Archives for posts with tag: protein

 

I am by no means a nutritionist or fat loss expert, and it’s not exactly where my passion lies in the fitness industry.

That said however, the majority of my clients started training with me to shed some pounds. I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I didn’t know how to help them do that. It’s tough because it goes way beyond what we do for an hour in the gym.

Since summer is just about here, fat loss is on everyone’s mind. So I figured I would put a short list together of what I considered to be the most effective tips.

1. “Fat loss is an all out war. It’s not a lifestyle choice. Lose fat and then get back into moderation” -Dan John.

Alot of people get stuck in the mindset of fat loss. They are perpetually trying to lose weight and it’s always on their minds. Dieting and being in a calorie deficit should only last a short period of time (read: 4-12 weeks), and you have to ATTACK IT. Really hone in and pay attention to your diet, increase the efficiency of your workouts, and use recovery to it’s fullest.  “Begin with an end in mind.”

2. On most days, get over 100g of protein, and under 100g of carbs.

If you don’t know where to start, most people can benefit from keeping these numbers that simple. This is much easier said than done, but the best thing about this tip is that you’ll never be hungry. Protein is much more satisfying than carbs are. If you find it difficult to get that amount of protein with food alone, I highly recommend a protein supplement.

 

3. Track your diet on an app

If you have no clue what 8oz of chicken looks like, or how much protein it has, this is where an app will come in handy. I’d also recommend getting a food scale. Once you get more comfortable with portion sizes, you wont have to rely on them as much.

4. Push back breakfast 1-3 hours of your norm

This is actually a mild form of intermittent fasting. Simplifying, your hormones are in the best fat-burn mode in the morning. When you eat your first meal, it changes all those beneficial hormone profiles, so by pushing breakfast back a little bit you can optimize that period. Ready why here. 

5. When eating out, look at the menu ahead of time (when you’re not hungry) and pick the healthiest option

Don’t even look at the menu when you get there. Almost every restaurant in America has a protein + veggie dish on their menu. Cooking at home is best but I understand you have a life to live. However, no excuses play like a champion!

6. Double the veggies, no starch

Snow balling on number 5, skip the rolls, mashed potatoes, and french fries. Double the side salad or asparagus. Most places have no problem doing this.

7. Cut out alcohol. Completely.

Yes my friends, you read that right. Remember: dieting should only last 4-12 weeks; this is temporary. I understand drinking is a part of social life but if you’re serious about fat loss, you will do it. And if you can’t have fun without drinking… you need a new hobby.

8. Focus on your sleep

In the hierarchy of fat loss, I’d say sleep and recovery lands the bronze metal behind diet and training. Start with going to bed 15 minutes earlier and see what happens.

9. Prioritize strength training

Cardio has its place, but strength training will give you the most bang for your buck. It builds muscle and burns fat, making you look like a svelte curvy machine. Ladies… please stop thinking you’ll get ‘bulky’. It’s literally impossible without drugs.

10. If you already strength train, increase your intensity

This can be done 1 of 2 ways: increase your weight, or decrease your rest. If choosing the latter, start getting specific with your rest periods. Get a stop watch or an interval timer like a gymboss and try resting no more than 30 seconds between sets.

11. Option 1: For the last set, lighten the weight slightly and get as many reps as possible before failure.

Again, you’re always going to prioritize strength first, but this is a good way to increase intensity and get a good cardio effect. However, never sacrifice form for reps. Once you start to get sloppy, call it quits.

12. Option 2: For the last set, make movements compound

Turn a squat into a squat + overhead press. Turn a deadlift into a deadlift + bent over row. Etcetera, etcetera.

13. Ditch the steady state cardio and get into intervals

At the risk of sounding like an ignorant DB, I will never understand why people like doing steady state cardio. Personally, I find it torturously boring and physically unchallenging (besides the mental aspect). You can disagree with me all day, that’s fine; you’re entitled to your opinion. But this is my blog and I do what I want! Mix it up with some intervals and sprinting. This is my favorite treadmill routine:

Run 7.0 for 60 seconds
walk 1 minute
Run 8.5 for 45 seconds
walk 1 minute
Run 9.5 for 30 seconds
walk 1 minute
Run 10.5 for 15 seconds
walk 1 minute
Sprint 12.0 for 10 seconds (x3)
Repeat in reverse order.

14. If you’re not into spending half an hour on a cardio machine, do a set of tabata (it’s 4 minutes- c’mon)

It sucks but it’s over quickly. You can pick from a lot of different exercises; I recommend a rowing machine, a stepper, or goblet squats. The format is simple: 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, repeat 8 times.

 

Conclusion

There’s no need to implement all 14 of these points at once. It’s too hard to keep track of and you have a enough on your mind. Instead, pick 3-5 things that you’re 100% sure you can do. If I were you, I’d say the most bang-for-your-buck points would be 2, 4, 6, and 9. Give it at least 4 weeks and see what happens.

Enjoy!

-L

 

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I will admit that diet and nutrition talk is not my forte. It just doesn’t give me the tingles the way talking about deadlifting or fixing knee pain does.

Did I creep you out yet?

 

 

 

 

…..How about now?

 

Aaaaannyway… I try to keep up with diet and nutrition information via books, blogs, and research. This week I just wanted to keep it simple with the basics of macronutrients: Carbs, protein, and fats.

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

Carb consumption gets a lot of attention these days since diets like Atkins and Paleo have become more and more popular. It can make people carb-phobic and do things as radical as cut out fruit from their diet! Too much of any macro-nutrient will make you fat, but all 3 have their place. This is a great explanation of choosing the right carbs and using them effectively.

The Ultimate Guide to Protein Supplements

I’m a big fan of protein shakes for a couple reasons. First, if you’re like me, you’re busy. Protein shakes take about 5.3 seconds to make and they’re portable. Second, it’s a quick and easy way to get an extra 20 or so grams of protein; and I usually aim for ~100g/day. Lastly, it’s a little extra hydration and I frikken love the taste. This article is a great explanation of which type of protein supplement might be best for you, if you’re interested in trying one.

What Are Safe Cooking Fats and Oils?

Many people think olive oil or seed oils (think canola or peanut oil) are healthy to cook with, but believe it or not there are better options. This blog explains why.

 

Happy Learning!

-L

 

Hey All,

Today’s post is inspired by a new client of mine, who’s diet issue is one I hear almost daily.

“I don’t have the time to cook. Frozen dinners are just faster and easier.”

Listen, I get it. I work 12 and 13 hour days too. The last thing I want to do when I come home at 8 o’clock is come up with some elaborate meal that’s going to take 50 ingredients and an hour to cook. And I only have myself to worry about, so not to mention most of my clients have a family to take care of on top of that.

So what’s the solution? I revert to an annoying but true saying: the 5 P’s. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. I get that any plan needs flexibility in order to be compliable and successful, but if you have a good base to work around, your chances of failure decrease significantly. Here are some things you should focus when doing your meal planning:

Figure out your go-to healthy essentials

Make a list of your favorite proteins, veggies, fruits and packaged foods. Make a list of the healthiest options that you’re most likely to eat. To give you an idea of what it might look like, this is what mine usually entails:

Protein: Always chicken breast, eggs, and whatever fish is on sale. About once a month I’ll pick up a pack of lean beef, bacon, or all natural turkey sausage just to mix it up. Dairy includes plain greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese or sour cream, goat cheese, and coffee cream.

Veggies: 2-3 bags of spring mix, red onion, green onion, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, avocados, baby carrots, eggplant and zucchini. This honestly doesn’t stray too much because I have enough variety in my essentials. And um.. I hate broccoli.

Fruit: Apples + bananas and one other seasonal fruit. Summer is usually watermelon or pineapple, winter is usually grapefruit.

Prepackaged Foods: Almond or peanut butter, quinoa, quick oats, salsa, dark chocolate (yes that is an essential), almonds, flax wraps, salt-free rice cakes, coffee. Every once in a while, I too will have some frozen food. (Remember I told you, I get it?) However you will not catch me eating Hungry Man meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I’m selective with my frozen foods. Some favorites are Garden Lites Souffles, Nature’s Promise Breaded Chicken Strips, and Amy’s Organic quinoa veggie burgers.

Pick a day you have some extra time for food prep, and use it wisely

I would venture to guess that this is usually Sunday’s. Chop your veggies, marinate or cook your meat, display your fruit to resemble an Edible Arrangement (joke (kinda)).

The swan melon… super easy…

Individually pack your snacks or lunches.  Snacks are usually baby carrots and chopped veggies, greek yogurt, oatmeal or a protein shake. Lunches are usually a pre-made salad, tuna, left over chicken, hard boiled eggs, or veggie burgers.

Make a list of your go-to quick meals

Without giving you formal recipes, I can tell you what some of my usual meals are:

  • 1/2lb of the fish that I bought, pan cooked with coconut oil and spices + store bought taboule or 1/2 an avocado
  • pan cooked chicken breast with dry spices (usually cajun or lemon pepper) with oven baked zucchini with marinara sauce, baked sweet potato fries (with olive oil and cinnamon), or sauteed spinach with grass-fed butter and lemon juice
  • ranch tuna salad (i make it with greek yogurt and dry ranch seasoning)
  • mixed greens/veggie salad with goat cheese and almonds
  • eggplant parm is always a staple (no breading and light on the cheese)
  • taco salad (chopped romaine, lean beef or turkey with taco seasoning, red onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese)
  • mixed greens wrap with chicken
  • scrambled eggs, frittata, or veggie omelet with salsa and avocado
  • if i really don’t feel like cooking, i’ll probably have an Amy’s veggie burger with BBQ sauce with greens, or heat some breaded chicken

Here are some other lists of great ideas (eggplant pizza?? yes please)

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/10-primal-meals-in-15-minutes-or-less/#axzz2BTfAXOqZ

http://www.greatist.com/health/cheap-healthy-recipe-collection

Clean your kitchen

I aint talkin’ Windex folks. The best solution for not eating crappy food at home is not HAVING crappy food at home. Stop buying it, and stop keeping it in the house. That way you can separate actual cravings from ‘just eating cause it’s there.’

Conclusion

Alright so I understand I just basically laid out my entire diet plan for you to read. But the point is that the format of the planning and the importance of food prep should be standard; you have to adjust things to your taste. If you hate eating plain chicken breast, don’t cook it that way. If grilled zucchini sounds…’meh’ to you …don’t buy it.  But you do have to take some responsibility in finding what works best for you. The idea is to just put thought into it and actually pay attention.

I hope this helps! Feel free to use the comment section to share some of your go-to easy meals.

Get cookin!

-L

There are 3 things I will never understand in this world:

1. Why people bring bikes on the T

2. Why Say Yes to the Dress makes me cry (legit every time)

3. Why people still eat bagels and Frosted Flakes for breakfast.

Less carbs, more protein. End of story. Now this list is nothing revolutionary, but sometimes it’s just good to have a list of easy foods to refer to every now and again. And yes.. I know that some of these breakfasts have some carbs; but hey… it’s better than bagels and Frosted Flakes. Happy Friday!

1. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

2 Tbsp PB, 1 Banana, 6oz cup vanilla or plain low fat yogurt, ½ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 4 ice cubes

appx 390 calories, 16g of protein

2. Strawberry Banana Smoothie (with greens)

4-5 strawberries, 1 Banana, 6oz cup vanilla low fat Greek yogurt, ½ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 4 ice cubes, ¾ cup spinach – you can’t taste it I promise!

Appx 260 calories, 18g of protein

3. Chopped Apple+ Walnut Quinoa (1 cup)

Made with milk and seasonings of your choice

Appx 450 calories, 15g of protein

4. Regular Instant Oatmeal (Added Protein -1 cup)

Made with almond milk and 2 tbsp of PB or 1 scoop protein powder

Appx 450- 570 calories, 18g- 34g of protein

5. Greek Yogurt Parfait

1 6oz cup (plain), fresh fruit of your choice, sprinkled ½c KIND granola and cinnamon

Appx 215 calories, 23g of protein

6. Two salt free whole grain brown rice cakes

Top with 2tbsp almond butter and sliced ½ banana

Appx 300 calories, 12g of protein

7. 3 egg whites, 2 whole eggs + Salsa

Scrambled with Veggies of your choice

Appx 250 calories 23g of protein

8. Breakfast Pizza

Whole wheat English (Thomas light) muffin topped with 2tbsp low fat ricotta or mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, and lightly drizzled oil

Appx 370 calories, 11g of protein

9. Breakfast Burrito

4 Egg whites, salsa to taste, 1tbsp low fat sour cream, guacamole (optional), wrapped in an 100 calorie flax wrap

Appx 330 cal, appx 22g of protein

Enjoy!

-L

Hey All,

I figured I’d wrap up this week with a short list of ways to spice up this common snack. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that greek yogurt is all the rage as it is packed with protein, calcium, iodine, and gut-healthy bacteria.

My only gripe is that once you get away from the plain variety, you start getting into additives and excess sugar. For example, some Chobani flavors have up to 20 grams per serving! So I’ve come up with some better ways to mix up plain greek yogurt without all the crap.

1) “Sugar” and Spice

Add a dash of cinnamon and a dash of preferred sweet stuff (I’m a Stevia in the Raw fan).

2) Peanut butter and Banana

Self explanatory. All natural peanut butter is better for this because it’s much less solid that non-natural, so it mixes well.

3) Fruit and granola

Pick your favorite berries or other fruit and sprinkle on some granola. Fresh fruit is wayyy better than the fake stuff they put on the bottom. Be careful with your granola choice. Choose an all natural low sugar variety with the least amount of ingredients. I like KIND granola.

4) Coffee

Mix in a teaspoon of instant coffee. Depending on the brand, you may have to ‘melt’ it in a teaspoon of water before mixing it with yogurt to make sure it’s not granular.

5) Chocolate (protein!)

Mix in your favorite chocolate protein powder, or chocolate instant pudding does the trick too.

6) Mocha

Combine 4+5

7) “Reeses”

Combine 2+5. Banana optional 🙂

8) Chia seeds or Nuts

Steve suggested chia seeds; I’ve actually never tried it. Almonds, walnuts etc are delicious also.

9) “Pumpkin Pie”

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin. And I’m loving it. Stir in a tablespoon of organic pumpkin puree, sweetener of choice, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon and nutmeg).

10) Veggie Dip

You can mix in a packet of dry ranch seasoning (or the likes) to make a healthier veggie dip!

Have a great weekend!

Enjoy,

-L