Monthly Archives: June 2014
What’s up my beach physique clique? We’ve interrupted our regularly scheduled blog post programming and e-course teachings for some impromptu feasting. Go ahead and just let that take your imagination wherever it wants to go for a gluttonous or perverted moment. No judgements here.
I just wanted to share this podcast episode with my friends over at First Callout. They are some cool dudes and have had some epic guests on their show (at least if you are a bodybuilding, physique, or bikini nerd), so to get to be a part of it was an honor for sure. Its a show primarily geared towards physique peeps, but don’t let that scare you off. We covered a broad range of topics that I think will help anyone interested in a practical and sustainable approach to fat loss and physique enhancement.
Here’s the promo for it. They did a cool job. And you’ll notice clips scrolling through this very website that you are on right now. Its like frickin’ Inception — a dream within a dream…
After listening to it (I’m like every other egotistical fitness dude on the planet = I love to hear myself talk), I was actually surprised how much we covered in just over 20 minutes. Hey man, when I’m excited I ramble, swear, and talk fast. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, have read any of my books, or are currently taking our Beach Physique course, this podcast provides a nice, precise review of my overall nutrition approach. Some FitnessCenter highlights:
1. Why targeted calories, macros, and food choices matter more than diet structure, and you should use whatever meal frequency and food distribution pattern makes your plan as practical as possible to follow. That includes, but is not limited, to my intermittent fasting and feasting approach (and of course when I say my, I mean evolution’s).
2.We talked about the Belle Curve distribution of meal frequency patterns that I’ve seen work best in my experience. *The reverse of a warning — our conversation was not as boring or geeky as that sounds.
3. Why I don’t believe in either the extreme OCD bodybuilding approach, nor the extreme calorie counting/IIFYM (if it fits your macronutrient)/eat whatever you want as long as it fits your diet numbers approach. Most would best be served following the middle ground approach (well, leaning more towards clean eating) for flexibility, functionality, and overall health (including psychological health).
4. The difference between working with elite athletes vs. the general, busy professional demographic.
5. A step-by-step (oooh baby) guide of how I might transition someone from no nutrition knowledge and out of control Y2K eating into a more targeted fat loss plan, and all the way to intermittent feasting fat away for good, if that is what they so desire.
The goal of this post was to give you a break from having to read my bullshit, and just let you kick back and listen to it. So I’ll go ahead and remove my pudgy fingers from the keyboard now, and get this podcast party started. Click on da link below to listen.
Over the last few posts, we’ve battled through tough times together, and bid farewell to a few that we’ve lost. But dammit, its high time we get back to having a little fun and getting some shit done. So for your fat loss satisfaction, we return to the nutrition action.
As many of you know, the core principle of my intermittent feasting-style diet (Feast Your Fat Away) is to eat lighter during the day, and enjoy your biggest meal — with the majority of your calories and carbs — at night.
As Big Poppa once said, “And if you don’t know, now you know.”
But I’d be lying to you if I said that diet structure is THE most important step to slashing fat and looking dead sexy (or deadly shredded). It is really just a way to make your fat loss plan a lot more practical, easy to follow, and enjoyable than most traditional fitness or commercial weight loss diets.
But here’s da no bullshit truth — consistently hitting the right diet numbers (calories and targeted macronutrients) is by far the most important step to achieving any higher-level physique goal. I can’t (MC) hammer that point home enough. It’s just too legit to quit (talking about).
When clients ask, “why am I not losing any weight/fat?”, “why have I hit a plateau?”, or “why can’t I lose that last layer, that last 5-10lbs?”, I usually dig into the diet numbers to find the answer. As the great Brian Fantana once said, “60% of the time, it works every time.”
Actually in my experience, it’s been 95% of the time.
With the first day of summer fast approaching, I figured we’d dive into the diggity-details of diet numbers. I want to spend the next few posts helping you get them right. Part of the reason is that my goal with this blog is NOT to make you co-dependent on me. It’s to empower you, and give you the tools you’ll need to coach yourself.
So first things first. To get to where you want to go, you first need to know where you are starting from. How do you figure that out, and ultimately make the dietary adjustments necessary to reach your fat loss goals?
TRACK YOUR FOOD INTAKE & DIET NUMBERS FOR A WEEK
“That’s a pain in the ass Nate.” “I’m not a fitness freak.” “I have a life”. Etc.
Yeah I know, but this is not something I recommend you do indefinitely. Hell, I don’t track my food intake anymore. I gravitate towards certain foods and can now eyeball portion sizes like a hawk. But I highly suggest it at two different points in your fitness journey.
1. When you are first starting out, it’s a great educational tool.
By simply tracking food intake and numbers for a week, I’ve had clients realize their protein intake was paltry, they were committing “carbicide” like Bruno, or they were eating 1000 calories per day above maintenance levels via refined oils. In short, they were not eating nearly as good as they thought they were.
This can even happen with “good” food choices. So if you want to get uber-lean, it’s not just about eating low carb, low fat, Paleo, All-Natural, Raw, Whole Foods, Island-style, The All-Weiner Diet, The All-Beaver Diet, or any other approach. Keep eating Costco size bags of nuts like an over-sized squirrel every day, and that spare tire probably ain’t going away.
By getting on track(ing tools), you’ll get to know what your general serving sizes should be in order to hit your optimal fat loss numbers. You’ll also probably see how much extra shit is sneaking in there. After you cut the excess crap and get a good feel for the right portions for you, then you can start to eyeball everything. You don’t have to be a statistician forever. But it definitely helps educate and guide you in the beginning.
You can also see how where and what you like to normally eat, including restaurant meals in your regular rotation, etc., can fit into your overall fat loss plan. In essence, being more rigid with your tracking allows you to be a little more flexible with your diet, yet still get great results.
Perhaps it is most important from a psychological perspective. Doing something as simple as tracking your food intake forces you to take personal accountability AND some kind of action towards your physique goals. These two steps are necessary to achieve anything in life.
2. When you hit a plateau.
Going from out of shape to decent shape is one thing. But going from good shape to the cover of a fitness magazine, or top of an e-dating site profile page, is a whole other thing. If you want to jump to the next physique class, often times it necessitates being more detailed and consistent with your diet numbers.
Don’t listen to the intellectual pontificators that say “calories don’t count”, and throw around big boy words like “metabolic advantage” to make up for their lack of practical experience.
I don’t care what sounds good in a lab, lecture, or debate. I only care about what works in the real world. And unless you have great genetics or are using physique enhancing drugs, trust me, the numbers absolutely matter if you want to get ripped. Calorie deficits, metabolic advantage of macronutrient amounts and ratios, satiety impacts of food choices, etc., it all frickin’ matters baby.
And I’d say the diet numbers matter a whole hell of a lot more than throwing a bunch of BCAA’s, MCT’s, fat-burning herbs, and other magic pills into some bone broth, and cooking it all up in a caldron like Gargamel.
Busting through plateaus does not always necessitate biohacks, complicated cyclical diet strategies, or being cool and cutting edge. Sometimes it actually necessitates the opposite — getting back to the boring basics. Maybe you’re underestimating how many carbs or added fats you are taking in. If all is on point, maybe its time to re-assess and adjust the numbers for continued progress, but only if you’re actually sticking to your current ones to begin with.
See what I’m saying?
GOOD TRACKING TOOLS
These days, with food databases and even smart-phone apps, its relatively easy and pain free to track your numbers. Here are a few free resources I recommend:
1. Pen & Paper Food Journal
Go old school and just write things down in a notebook. Use this food database to find the calorie & macronutrient information of any food.
2. Food Tracking Software
Keep track on your computer or smart phone. I suggest the following:
A VIDEO RECAP
I talked about this topic in the video portion of our Free Beach Physique Guide and ongoing e-course. I think it makes a nice recap to this post.
In the next post, I’m going to dive into protein numbers and research. If you would like more useful fat loss tips and strategies like this, in the same multi-media format, or you don’t have the patience to wait for my next post (with my leisurely working schedule), you can check out The Beach Physique Guide and Ongoing E-course.
Until next time, TRACK IT!
We’ve all lost someone we loved. It’s devastating.
Cruising and perusing through Facebook, it seems like a lot of us have lost someone recently. My heart goes out to you man. I hope you’re hanging in there. Having lost a few peeps myself, I know words can only do so much to comfort. But what the hell, it’s worth a shot. And it’s also worth trying something a little different.
So Kalai and I wanted to share something with you. Over Memorial Day, we got to experience one of the coolest things we’ve ever been a part of – Lantern Floating Hawaii 2014, a ceremony to honor and remember the ones we’ve lost, and perhaps find some closure. Read the rest of this entry