If you haven't tried "meal prep" before, I'd urge you to give it a try (maybe this Sunday). It's good to do on a rest day because it is a lot of work (and dishes!) but it saves so much time in the middle of the week. Here's the prep I did tonight. I was able to get my salad lunches prepped, dinner for tonight and Thursday night made, breakfast for tomorrow and Thursday (although it made more egg cups than called for), and a bunch of quinoa for the week. I'll have some more later to do in the week but much is done!
Here's the prep guide I followed (taken from the Team Beachbody Blog):
Portion control is an effective and easy way to get started tracking what goes into your body. But when we eat out, sometimes it's not as appealing to measure everything according to your palm and hand size or pull out our containers! Here's a simple method that you can use based on your plate size that can keep you on track!
Below is what the USDA now recommends based on their MyPlate initiative:
Although it's a long way from the old food pyramid, it's still not ideal... Remember the days they taught the food pyramid in schools? Ah, the good ol' days...
Here's a better way and more balanced macronutrient way of portioning out your plate at each meal so you can hit your fitness goals:
So along with using the portion control containers, here's another way that you can still stay on track when you are dining out with your friends or going out for a surprise lunch at work.
Want to focus on just your nutrition this month? Click here to check out the Portion Control Fixate Program!
Yours in Fitness,
With all of my research into ketosis and the ketogenic diet, I started looking into how a ketogenic diet affects athletic performance. After all, many of the fitness gurus I see posting about higher fat diets are typically advising on weight loss and not necessarily coaching athletes who's paycheck depend on them being able to cross the finish line the fastest or sink the 3 pointer at the last second.
I came across this post on Men's Journal that takes into account the athletic aspect of fueling our bodies and even points out the research done by Jeff Volek, the author of The Art and Science of the Low Carbohydrate Athlete. It's an interesting read...
Everyone is throwing around the term “Portion Control” these days and there are all kinds of new gadgets and “concepts” that go with portion control. But as guys we just want to EAT, right? No guy wants to be seen going around with special tupperware or plates---it’s just not macho.
So how is a regular guy supposed to take advantage of all these portion control techniques and does it really work?
Have you ever gone on a diet?
If so, it probably wasn't the greatest experience of your life. You felt hungry, you had cravings, and chances are you probably didn't the exact results you were looking for at the end of it, right?
So many people are going on "diets" these days or trying any number of different types of diets to get things rolling when it comes to hitting their goals.
So are Diets a Bad Thing?
The reason I say Diet isn't a Bad Four Letter word is because sometimes a diet is simply just a starting point. It could mean dropping your calorie level down to a certain point so you see results quickly but it doesn't necessarily mean that's where you need to stay for weeks on end to get to your goal.
For example, a few weeks ago I started off tracking with an app called MyFitnessPal at 1500 calories, which is typically pretty low for me, and yes, it was difficult at first and I got a little hungry, but after just a day or two I saw a few pounds were gone and it gave me hope and some more motivation to keep going.
That calorie level isn't something I can maintain though...
Which is okay! I simply stayed there long enough to get some results and then I bumped it back up to where I was more comfortable and can stay at long term (around 1800 calories for me). But at that calorie level I could see some results quickly and that motivated me to keep going, even after I had to bump up a calorie level.
Isn't it dangerous if I go too low on calories?
If you stay there long term it is, yes. But just like with all of the Beachbody programs that focus on weight loss, it starts you with your basic calorie level and then subtracts around 400 to 450 calories for your basic calorie deficit. From that point, once you hit your goal you take away that calorie deficit for your maintenance calories or even bump up your calorie bracket to maintain your weight.
So don't be afraid to go down in calories for a few days to jumpstart things. It helps with motivation as well as seeing results right away. Just be sure to bump back up before you start binging and let your hunger get out of control!
Are you planning on doing a "Diet" this new year? Leave me a comment below with your January fitness goals!
Yours in Fitness,
There are so many diets out there... Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Low Carb, No Carb, Mediterranean, South Beach, Atkins, Ketogenic... Where does it all end? Does it even make a difference?
One of the most interesting things about trying to know what diet is right for you is that we all know someone who has had success on any one of the diets mentioned above.
Chances are you've met a Vegan who is in great shape. And chances are you've met a Vegan who is in NOT so great shape...
You've probably also met someone who LOVES Paleo... But you try it and you feel awful! What the heck?
So why does one diet work for one person but when you try it it doesn't work for you!
In this post I want to cut through all of the BS on why one particular diet is neither good nor bad and why all of this fighting and bickering over Paleo, not paleo, ketogenic, low carb, IIFYM dogma (yes, dogma... some people are more dedicated to their diet than their God... lol) is crazy and that it's really not all that different.
Pre-workout supplements are some of the most popular supplements out in the industry right now. Ranging from everything from Cellucor's C4 to BPI's One More Rep (1MR) these supplements are supposed to help kick start your workouts and help you get more out of each workout by helping you push further.
But with all of the added ingredients that are sometimes put in these pre-workout supplements to either make them more effective or make you think they are more effective, sometimes they can do more harm than good.
In this post I wanted to share with you the dangers of taking a pre-workout supplement and then I'll also give you my recommendations for my favorite pre-workouts, when you should use them in your training, and my favorite whole food options as well.
I've just started reading Yuri Elkhaim's book The All Day Energy Diet and although I didn't much care for his review of Shakeology (you can check out my Soap box talk here), his book is actually really good :)
I've only made it through the first few chapters but so far he's really made a case for limiting grains and gluten, sugar, and even caffeine! Yes, the last one really got me because I typically have 2-3 cups per day, plus a pre-workout drink. And sometimes I have a recovery drink which is a high glycemic, high sugar drink to bring you back after an intense workout.
In case you missed it, here's what I shared on Instagram earlier this afternoon...
So what's the deal with these little boxes? Seems kinda gimmicky doesn't it?
That's what I thought, too...
One of the most common questions we receive from challengers and clients is "How Do I Lose the last 10 lbs of bellyfat?" They get some awesome results going forward through the program and then they get to that last phase and get stuck!
I know it's difficult--some people have even labeled it "Hitting a Plateau" which I blogged about here. To come so far and then hit a road block. But first of all, you need to congratulate yourself on hitting the plateau! It means you've come so far that your body is starting recognize your current weight as it's optimal weight! I know you may not like it but it means you've come quite a ways on your journey and should be celebrated.
But let's not stay there too long--here are a few tips to get you back on your way!
#1 Are you really tracking everything that you eat? Sometimes as we progress through a program we tend to let those little things slip, like tracking how many pushups we've done week to week or how much protein we are taking in each day. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder of what we are "really" eating or doing during our workouts to get us back on the right track.
#2 Change up your diet. A few things that work really well are calorie cycling. Calorie cycling is simple taking 200-300 calories from your day, running a deficit one day and a surplus the next day. This cycling seems to throw your body for a loop and help break through any metabolism monotony.
#3 Try a cleanse or a Jump Start diet to break things up. One of my favorites is the 3 day refresh and the other is my 5 day Jump start meal plan, both of which typically help clients get at least half way there!
So try these 3 tips today and bust through those last 10 lbs!
Image credits: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/fat-burn-workout