Don’t be blind and see through the la-bull..
Hey everybody! All of you know that I am a preacher when it comes to clean, healthy eating. My question to all of you is: how much thought do you put into what you eat? Really, think about it.
If you want to get into great shape then you’ll be interested to know that over 70% of your fitness results are attributed to your diet. In our fast-paced society, eating is often done with little or no thought as to what exactly it is being ingested. Excess body fat is a direct outcome of this hurried, poor nutrition. Even if you have the intentions with your diet, you may be frustrated and fed up with extra pounds and lacking energy day to day.
I can’t blame you for being confused about what you should eat. The media definitely doesn’t help. One day the they are telling you to give up the fats and the next week its said to avoid carbs like the plaque. Now it seems as though acai berries are the holy grail of weight loss. Geeze…
Food manufacturers increase confusion by printing misleading labels and bogus health claims. Sometimes it seems like the whole system is set up to confuse and frustrate us into buying the latest and greatest packaged food.
The bottom line is that your physique is largely a result of what you eat, so the foods that you put into your mouth should be carefully selected. Lets take a look at what you eat.
We need to know how to read nutritional labels. The nutritional content and ingredient list will give you everything you need to know about the quality of the food item. Below are a few ingredients that you should be a little concerned about and throw up a red flag:
1.) High fructose corn syrup (hfcs)
This is a manmade sugar, derived predominantly from genetically modified corn. It has been shown to promote binges and hunger, and spikes blood sugar levels which signals insulin to be released, and finally promotes storage of all this as body fat.
The introduction of hfcs into our food supply directly paralleled a 47% spike in type 2 diabetes cases as well as an 80% increase in obesity. Food manufacturers use hfcs in many mainstream products, including:
- soft drinks / fruit juices
- salad dressing
- most packaged snack foods
This is one thing that will lift your eyebrows a bit if you research it. I encourage you to do so, especially if you consume a lot of diet sodas. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was denied 8 times by the FDA before being approved in 1973. Many scientists objected the approval, claiming that aspartame hadn’t been proven safe for use a food additive.
Though aspartame is calorie-free it still has been shown to cause insulin to be released, which job is to stow away sugar - when this sugar is not available, the result is often hypoglycemia and severe hunger. Not exactly a recipe for weight loss.
3.) White sugar
White sugar comes from the juice of a sugar cane plant that has undergone an intensive refining process. In this all the fiber, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins are destroyed and the end product is nutritionally void. White sugar is also really high in calories, which your body loves to store away in fat cells.
4.) White flour
This one comes from natural whole wheat that has again been stripped of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The end results in a nutritionally void product that is packed with calories that release quickly into your system, creating a spike in blood sugar. As previously mentioned here, this promotes fat storage and leads to hunger and big time cravings for more food. I don’t think we need that.
5.) Hydrogenated and / or partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats)
These guys have undergone quite a bit of processing and their chemical structure has altered and changed a lot. Trans fats are said to be the most harmful of all fats (more so than saturated animal fats). These “bad fats” are foreign to the body and are trans-ported to your gut and stored easily.
If you want to be serious about looking and feeling your best with not only consistent exercise but a good diet too then we need to focus on eating real food items. Real foods include lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These should be the majority of your food intake (think caveman diet). When needed there is nothing wrong with utilizing a few good supplements like protein powders or bars in your nutritional regime either.
What you get as a new client with me:
- An outline of what to expect with your training including the what’s, why’s and how’s of it all.
- Nutritional Guidelines
- General assistance with meal planning ideas with handouts relevant to basic food choices and combinations.
- Learn via training sessions, all the little things that make a huge difference in your results and effectiveness of your time spent in the gym.
- You will eventually learn how to properly put your own workouts together in an effective manner to yield the best results from your time spent training.
- If relevant and necessary, learn from me about hormones and their roles they play in your well being and body composition goals. If necessary, I can address any imbalances as a consultant through the company I work with.
BCAAs? What are those?
BCAAs are Branched Chain Amino Acids which consist of L-Valine, L-Isoleucine and L-Leucine which is the most anabolic of the 3. The benefits of these powerhouse amino acids include faster recovery from training, muscle repair and helps prevent and delay muscle breakdown. These are just a few benefits out of several.
Those that are dieting in a very strict manor may be putting themselves in a catabolic (muscle breakdown) mode as the body is often very reluctant to break down fat but instead will go after muscle for glucose to fuel the brain and body, etc. BCAAs help to prevent this and preserve our valuable muscle. After all, we work hard in the gym and kitchen to build and maintain muscle due to its positive influence on our metabolic rate and how it burns calories (fat) for us.
BCAAs also stimulate and help to create an anabolic (building) environment for our body. Sipping on some BCAAs before, during and/or after a workout can be a tremendous benefit for recovery and our progress from a fitness/nutrition program striving to achieve better body composition.
Whey protein as many may know, is well know for being high in BCAAs. Aside from the fact that whey is absorbed rapidly once consumed, it is the preferred choice of protein following an intense training session. One may ask: why not just consume more whey to get more BCAAs?
The BCAAs in whey are peptide-bound to other amino acids and, in order to be effective, must be taken up through digestion and then absorbed into the bloodstream. Even though whey protein is relatively fast digesting, it still takes several hours for all the amino acids to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
BCAAs in supplement form are free form, require no digestion, and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. They spike blood amino acid levels to a much greater and faster extent than peptide-bound aminos. Even a few grams of free-form BCAAs will spike BCAA plasma levels to a much greater extent than a 20g dose of whey protein, thereby impacting protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown to a much greater degree.
The reason BCAA supplements have such a powerful effect on blood BCAA levels is that, unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are not significantly metabolized by the small intestine or the liver. Therefore, an oral supplement is more like a BCAA infusion because it reaches the bloodstream so rapidly.
Long story short, these guys are incredibly helpful regardless of how you want to use them. The beauty of them is you can add some to a water bottle or shake, etc anytime you want and get some benefits. One of my favorites is a product called Helix BCAA by NuBreed Nutrition. The ratio of Leucine (most important) is 6:1:1 and it has some other goodies tossed in the formula that are a huge compliment. Contact me for huge discounts on one!
Nutrition is so important if you want to keep your hormones properly balanced. All hormones are made from either cholesterol or amino acids (proteins). So, diets high in carbs and low in protein (and believe it or not, cholesterol) can cause hormonal imbalance.
Since all hormones are related and connected, excessive levels of one may throw others out of balance. For example, the high insulin levels created by many typical American diets high in refined sugar and other simple carbs disrupt the function of thyroid, reproductive and adrenal glands.
As a suggestion, if you want to start reducing hormonal problems associated with aging, you can start by reducing (or eliminating) simple carbohydrates like sugar, high fructose corn syrup and just "white" stuff out of your diet. We were not meant to eat processed food all day, every day. Instead, eat lots of fresh vegetables, whole fruits and healthy and lean animal foods like free range eggs and grass fed-fed meats. This will have a positive effect on your endocrine system and glandular health.
I could go on and on about how bad sugars are for us (as all my clients know), but I will leave it at this for today Eat fresh and clean to become a healthy machine friends!
Contact me today with questions and to set your 1st appointment. Tomorrow will be the same excuse you had yesterday and the month before that. Lets incorporate good nutrition and training for a new you!
“I’m going to lose some weight and then start working out”
I cringe every time I hear some obese and unhealthy person spit these words out to me when I sincerely try to offer them some help and some sound education and advice.
This is no different than saying “well, let me put ONE tire on the car and see how far I can get and then I will put on the other 3 later”. And the excuse that one doesn’t have the time to workout is just the grown up version of “the dog ate my homework”. We all have 2-3 hours per week to get active. Most spend that each night in front of a tv, its just a lame and untrue excuse.
It seams as though everyone has this wishful thinking that they can somehow avoid or dance around what I call the wheel of success. This wheel consists of the things we know deep down are true: Exercise consisting of resistance training 2-4/week, Cardio 3-5/week, good nutrition 6-7 days/week (or <80-90% of the time) and when attention needed, hormonal balancing.
We are sold on false hope everyday in the media and those popular daytime doctor shows on miracle pills where most have very selective hearing and only hear that they can just take this pill and somehow this miraculous change in their body is going to occur. I find it sad that a large number of people come to me requesting this product and I always ask them a lot of questions so I can try and help them best I can with their interests and concerns. Most of course, are not incorporating any or very little physical activity and the eating habits verbally displayed are horrible. It amazes me how these people will not even entertain the thought of a good quality multi vitamin and some nutrition bars or snacks first before or with that magic pill they want.
When it comes to building your body (or shaping it, etc), you need to develop a base foundation FIRST before any real success can come from these specialty pills and powders that we see on the shelves. A lot of these extreme diets don’t work long term either. People who buy into all this non sense are avoiding the truth. Nothing in life comes for free so just embrace that fact that better health, fitness and well being comes from good nutrition and physical activity on a regular basis. The sooner we can accept that, the quicker we can progress on a path to being a better and healthier person. When I say physical activity, walking doesn’t count for much. Most of us sit on our ass for at least 8 hours a day so we need more than just a walk. We should be walking all day in the first place. To say you’ve been exercising when you really mean you have been walking a measly mile a day or every other day is a cop out bullshit excuse – you are not doing much and that isn’t effective exercise.
Your excuses for being out-of-shape are getting old. An excuse takes less immediate effort than an action, but in the long run the action taker always has the advantage. Don't allow excuses to ruin your life any longer.
- Don't skip out on your responsibilities with excuses, instead expect more from yourself.
- Focus on the big reason why you are losing the weight. Make a list of the benefits you'll enjoy once you achieve your goal, and read them first thing each morning.
- Remember that you can only have two things in life: excuses or results. Which do you want?
Contact me today for your first workout and consultation to move towards a better and healthier you.
General Nutrition Guide:
Although nutritional requirements will vary based on activity level, here are a few basic guidelines for losing weight. In a nutshell: Exercise 3-5x/week for thirty to forty minutes, eat 5-6 meals a day, limit fat intake to 10 to 20% of total calorie intake, drink plenty of water, eat low glycemic carbohydrates and lean proteins, and limit simple sugars.
Proper nutrition can prevent various health problems. Cholesterol levels tend to be lower in individuals who exercise regularly and eat low amounts of saturated fats. Those with tendencies towards high cholesterol levels should avoid saturated fats that are found in animal products. Regular exercise can prevent or reduce high blood pressure. Heart and lungs are also beneficiaries of regulated physical exertion.
Solid nutrition, like good training, is simple – learn the basics and practice them consistently. A little knowledge and a lot of discipline is the secret. Apply yourself diligently – don’t look back and don’t look for shortcuts, there simply are not any.
Health and fitness has climbed to the top of America’s popularity list and has become big business. As you’ve surely noticed, there is a gym on every corner and a slew of diet and bodybuilding formulas to pack on muscle and burn off fat. The competition is fierce, the promises are bizarre and most people are all confused, suspicious, and numb to it all. We are bombarded with a billion ways to diet, eat, and approach a life of looking and feeling our best. Let’s clear the air and put a few things in order…
Rule #1 - Stay away from fatty foods (especially animal fats), excessive salt and simple sugars. This eliminates 98% of the fast foods, munchies and soft drinks. Who needs them? In a few short weeks, you won’t want them, wonder why you ate them, and feel sick if you do!
Rule #2 – Eat a basic breakfast of low glycemic carbohydrates and protein to set up your metabolism for the day and to provide fuel and muscle building ingredients. Basically, protein builds muscle and carbohydrate supplies fuel for our body and brain. Breakfast can be an easy to prepare meal from a quality protein shake to a bowl of oatmeal, scoop of cottage cheese, fruit and coffee. Remember, if you don’t feed yourself a small wholesome meal in the morning, your body will draw on your muscle tissue as a source of energy (catabolize and break it down), putting you in a slump and in muscle deficit. Add a good multi vitamin/mineral supplement each morning to put order and efficiency in your body chemistry as a compliment.
Rule #3 – With whatever effort it takes, feed yourself every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day with each meal consisting again of protein and lower glycemic carbohydrates. Any combination of the following is great: Tuna/brown rice, lean meat/red baked potato, cottage cheese/berries, chicken/whole grain pasta, lean ground turkey with salsa &spinach/small apple, etc.
Rule #4 – In plain English, to gain weight, eat more and eat more often. Be ready for solid bulk weight – lean muscle comes slowly but surely. To lose weight, eat less, still as often, consuming the more of your calories and carbohydrates in the first half of your day. Eating a source of protein at night is a good thing. Scale back on the carbohydrates as your day is coming to an end.
Rule #5 – Lean toward an even balance of protein to carbohydrate intake to build and maintain a lean body. Though contrary to popular opinion, many health enthusiasts, bodybuilders and fitness competitors agree. Emphasize protein.
Rule #6 – Between meal snacking is ok if the snack is truly nutritious – NO junk! Don’t let them be a substitute for a meal or become a habit. Good snacks are fruits or vegetables, protein bars, whole grain bagels, cottage cheese, small protein shake (RTD’s), etc.
Rule #7 – Simple carbohydrates (sugar) provide us with a quick pickup but let us down just as quickly. Excessive sugars wreck havoc with our insulin and blood glucose levels flying up and down and leads to fatigue and fat storage. Not good.
Rule #8 – Fuel up before your workout. Eat a small meal 30-60 minutes before you train. With lower glycemic carbohydrates in your system, you’ll train harder, longer and with more enthusiasm. You won’t experience low blood sugar jitters, nausea, or dizziness. After a good workout, protein shakes and BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) are king.
Rule #9 – Similarly, you need to eat a hearty protein meal with plenty of carbs within 45 minutes of completing your workout. This is necessary to provide the building materials to repair depleted and broken down muscle tissue and begin the process of building new muscle.
Rule #10 – The most important thing to consume in your body is water! The quality of your tissue, their performance and their resistance to injury is absolutely dependent on the quality and quantity of the water you drink. Our bodies also need it to help excrete waist out of our bodies as well. Drink it up during your day and especially during your workout.
Rule #11 – Sleep, rest and relaxation are of prime importance. It’s during periods of sound sleep that our bodies recuperate and repair.
Practicing these basic rules in conjunction with a regular schedule of exercise and proper hormonal balance will put you on the road to feeling and looking your absolute best!
Call or email me today to get started on a program that will take the guesswork out of health and fitness and to set your results on fire!
-Roger Bowman, CPT
When thinking of ways to build up and give some shape to our calves, we must think of how they are typically “built” from a genetic standpoint on most of us. You see, the majority of us have a lot of slow twitch muscle fibers down there as they must endure a lot of walking around all day and those slow twitch muscles do not respond to growth very well (size).
Most people take a traditional approach to training calves and utilize a standard 90 second rest in between sets and when doing this you continue to allow those aerobic energy pathways and slow twitch muscles to keep taking over to lift those heels off the ground. The trick here is to figure out or think of, how we can tap into those fast twitch muscles in there. A good way to go about this is using a Tabata approach which is basically 20 seconds of “work” followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeat 6-8 times. The very, almost non-existent rest periods don’t allow slow twitch or aerobic pathways to take over but instead quickly becomes an anaerobic and fast twitch muscle fiber workout.
These fast twitch muscles are what respond to strength training well and grow bigger in size. Just think of a Mr. Olympia bodybuilder guy (lots of fast twitch muscles) and then think of a long distance runner or cyclist like Lance Armstrong (lots of slow twitch muscles). Most of us were not intended to have huge diamond shaped calves that are super shapely, but we can maximize what we have to work with if we go about it in a smart way.
If you have not tried this approach to training calves before I guarantee you will be sore as hell the following day after. This is a great way to bring out some size and shape in those calf muscles over time.
Be sure to have a full range of motion when performing the movement and have a weight that is really challenging but not to the point where you are moving like a turtle for the 20 seconds of work. If necessary on the last couple rounds, you can shave a little weight to make sure you stay moving as this is important along with a full ROM.
So go ahead and give it a shot and when you are hurting a little tomorrow, you can thank me or curse me :)
-Roger Bowman, CPT
If you were to put bad gas, kerosene, diesel or water in your car that required quality unleaded gasoline, what do you think would happen? Kind of a silly question, I know. Of course it wouldn’t run right or it straight up wouldn’t run at all. How many of us stop and think about all the bad or wrong “gas” we put into our bodies?
Most of us are “kind of” aware that we are putting bad things down our throats, but many of us are fooled and mislead into believing that some things that are really not that great for us are. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to on a daily basis that are shoveling TONS of sugar down their gullet and think they are eating healthy and then are extremely frustrated that they cannot lose weight, feel better and have more energy. I once again ran into this exact same scenario today as I do every single week.
There is a reason that we as a nation are fat, unhealthy, and sick and tired of being sick and tired. We feed ourselves “bad gas” on a daily basis, feel horrible and therefore don’t have the energy to be active and because we aren’t active, we lose muscle and because we lose muscle, our metabolic rates decline which means we keep adding more fat onto our bodies which is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and not to mention that fat “steals” testosterone to convert into estrogen which makes us fatter and the vicious cycle goes round and round…
What even adds more fuel to this nasty fire is when we go to the Doc after we develop a disease and are put on a cocktail of different chemicals (aka prescription drugs). When these foreign chemicals are introduced into the body, there is always a side effect from them and often over time we have to take yet another drug to counteract the health problem or side effect of the original one and its damage done. Of course, all of this is only making us feel worse as we age and deteriorate faster. Under these conditions of not only feeding ourselves “bad gas”, but now putting sand and water in the tank and pulling a spark plug out from under the hood, we feel even worse than we had before. When we feel bad, we don’t have the energy to be active and because we aren’t active, we lose muscle and because we lose muscle, our metabolic rates decline which means we keep adding more fat onto our bodies which is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and not to mention that fat “steals” testosterone to convert into estrogen which makes us fatter and the vicious cycle goes round and round… I am sure you’re getting my point by now.
Some of you may be reading this and seeing yourself in this painted picture either currently or in the future as you may feel yourself walking (or running) down that pathway already. If you are watching what you are eating (as most say) and believe that you are consuming healthy food choices but still feeling run down and not losing fat or looking any better, there is a reason. What that reason is could be a few different things.
The reason for most, is a misunderstanding of the food choices that individual is making (most likely over in high glycemic foods daily). Other culprits could be lack of physical activity or the wrong approach to it. It could also be a hormonal imbalance that is holding you back from progressing forward. Hormones are like messengers that “tell” things what to do and unfortunately as we age, our glands slow down or stop all together. This is where we can come in and replace or “fill up” what is low to healthy and normal levels to help your body function to its best ability. For example, there is a reason a man no longer has morning erections-its typically because his testicles are not making enough testosterone like they used to and he has Low T (low testosterone). Simply supplementing with this naturally occurring hormone can help alleviate this problem and balance things out.
The human body, like a fine tuned muscle car, is a miraculous machine that can do amazing things IF you put the right things into it and treat it good. If you simply put the right kind of gas in and replaced those broken spark plugs under the hood and gave your car a tune up, it would run much better right? You can do the same with your body if you simply stop eating garbage and start feeding it the right nutrients and incorporating appropriate physical activity to get stronger. Our body has the ability to heal itself under the right circumstances and the correct environment we provide it. This is simply a choice we can make to do or not to.
There is no better time than now to learn and get educated on how to make a few changes to look and feel your absolute best. Tomorrow will be the same excuse as it was yesterday. Come in for a complimentary tune up at the Body Shopp and let me help you achieve your health and fitness goals. The only thing you have to lose is some fat, health concerns and some negative energy. But, you have TONS to gain to help you win and progress forward into a new you!
Roger Bowman, CPT