

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Stay healthy my friends,