A GUIDE TO CARBOHYDRATES

CARBOHYDRATES

Eating carbs is essential. The biggest thing I can stress to you is this: Carbs are the main source of energy for the body. Carbs are everywhere & your body needs carbs; but it is all about eating the right carbs at the right times. So how do you tell the good carbs from the bad carbs?

Two Types of Carbohydrates:

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple (bad) carbs and complex (good) carbs. The biggest differences between them are how quickly they are digested and absorbed & how much they spike blood sugar/insulin.

Simple Carbohydrates – “Bad” Carbs

Simple carbs are known as “bad” carbs. They are “bad” because they typically have a high glycemic (sugar) index, thus spiking your insulin.

These are a problem in America… We have access to all of these simple carbs everywhere: fast food, ice cream, processed carbs, etc… People eat so many carbs throughout their day- the wrong type of carbs and then their insulin spikes. Spiking insulin can be very beneficial post workout BUT simply put, when you are not being active and spike your insulin, it can result in your body storing the carbs as fat.

In addition to this, the body breaks down simple carbs quickly, thus making them not a good source of energy for your body.

Simple carbs are often either naturally high in sugars or are bad because of the way they are processed. A great example of this is cereal. When processing cereals, the ingredients being used could be healthy for you, but the more the food is processed (and cereal generally is highly processed), the higher the glycemic index becomes.

It is important to read the food labels when you are buying packaged foods. Try to avoid buying foods with corn syrup listed in the first three ingredients. Below is a list of many simple carbs to avoid:

Simple Carb Examples:

  • Pure Sugar

  • Baked Goods

  • White Rice

  • Corn Syrup

  • Cereals

  • Candy

  • White Bread

  • Sugary drinks

  • Enriched Pasta

 

Complex Carbohydrates – “Good Carbs”

Complex carbs are the “good” carbs. Complex carbs have a low glycemic index, so your blood sugar & insulin aren’t spiked upon consumption of them. Also your body digests and absorbs them slower than simple carbs, making complex carbs a great long-term sustainable energy for your body.

The less processed a complex carb is, the better it is for you.  This is why eating a boiled potato is a better option than eating a twice-baked potato – the cooking process makes it more of a simple carb.

Complex carbs are often rich in fiber, and they are commonly found in whole plant foods, making them high in vitamins and minerals also.

Complex Carb Examples:

  • Oats

  • Sweet Potato

  • Whole Wheat Bread

  • Brown Rice

  • Whole Wheat Pasta

  • Bran Cereal

  • Dried Fruit

  • Vegetables

So, when should you eat carbohydrates?

The timing of when you eat carbs is just as important as the type of carbs you are eating. Since carbs are energy, they need to be burned to prevent them from easily turning to fat – if carbs go unburned, they are likely to turn to fat. The earlier you eat your carbs in the day, the better!

 

Breakfast:

You HAVE to eat breakfast to kick start your metabolism for the day. Making sure that breakfast has a carb will ensure you are going to have enough energy throughout your morning & not feel lethargic.

But try avoiding foods like an Egg McMuffin, or biscuits and gravy – the processed white breads on these are simple carbs.

Start your day with a complex carb like oatmeal, or scrambled eggs on wheat toast. A balanced breakfast consists of a protein & a carb.

Lunch:

This is a good time to get your carbs in for the day also. Try to have a balanced meal with a complex carb, protein & veggie.

(Ex: Sweet potato, chicken, and vegetables)

Brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa all also make for a great carb to have with lunch.

Dinner:

If you’re trying to shed fat, you will want to cut the carbs out of your diet in the evening. I often recommend a minimum of five hours before you go to bed – or sooner if possible, so cutting the carb out of your dinner is very helpful.

Remember, your body does not need a bunch of energy with the day winding down and rest coming soon, so the carbs will not get burned and as a result, be stored as fat.  So for dinner, focus on having a meal with a protein and vegetable.

Nighttime Snacks:

Nighttime carb consumption is a huge problem for people. Many people skip meals throughout the day (causing them to be catabolic) & then eat a carb heavy dinner or nighttime snack. This doesn’t allow adequate time for your body to burn the carbs which results in your body storing them as fat.

If you are hungry in the evening, eat a snack. Listen to your body; it is telling you it needs nutrients. I’m not a huge believer in this strict notion of, “Don’t eat anything at all past 6pm!”. A good snack to have in the later hours of the night would be cottage cheese, almonds, nuts, peanut butter & celery, or a protein shake.

Cottage cheese & a serving of peanut butter is the most ideal option for a nighttime snack. The cottage cheese is a slow digesting, casein protein that is low in carbs and the peanut butter is a healthy fat that will slow the digestion of protein even more. Now your body is anabolic all night! (Click here to learn what anabolic means)

REPLENISHING YOUR BODY AFTER A WORKOUT

The most beneficial time to eat carbs is after a workout. You will also like knowing that this is actually a great time to enjoy simple carbs (yes, the “bad” ones!). You have broken down your muscles with micro tears, and your body is craving nutrients. Simple carbs are ideal because your body will digest and absorb them very fast which will spike your insulin. Spiking your insulin at this time is very beneficial because your body will use the carbs very efficiently to repair & recover the muscle.

For a quick and even more beneficial route, try having your carbs in liquid form. This is helpful because your body does not have to use as much time and energy to break them down – the faster absorbed, the better.

I even used to have maple syrup after my workouts! So it is even a good time for that ice cream cone you are craving. You simply want to restore the glycogen you burned in the workout. The sooner and faster you are able to replenish, the better. A great supplement for this is 1st Phorm Ignition powder which can be thrown right into your protein shake & has a multivitamin mixed in also.

Just be sure you are getting fast digesting whey protein & a simple carb after every workout!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. For examples of what a good, balanced meal with carbs looks like, check out the Lean Kitchen menu.

Thank you for reading!

Please share this with anyone you think could benefit from knowing these things!

For a more in depth explanation of the hormone, insulin, I recommend this article:

http://www.simplyshredded.com/insulin-insight-the-all-important-hormone-insulin-can-be-your-best-friend-or-worst-nightmare.html

FREE WEIGHTS VS MACHINES


Free weights vs Machines:

I’ve been getting this question a lot here lately at the gym and figured it would be a good topic to address here.

“What is better for me to be doing, machines or free weights?”

My answer is always kind of the same because I think it depends a lot on your level of fitness. If you are a beginner, I definitely recommend the machines more from the simple fact that one, the machines are less intimidating and easier to learn starting out; and two, the machines help you learn the motions of many basic lifts and teach you basic principles of lifting weights such as the importance of the stretch & flexing of the muscle groups you’re working. I think that as a person stepping in the gym and starting out for their first time, learning basic motions is a very important thing to do.

After you’ve been lifting on the machines consistently and feel ready to move on, I think that free weights open up a whole new world of working out and definitely have a lot more moves you can do and so I guess to answer the question, I would describe free weights as “better”; but not until you are doing them properly and ready for them.

I hope this answered your question if you were wondering!

Thanks for reading!

BOULDERS SHOULDER WORKOUT


Anyways, without further ado, here you are:

  • STANDING SHOULDER PRESS: 5 DROP-SETS

    • Load a barbell with five 10lb. plates [Use 5lb. plates if needed or heavier if you are crazy strong]. You will strip a plate after each set, doing a total of 5 drop sets until there is only one plate left on each side for the last set. As little rest as possible between sets; strip the weight off and back at it. Go for at least these minimum reps:

      • 5 plates each side, 5 reps

      • 4 plates each side, 10 reps

      • 3 plates each side, 15 reps

      • 2 plates each side, 20 reps

      • 1 plate each side, 25 reps

Pictured is seated variation:

  • LATERAL DUMBBELL RAISES: 3 SETS OF 30 REPS

    • Important: Use a weight that you would normally do a set of 10-12 with. You WILL be able to get 30 and will make yourself. If you get to 20 reps and feel like you need a break then hold them to your side, but don’t you dare set them down until you reach 30 reps. Use the same weight for all three sets also.

  • SEATED DUMBBELL MILITARY PRESS: RUN THE RACK

    • Pick up a pair of heavy dumbbells that you will only get 8-10 reps with. After this set, you will immediately do a set with the dumbbells 10 pounds lighter. Continue to do this until you are using a dumbbell light enough that you are getting over 25 reps with. No rest between sets.

      • For example, today I started with the 85 lb. dumbbells, followed by 75s, 65s, 55s, 45s, 35s, & my last set was with the 25s.

As I said, I added in a lot more, but this was the main stuff I did that killed my shoulders [Be sure not to neglect your rear delts]. If you’re following workout plans exactly and are doing the same number of sets & reps whatever you’re reading says to do, then you probably aren’t pushing yourself to failure. So take what you want from workout plans, mix in what you feel like, and just be sure you’re pushing till failure every time & tearing your muscles down.

Hope you enjoy this workout, thanks for reading!

If you did enjoy it, please share it with a friend!


20 MINUTE WORKOUT?


I’ve heard the question a lot, “Is 20-30 minutes enough time for me to get a good workout in?” And the answer is absolutely. In fact, a 20 minute workout kicks ass; it gets you in and out of the gym quickly and can be extremely effective if you push hard enough.

Anyone who doesn’t agree that a 20 minute workout is enough probably isn’t pushing themselves hard enough. The key is to have no rest between sets and work to absolute failure every set (and even past failure with some negative reps). It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and going all out every single set, mixing in high and low reps. After all, you only have 20 minutes so you need to do WORK.

Today I did a back workout in about 20 minutes. It consisted of pull-ups, seated cable rows, dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns, and another set of pull-ups [which I was only able to get literally two by then], all sets to failure, with no rest between them. After completely burning out with that giant circuit set, I rested for 1 to 2 minutes and repeated it all again. I did this whole circuit a total of 4 times & threw in a couple random exercises here & there. My back was burning all over and I finished up with some hyperextensions. I downed my protein and was done. Twenty minutes, short and sweet (& brutal).

You can work any muscle group with this same type of 20 minute workout:

  • Pick 4-6 exercises for that muscle group as a circuit

  • Go until failure every set, with no rest in between

  • Repeat this circuit 3-4 times.

It’s that simple. I think you will realize that if you only have 20 minutes, it is worth getting a workout in. And you may find that you are going so intense in this short amount of time that you aren’t always pushing yourself as hard as you can day-to-day in your longer workouts. Get out of your comfort zone!!

Thanks for reading!

Update 11/23/14: My back was more sore from this workout than it has been in a long time. I am going to start doing more of my workouts like this one.

BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LIFTING WEIGHTS


If you’re stepping into a gym for the first time and wanting to start lifting weights with no idea where to start, then this post is for you. Welcome to Lifting 101. Class starts now.

START OUT WITH WEIGHT MACHINES

I say this because to do free weights you have to know the different exercises to do and can’t just jump in and start as easy. Another reason for starting with machines is that it will get you used to the different motions & movements that you should be doing; They will teach you the building blocks of lifting: motion, form, etc. [Read more in depth here: Free weights vs. Machines]

DON’T LET THE WEIGHT STACK TOUCH

When you workout, every rep you want to keep tension on the muscle. When you let the stack touch on machines, you are letting the tension off, therefore resting the muscle. You don’t want to rest the muscle until the set is over.

STRETCH & SQUEEZE. FORM.

In every rep you of every exercise you do, remember that there are two key components: The squeeze of the muscle & the stretch of the muscle. So, in a bicep curl, for example, at the top you are squeezing the muscle hard & and at the bottom the whole bicep is being stretched. Form is extremely important. No half-rep BS. No trying to do more weight than you can. Form, form, form!!

WORK DIFFERENT MUSCLE GROUPS

When you go in the gym each day, you can’t do the exact same machines/exercises every day. You are breaking down those muscles and have to give those muscle groups time to recover. So if you go in on a Monday, you may hit the upper body machines and then on Wednesday, maybe the lower body machines. If you plan on coming in 4 or more times a week, then you can split it up even more meaning you do arms on Monday, Legs on Tuesday, Shoulders on Wednesday, etc…

COUNT YOUR REPS!!

You won’t know if you’re getting stronger if you aren’t keeping track of your progress. Write down the weight you get & for how many reps on each machine if you need to, but track yourself.

SETS & REPS

You’re probably wondering once you get on these machines, how many you should do. A typical starting point is 3 sets of 10 reps. You will change this up as you get more advanced but start with it. So choose a weight you can get for 10 challenging reps and go. After you will rest for thirty seconds to a minute and then start your second set.

“HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD I DO?”

No one can answer this question for you. I can’t feel if 50 lbs. on a certain machine is hard or easy for you to do. Trial and error; put the weight pin in the stack at different amounts and try it. Too easy, add weight; too hard, lower weight. Easy as that.

PUSH YOURSELF

I get that you’re just starting out and if you’re even half as sore as I am after workouts, you will hate your life and want to quit. But you are going to be sore. When you lift, you are putting micro tears in your muscle and that is going to hurt a little. But your body will over-compensate when repairing these tears and that’s why you get stronger. So the soreness is worth it. Push yourself to where if you’re doing 10 reps, those ten reps are a challenge, not just 20 seconds of wasting your life because it was simple. No one ever said that this would be easy. To achieve anything in life including the body you want, you will go through struggle and hard times. So push yourself by overloading your muscles and you will improve.

SET SHORT-TERM GOALS

I really recommend reading this article if you’re just starting.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL: NEVER STOP LEARNING

You won’t get any better if you just go in and do the same old stuff every day for too long. You need to talk to people, read different things, watch what people are doing, and keep learning. I don’t know it all and can’t teach you everything but I will teach you what I can. You will find that everyone has opposite opinions on workouts, nutrition, etc… Learn everything you can & you will eventually form your own opinions and develop your own style, per se; So always be open to learning something new.

Hopefully this helps everyone that is starting out lifting weights! As you get better, help the next guy/girl that is a beginner to lifting. We’re all in this together!

Thanks for reading!


LOSE YOUR WAYS TO GAIN YOUR GOALS


Listen Up! We want to help YOU.

It’s a New Year and many of you are getting going on your goals. We want to help you to maximize the hard work you are putting in at the gym. It is difficult enough to get the results you are looking for, so avoid making it harder on yourself by not correctly fueling your body. Whether you are eating Lean Kitchen or not, we want to inform you on four helpful tips in order for you to get the best results:

 

REFRAIN FROM EATING CARBS WITHIN FIVE HOURS OF BED
Carbs are essential. They are the main source of energy for your body. Carbs should be consumed in moderation, and you should also monitor when you are consuming them. The biggest take away is to be aware of this fact: Carbs = Energy. Therefore, carbs must be burnt. If you eat carbs late at night before bed, they go unburned and turn into fat. Try to nix the popcorn, ice cream, or whatever unhealthy nighttime snack you crave. It is also recommended to cut the carb out of your dinner. Go with a protein and veggie combination whenever you can.

 

EAT FREQUENTLY
At all times your body is either Anabolic or Catabolic. Anabolic means your body is building muscle and burning fat. Catabolic means using muscle for energy and storing fat. Obviously, you always want your body in an Anabolic state. To do this, you MUST eat frequent, small meals. This means you eat every two to three hours. You will feel like you are constantly eating. This is GOOD. You may have heard someone tell a fit person, “You’re always eating!!!” and this is why. Eat well and eat often.

 

DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking water does amazing things for your body. Yes, you will have to use the restroom more often, but that is only natural. Drinking more water has many benefits. It flushes the fat you’re burning out of your body, keeps your muscles hydrated (helps with soreness), keeps your hair, skin, and nails glowing, and a handful of other benefits. I can’t stress this enough. DRINK MORE WATER!

ALSO, your body feels bloated when it thinks it is not getting enough water. This is your body’s way of trying to hold on to water because it is not getting enough. Simply, drinking more water equals less bloating.

 

Below is an example of what a typical eating schedule should look like:

6:00-7:00am: Breakfast (within an hour of waking)

9:00-10:00am: Mid-morning snack (something small)

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:00pm: Snack/Protein Shake

5:00-7:00pm: Dinner (No carb!)

8:00-9:00pm: Nighttime Snack (NO carb! Choose a healthy option: Cottage cheese, nuts, almonds, shake, peanut butter and celery)

 

BONUS: WORKOUT TIPS
Many of you are trying to drop some pounds, so you are doing cardio (running, elliptical, biking…). THIS IS GREAT! However, DO NOT NEGLECT THE WEIGHTS. I know they can be intimidating, so start by using the machines. The machines are hard to mess up and easy to learn to use. You should be lifting weights because muscle burns fat. A pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat does. No, you will not get bulky. Lifting weights will only make it easier to drop fat (A tone body is better than a skinny body.). Give High Intensity Interval Training Cardio (H.I.I.T.) programs a shot. Ultimately, it will teach you how much more effective twenty-five minutes of more intense cardio can be than one hour of steady pace cardio. Don’t burn yourself out, switch it up!

We absolutely want YOU to succeed. Please feel free to reach out to us at if you have any questions. Stop in at Fit Republic to ask us anything and/or get a FREE meal plan. You do not have to buy anything from us for this service; it’s just what we do.

Share with friends and family to help them reach their goals too.

Thank You!

NUTRITION IS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL HEALTH AND FITNESS RESOLUTIONS


Happy New Year, everyone! The crew here at Lean Kitchen hopes your 2017 has gotten off to a great start! Below, we’ve shared an article from the St. Joseph Post that features our founder, Austin Evans giving advice on how your nutrition choices can affect your New Year’s resolutions. Enjoy!

At the beginning of every new year, many people make plans to quit something, start something or make other life changes.

Health and fitness goals are often on many people’s New Year’s resolutions list.

According to Austin Evans, owner of Fit Republic and Lean Kitchen Company, with New Year’s resolutions about weight loss and other healthy changes, nutrition is 80 percent of the key to success.

“Nutrition is so important and people can take all the supplements they want, they can work out, and that’s going to help accelerate it, but if your nutrition is not on point, you’re not going to get results,” Evans said.

Fit Republic is a nutrition store in St. Joseph specializing in sports nutrition, weight loss supplements and vitamins and minerals. Evans said they also take time to help educate customers on a healthy diet.

“Everything is about balance,” Evans said. “Quitting things cold turkey is very hard, you’re not going to probably be successful cold turkey, not many people are, they don’t have the discipline. If people want to take out pop from their diet if they’re drinking 120 ounces of pop a day and they go to none, they’re probably going to fail. So take it out in chunks… If you try to do everything at once, people don’t often succeed that way.”

Evans said he encourages people to get off fad diets unless they implement lifestyle changes and to stop paying so much attention to the scale.

“Pay attention to how you feel, pay attention to how your clothes fit, pay attention to how much easier that mile is getting on the treadmill, pay attention to those types of things,” Evans said.

In addition to Fit Republic, which has been open a year, Evans began a meal prep company, Lean Kitchen Company about a month ago. They offer breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks with options including low-carb, gluten-free and vegan. Evans said they’re selling about 500 meals a week just out of the cooler at Fit Republic for people dropping by to get a healthy lunch option. Meals are available to order online and pick up at Fit Republic on Sundays.

Fit Republic is located at 1331 South Belt Highway in St. Joseph. Evans said people can stop in for Lean Kitchen meals or to talk with them about setting up New Year’s fitness or health goals and plans. For more information, visit the Fit Republic Facebook page.

6 TIPS TO STAYING FIT AFTER MARRIAGE


Originally posted on Stjoewedding.com on July 22, 2014. Photo credit: Chris Hunkelervia photopin

When is the last time that you and your spouse finished up dinner and went for a walk together? How about the last time the two of you were sitting around and decided you were going to go on a bike ride? If you are guilty of not remembering the last time you did anything remotely close to either of these things, you are not alone. Studies show that married couples exercise significantly less than people that are single do.

Staying fit after getting married tends to fall lower and lower the “priorities” list. Whether this is due to just the busyness of daily routines, raising kids, or whatever the excuse may be, you should try as early on as you can together to avoid it! If you can create good habits of exercising together and meal planning/grocery shopping together, it can be fun and easy to stay on the right track together. If you wonder why I keep saying “together”, it is because according to a 2007 study*, “your chances of becoming obese increase by 37 percent if your spouse becomes obese.” So you both need to have the goal in mind to be healthy!

 

Here are 6 tips to staying fit after marriage:

  1. Plan at least two times that you are going to do some type of cardio together Monday-Friday (ex: walk, run, swim…) and at least one time on the weekend. Three times a week total. Always!

  2. Do unique things for your exercise. Go hiking, mountain biking, or if you are into tennis then play tennis. Make it fun and switch off who picks what you two do together.

  3. Make a little competition of the workouts. Sprint the last part of your walk. Loser makes dinner.

  4. Take your lunch to work daily. Not only will you save money but it is so much easier to stay on a healthy diet. Save time by just cooking extra dinner and bringing leftovers.

  5. As a basic rule of thumb, stay on the perimeter of the store when shopping. This is where you will find fresh fruits, veggies, & protein. More of what you need and less of the carbs and processed junk.

  6. Be supportive of each other and motivate one another. It will be much easier if you are in this together.

    • Remember that slow progress is better than no progress, and there is no better workout partner than your significant other. You want to be able to grow old together. To set a healthy example for your kids. And to be able to get down on the floor and play with your grandkids one day. So make the lifestyle change.

      For more tips, Fit Marriage is loaded with workout tips for couples.

      Thanks for reading and be well!

CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF GOING TO THE GYM!

GYM-TIMIDATION: BEING INTIMIDATED OF GOING TO A GYM

A major reason people never start working out is simply because they are intimidated by the gym. For some reason, we think that when we walk in a gym for the first time, all eyes are going to be on us; and naturally we don’t want to look like idiots…

I faced this myself. I was a little skin n’ bones prick and wanted to bulk up so bad but thought, “there is no way in hell I’m going to the gym when I probably can’t bench press with a single plate on each side.” But instead of letting this stop me, I just put off going to the gym for a while, got myself some perfect pushups and shortly after, a weight set, and began at home. I did my own thing at home for about a year, and when I felt a little more confident, I stepped foot in the gym.

Well I’ve learned now, that the only people in a gym, watching what anyone else is doing, is the first timers; Because I can tell you that personally, I never pay attention to anyone.

So if you are one of those people that gym-timidation is holding you back, here are a few tips to help you get past it and get you to the gym. Don’t let such a dumb excuse stand in between you and your goals; and trust me you will later agree, it is a dumb excuse.

  • Set your goal and your plan to get there. And have your exact workout for the day planned out. [4 tips when starting working out]

  • Dress comfortably. I always joke about “look good, lift good”, but what I really mean is if you are comfortable and like your outfit, it will be one less dumb thing for you to worry about.

  • Bring your headphones with a playlist of songs you enjoy, ready to go. Have enough songs on your playlist to last the duration of your workout. Music stops, you stop, no earlier! The music will also help you keep your mind off your surroundings. Not to mention, if you’re anything like me, music pushes me so much harder in my workouts and keeps me focused.

  • When you arrive, find a stretching station [aerobics room, for example] & observe the gym as you walk to the water fountain or restroom. Get your mind in the right state for your workout and get a feel for where everything is in the gym [certain machines you want to use, free weights, cardio equipment, etc…]. When I say observe the gym, I mean literally the gym. Don’t be watching people, psyching yourself out. Remember, no one gives a shit you’re there, I swear.

  • Now go to work! Don’t slack, get after it, and keep your end goal in mind. FOCUS.

As time goes on & you start to feel more comfortable, don’t be afraid to talk to people. You don’t have to talk anyone’s ear off and they’ll probably rather you not when they’re in the middle of their workout, but build some friendships over time with people and you will feel welcome in the gym much quicker.

“Most importantly, remember that every single person in there started right where you are now.”

EVERYONE IN THERE STARTED WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. Most people [probably 90% of people] will be very welcoming and are there to help you. And always remember where you started when you do reach your goals.

If you know anyone that faces gym-timidation, please share this article with him or her.

[One last thought that sums things up: Don’t let fear of being in front of people you don’t even know stop you. Think about that, really. You’re afraid of what people think, that you don’t even know… Come on.]

Conquer your Fear

“I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT” | GET OFF THE SCALE!


The scale is a liar.
 It is a tool that often shows a discouraging number & will trick you into thinking that you aren’t making any progress. Society has convinced us that the scale is how you measure your health & any progress you’re making. Well, guess what? It’s not.

When you are overweight, you start working out/eating healthier with the intentions of “losing weight”. Technically though, the goal is to ‘lose fat’. It’s fair to say that most of the people on this world want to lose fat & gain muscle (If you don’t, then exit now).

So you may hop on a scale at the beginning of your weight loss journey for your ‘starting weight’ (this is acceptable), and then you hop back on the scale every day, or every week thereafter. And according to the scale, you’re not losing weight… This is where you’re going wrong. The scale is a terrible gauge of progress.

 

HERE’S HOW TO TELL IF THE SCALE IS LYING ABOUT YOUR PROGRESS:

  • Not losing weightFat loss vs Weight loss. The scale doesn’t take into account muscle gain when your begin working out, just ‘weight’ loss; So, say you gain 5 lbs. of muscle and lose 7 lbs. of fat for a 2 lb. total “weight” loss. This isn’t very encouraging at all to see on a scale but in reality is a HUGE accomplishment. I’ve seen many transformation pictures of people where they look like they’ve lost 20 lbs. and they have actually gained weight between the before & after picture, and look awesome. This is because muscle is much denser than fat. And not only is muscle sexier, but a pound of muscle will burn more calories in your body than a pound of fat will [Roughly speaking, one pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day vs. one pound of fat burns 2-4 calories per day].

  • If you are noticing your clothes fitting better or becoming baggy on you, you are clearly progressing. If your belt needs pulled two notches tighter but the scale shows you aren’t any lighter, who cares what the scale says?

  • You are feeling better day to day. You don’t get as winded walking up the stairs into work. You don’t feel worn out while moving some boxes around in your garage. You notice how much more energy you have throughout the day.

  • Your health is improving! Your blood pressure is down and your doctor took you off a couple of the medications you were on.

  • You’re stronger. You used to pick up the 15lb. dumbbells and now you can use the 25lb. ones for the same exercise. You can stay on the bike for ten minutes longer or run a mile 2 mins. faster than when you started.

 

Start looking beyond the number on the scale and gauge your progress from things that matter: how you feel, how your clothes fit, how you’re looking in the mirror, etc… Train for your ideal, dream body instead of training for an ideal weight. According to weight calculators, I am 30 pounds overweight, pushing obese. Don’t let the scale discourage you. Get off of it.

 

Thanks for reading!

If you got any value from this, scroll down & subscribe for occasional emails from me to help you towards your goals!

ANABOLIC VS CATABOLIC

When people hear the term “anabolic” they immediately think “OMG STEROIDS!!!” But here’s a newsflash: Anabolism is a metabolic state that your body either is or isn’t in right this second. And if you aren’t in an anabolic state right now, than you’re probably in a catabolic state, another metabolic state of the body. Let me explain the difference between the two & what they mean.

 

ANABOLISM:

An anabolic state is a positive metabolic state that you want to keep your body in whenever you can. You can read about how anabolism is using monomers to build polymers and how it is using ATP and bla-bla-bla… Simply put & what you need to know, is that when your body is ‘anabolic’, it is in a muscle building, fat-burning state.

Anabolism is using energy [nutrition from the food you’ve consumed] to stimulate protein synthesis and build muscle. An anabolic state can actually even increase your bone density.

To keep your body in an anabolic state, you must focus on giving it the right nutrients at the proper times. A body lacking sufficient amounts of protein or carbs at certain times can cause your body to be ‘catabolic’ thus hindering your progress.

The reason steroids are referred to as ‘anabolic steroids’ is because they basically make the body remain anabolic; therefore positively reacting to any nutrients it takes in. But if you can naturally keep your body anabolic by proper nutrition & meal timing, then you can mimic the effect naturally.

[Side-note: Certain hormones in your body are anabolic hormones. Testosterone, Estrogen and Insulin are all examples of anabolic hormones]

 

CATABOLISM:

A catabolic state is a negative metabolic state. Catabolism is the exact opposite of anabolism. When your body is catabolic, it is lacking the nutrients it needs and goes into panic-mode, eating your muscle & storing fat.

It is very interesting how insanely complex the human body is. For an example, I will use a typical time that the body goes into a catabolic state: nighttime/morning. Often times people will finish their dinner around mid-evening, let’s say 7pm and will maybe have some junk snack such as a bowl of ice cream and then hit the sack. Due to not having any protein since dinner [if you even had any then], then the ice cream not lasting very long as energy in your body, you will go to bed & a couple hours into sleeping, your body will actually run out of energy. Once it runs out of energy to burn, it may tap into fat cells, but shortly after will begin panicking that it may be getting starved and will tap into what it feels is a much better source of energy: muscle. [You should consume casein protein to combat this.]

In addition to burning your muscle as energy, when your body is catabolic, it isn’t using any available energy to synthesize proteins & burn up fat cells; Due to this, your body could have excess energy that it will store as fat.

[Side-note: Certain hormones in your body are also catabolic hormones. Cortisol & surprisingly, Adrenaline are examples of catabolic hormones]

 

Now that you know the difference between the two metabolic states, here are a few tips to keep your body anabolic as often as possible:

DO NOT skip breakfast!
Consume protein/carbs post-workout
Consume proper protein before bed
Be sure you are eating enough food throughout the day

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