8 Ways Your Diet Could Be Weakening Your Immune System

No food or pill can make you invincible. However… 

…that isn’t the end of the story.

You have to love the world we live in. “Never let a good crisis go to waste” is alive and well in the nutrition and fitness world.

Every single fitness trainer’s business is on life support while trying to help as many clients as possible from a computer or cell phone via Zoom. Coming up with bodyweight and minimal equipment workouts to try and best serve clients, and pivoting to full force online coaching, for the time being, is a move that everyone in the fitness industry is (should) be doing.

And then you have the nutrition people...

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Permission to Reduce Your Stress – 10 Ways How

By now things have had time to simmer. To sink in. Realities. Potentials. What ifs and If only’s.

People are mad, scared, tired, frustrated, and are feeling forgotten – and that’s okay to feel that way.

However, like any other time we need to remember to stick to the one main principle that we always know to be true – we are in control of our thoughts and actions. 

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The Not So Motivational Talk You Need

Whether or not you are a fan of Nike, we all need to heed their slogan a little bit more.

Just. Do. It.

What is this? Drill Sergeant Mike coming on strong now? No more empathy, compassion, and love? Not so fast…this is where many go wrong.

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Throw Away Your Scale?!

We have all heard this before. Heck, I’ve probably said it before. “Don’t worry about your scale!” “throw the scale away!” “The scale is a source of pain and anguish”…

But is it really time to completely throw away the scale? Or time to create a new relationship with the scale, and also add more tools to our toolbox of progress?

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The TRUTH About All Those “Eat Whatever You Want and Lose Weight” People

It’s true! You CAN eat pizza and lose weight. You CAN eat Big Mac’s and lose weight!

This is something that I see ads for, marketing for, and friends sharing posts about all the time. I myself even share the occasional “I eat ____ as part of my healthy diet”.

The disconnect is this – most people who eat this way don’t show, or talk about the other Continue reading

Things That Make the Scale Go Bump In The Night

The scale. Friend of few, the enemy of many.

The scale tells us one thing. Our current pull on gravity at the present moment – aka our weight. It tells us nothing else about ourselves. Not how fit we are, how nice we are, how bad we are…it only tells our weight.

 

The debate rages on about how to use the scale, or if to use the scale at all.

Like anything else in the fitness and diet world, it depends on the individual and their mindset.

If someone has had issues with the scale in the past, first I will look at what they were, how they handled them, and if it was a serious enough problem to avoid the scale – or if we just need to shift their mindset.

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What is the best diet?

 

Yesterday a friend asked me, “so what do you think the best diet is?”

Talk about a tough question…so why not answer it with the easiest cop out answer.

The best diet for someone is the diet that they can enjoy, stick to, get results on, and maintain an optimal level of health at their current point in life.

What a terrible answer…but it’s really the truth.

To break it down:

Eating what you enjoy.

How many of you have tried some kind of fad diet, filled with foods you never eat, and foods you hate? I’m sure you stuck to it for years, and were a very pleasant person to be around.

You have to eat what you enjoy to be successful.

Does that mean I can have a successful diet on ice cream, bacon and homemade chex mix? Probably not all the time, but I can fit those kinds of things in which gets me to point number two…

Sticking to it.

If you enjoy what you eat (most of the time) you are likely going to keep it up, right?

This is where finding true moderation comes in. Moderation is not drinking one soda a day, and eating dessert only after dinner – that is a little excessive. Moderation is how most people consume vegetables – once or twice a week, maybe…

What you eat 80-90% of the time however should be the foods that we all know are beneficial to our health and especially the ones that we enjoy, because by doing this we…

Get results…

Whether it be fat loss, muscle building, or just maintaining our current shape, results matter – and without an appropriate eating plan, results wont happen. (remember, you cant out train a bad diet)

So you may need to do some tracking, measuring, or have someone keep you accountable – but bottom line is, results matter, and they take some effort.

However, it doesn’t need to be as complex as people make it out to be! Look at what you currently eat. Are you currently maintaining weight, but want to lose some? Then cut out two bites at every meal. Simple and silly? Yes – but it would work.

But what if you eat total crap, but still create a caloric deficit – well, you will lose weight, but you might not feel the best after some time…

Maintain optimal levels of health

Clients are shocked when I look over their journals and tell them “okay, switch your 3 cokes a day to 3 diet cokes”, or “lets switch to eating only one quarter pounder with cheese instead of two”…

Most people expect me to tell them to throw out their current life completely and drink only purified water with pH balanced salts, and cook only the purest organic chicken breasts…not eat one less thing at McDonalds.

Truth is, I would love to EVENTUALLY get people away from fast food, and diet soda…but that might never happen (see reasons 1-3) – but if I can get them to substantially reduce their intakes, lose some pounds, and vastly improve their internal health, then that is one hell of a start.

So look over these 4 points, and figure out if you are currently doing the right things for YOU, or are you trying to follow the latest trend on the cover of the magazine at the grocery store?

 

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Eat Less – Exercise More is WRONG

 

If you read anything today, it should be this.

For years, I myself told people, “exercise more, eat less – thats how you lose weight!”

This is true.

Unfortunately, I disagree with this statement completely now. Yes, I can change my views on things too, I am human.

So why is is wrong, and what DO I suggest?

First lets look at the principles behind the statement.

If you increase exercise, or movement in general – you burn more calories.

If you eat less food, you consume fewer calories.

Thus, you create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you are burning more calories than you consume, and by the undeniable laws of thermodynamics – you should be losing weight!

This is all true.

So what is wrong with exercise more, eat less?

Exercise More

“I need to do more cardio” – ” I need to go to more bootcamps” – “I need to workout more”

Three common statements made by people who want to lose weight. All good statements, but all could be neglecting something important – DIET.

You cannot out train a bad diet. You might be able to at the start, but it won’t last. I promise.

You lost weight by running a bunch and not really looking at your diet. Then all of a sudden life happened and you had to stop running 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then what happens?

Or you hit a plateau in your weight loss, so you must add more running! Now you are socially exiling yourself from your friends and family, because you need to run 12 hours per week to maintain your weight loss – that sounds fun.

Exercising more is not the answer.

Eat Less

So you want to crash diet to fit into that dress for the winter ball? Ok. Go jump on a standard cookie cutter diet (which definitely doesn’t include cookies) and starve yourself at 1200 calories a day. You will lose weight.

But then what?

You either have to keep eating so little that you burn out, or yup – you have to exercise more to create bigger deficit.

Man or woman, starving yourself brings about some pretty nasty hormonal side effects – I don’t recommend it.

So what the hell do you recommend?

Exercise More, Eat More.

or

Exercise Less, Eat Less

(but maintain a caloric balance suited for your goals)

What does this mean?

Want to lose weight at a sustainable rate? Then live in a 300-500 calorie caloric deficit for most days of the week, and don’t go crazy on days that you aren’t.

Want to gain muscle at a sustainable rate without gaining tons of fat? Maintain a caloric surplus of 200-300 calories for most days of the week that you train.

So say you want to lose some fat.

Here is what your week might look like:

As exercise increase, this allows you to eat more – which will help maintain muscle mass, and your sanity – and as long as you stay within a deficit, you are golden.

So how do you figure all this out?

That is way beyond a blog post – and unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just plugging in numbers to a formula. For in general, if you live by being aware of 1) Did I exercise today? and 2) Did I eat a little more today? and 3) Am I still losing/gaining weight (dependent on goal) – then you will have your answers.

This is my goal for everyone. Stop this trend of eating less and less and less, and exercising more, and more – and find a sustainable process that works for the long haul, and you can switch it on and off like a faucet – with very little problems.

 

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You Can’t Run Away The Fat

 

Sure, go from zero running to some running to lots of running and you will probably lose some weight. But then what?

I’ve seen it, in people I know, in people I read about, in people I see out in public…the weight loss stalls.

Now, I used to be that meat head that would say “cardio is dumb, you don’t need to do cardio, just lift and diet and you will be good”.

While I partially still agree with this – I also don’t think cardio is dumb. It is very important to make sure your heart is strong and functions well or, well, you die. If you ENJOY running – or more traditional cardio, and it doesn’t harm you – then more power to ya, run run run!

However, using cardio as a sole means of fat loss with complete ignorance of diet and some cross training is a recipe for disaster.

The three common traps that cardio lovers seem to fall into are:

  1. Weight loss stopped? Time to run more.
  2. I run a lot/train for marathons – I can eat whatever I want.
  3. I want to be better at running – so I will run more!

When weight loss stops on a pure cardio routine, many peoples first instinct is “I need more cardio”. Here why that might not be the best idea.

When you live by the cardio – you die by the cardio. Meaning that the more cardio you add and add and add to your week, as soon as something happens in your life that doesn’t allow you to run 10 hours per week, your progress will backfire and your weight will rocket back.

Without paying any attention to creating a slight caloric restriction through food instead of just trying to run more, you set yourself up for trouble when trouble strikes in your life.

Your body also becomes very efficient at running at a slow and steady pace. Meaning you CONSERVE calories so you can last longer on your run, but at a slightly slower pace. When fatloss is the goal, efficiency sucks.

Crank up the intensity, hit some sprints (on a bike especially) and turn your body into a furnace in a shorter amount of time.

This is where problem 2 comes in – the “I run a lot therefore I can eat whatever I want”.

There is a generic statistic that says you burn about 100 calories per mile traveled while running so lets just use that for an example.

Say you run 10 miles one day – so “burn” 1000 calories. Then you go to Olive Garden to celebrate with friends and get the biggest past dish you can find because you “earned” it.

Well that dish is 2500 calories, plus the 4 breadsticks you ate – so there you go, you now cancelled out your run plus jumped into a surplus.

The main point being – its very easy to supplant the caloric burn of a cardio workout if you blindly eat whatever.

You must still pay attention to diet, and eat enough for performance – but also if you goal is fat loss, you must be in a slight deficit.

And the last trap – more running = better at running, its not always the case.

Yes, you need to practice any skill to get better.

But for runners, don’t forget strength!

You need to build up the muscles through strength training so they can endure long runs, and the pounding on the pavement.

Strength training not only builds muscle (which boosts your resting metabolic rate) but it also helps build BONE.

How many cardio lovers do you know who have gotten stress fractures? I know a few.

Heavier loading of the bones and especially the axial skeleton greatly improves bone density. This means squats, lunges, step ups, deadlifts, all those good lower body exercises should be done 2-3 days per week. 

So if your goal is to lose some fat here’s what I would recommend:

  • Don’t rely solely on running- if you enjoy it, cool, but you don’t NEED to run. Biking, swimming, hiking, circuit training, are all great ways to get cardiovascular improvements as well.
  • Don’t ignore diet. Your goal should be to lose fat at a pace of 1-2 pounds per week with as little change to your normal routine as possible. So don’t just add in 10 hours of cardio per week because that wont last. Start with bodyweight x 10 for your calorie goal.
  • Weight train – not only to help prevent running injuries, but also to improve your metabolism, your muscle tone, and to improve your mood and energy.

 

 

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5 MORE Quick Calorie Cuts

For the first article click here: https://mgfitlife.com/2017/02/28/5-quick-calorie-cuts/

Still looking for more tips and tricks to cut back on those calories huh?

Well, just remember that if you aren’t consistent with your day to day intake, these “simple” cuts won’t make much of a dent, but they could help you get started.

1. When eating out, NEVER clean your plate

I stole this from a friend I had dinner with last night who said he has lost about 10 pounds recently by just cutting back on fast food, and by never cleaning his plate when he eats out.

I loved this idea. If you think about it, even if you leave a few french fries and a few bites of a ‘sammich, that could easily be 300 calories. If you eat out daily, this would be cutting out 2100 calories per week!

Not to shabby.

2. Slow DOWN When You Eat

Set a stop watch next time you eat. See how long it took you. Now double that time the next time you eat a meal.

Yes, I know we are all super stressed and crunched for time – but if you aren’t currently measuring your food, and have no clue how much you eat – then eating too quickly can really add up fast.

By taking your time, you are giving your hunger signals more time to tell your brain that you are full.

3. Use a smaller plate at home.

Still load it up with protein and veggies, and then the rest of the space with “other” stuff.

By reducing the volume of food you eat – you will reduce your calories (go figure!)

Plates and serving sizes have actually gotten bigger over the years, and so has your countries average waistline (also, go figure)Image result for portion sizes over the years

4. Set a time frame to eat. Also know as intermittent fasting.

 While this may not work for all, intermittent fasting has is proponents.

Essentially you just set a time window that you eat, and a time window that you don’t. Usually the feeding window is anywhere between 4 and 8 hours.

I would recommend starting with 8 hours. So say you wakeup at 6AM, then as soon as you have your first bite of food, then you start your “8 hour clock” when you can eat. As soon as your 8 hours is up, no more eating.

5. Feel Hungry Before Eating

This is a big one, as many people have never experienced hunger.

It is important to eventually get to the point of intuitive and mindful eating – when you don’t have to track things, and can maintain your progress made.

Feeling physical hunger before eating is a big step towards mindful eating.

So, give it a try – no matter what time it is, if you don’t feel hungry – then don’t eat. Wait until you FEEL physical hunger.

*PHYSICAL HUNGER comes on slowly, feels like a dull stomach ache, then leads to a little headache, and eventually dizziness. (don’t get to THIS point – but when you start feeling it in your stomach, wait about 30 minutes – then eat)

*STRESS HUNGER comes on quickly, and often comes back quickly after eating, because food doesn’t fix your problems.Image result for physical hunger

Hopefully one of these might give you the extra push you need – or some ideas to try.

However, if you are already trying one tactic (say tracking macros) don’t think you need to jump to a different strategy right away. Things like fat loss and muscle gainz take time – and consistency (AGAIN WITH THAT WORD!)

Make sure whatever strategy you are trying works best for YOU, and you do it with consistency and to completion.

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