Category Archives: FAQ’s
First off, I just wanted to thank you for all of da love and support you’ve been giving me online. Really appreciate it. I want to return the favor by helping as many of you as I can, but I just can’t keep up with the amount of emails and questions I get while having some kind of a normal life. So I’m starting a weekly Q and A series on my YouTube channel to try to get more efficient at it. Here’s Da Intro and how to get your questions answered.
And we’re kicking this thing off with the most common question I’ve been getting. Doesn’t eating the majority of your carbohydrates at night inhibit natural growth hormone release and impair the body’s ability to burn fat?
What we covered:
- Yes its true, we get our biggest boost in natural growth hormone levels within the first 90 minutes of sleep.
- Yes its true, high insulin levels inhibit natural growth hormone release.
- The key to eating bit at night without inhibiting GH is to time it right.
- In a normal functioning body, insulin levels rise in response to a meal (even a big feast) and return back to baseline levels within 2-3 hours.
- Eat your big carb-loaded feast and allow enough lag-time for insulin levels to fall back to baseline levels before going to sleep.
- Don’t try to starve yourself for dinner and then eat a sugar-loaded snack right before bed to compensate.
In most social situations, I’m kind of a shy wallflower. Just ask my wife how “smooth” I was when trying to ask her out on our first date. It seriously was kindergarten sh*t.
But as it turns out, if you get me talking about nutrition, you can’t shut me the hell up. I did 3 interviews last week. I didn’t have time to post them individually, so they are all going up now in this massive, amazing, content-rich, educational, comprehensive, post. Actually, its just a couple of dudes sitting around, hanging out, and talking about nutrition. But what could be better (now that I think of it = a couple of hot babes and me sitting around, hanging out, and NOT talking about nutrition)?
I. BRANDMEIER SHOW ON WGN RADIO IN CHICAGO
My segment was in the first hour (5 am California time dammit), from 37-54 minutes.
It was cool to get to do a radio interview, but the coolest thing was that my dad seemed really excited about it. He grew up in Chicago, and was telling me it was a big deal to get a spot on WGN. So pops, I know I’m this slightly weird dude with a slightly unconventional career, but I hope I’m making you proud.
Johnny B is a cool dude. We talked fitness myths, evolution nutrition theory, and why if you eat a pterodactyl for dinner, you won’t lose muscle if you skip breakfast the next day.
II. SEAN HYSON’S FITNESS DISTILLED
Professionally, Sean is the Group Training Director for Muscle & Fitness and Men’s Fitness magazines. Personally, he’s become a friend that shares my seemingly endless enthusiasm for Seinfeld quotes.
In this interview we talk about simple strategies for tracking calories/macros and why that’s important for higher-level physique goals (don’t worry, you won’t be carrying around a portable scale, protractor, or calculator), adjustments for bulking diets and performance athletes, and how poor food choices and ignoring the health impacts of your diet can lead to a non-functioning wiener.
III. GOLD MEDAL BODIES
My buddy Ryan is a cool dude, interesting character, and passionate as hell about fitness, and fitness education. So we get along real well, except for the fact that I’m jealous he lives in Japan. In this interview we talk about why I didn’t start getting results with clients UNTIL I focused on their nutrition plans, the basic principles of the Intermittent Feast protocol, his experience with the plan, and why my superior genetics are the only reason I am in shape year-round (that’s a joke, and he even posted this embarrassing picture of me as Da Baby Sumo for proof).
You guys tired of hearing what I have to say yet? I hope not, because my fitness buddy Kyle Hunt recently interviewed me on his site.
I’ve re-posted the piece for you here (I added the sub-headings and a few pics). Hope you enjoy
Note: I first saw Nate’s material on T-Nation. I was reading one of his articles and thought to myself “damn this guy views nutrition pretty similar to how I do” lol. So being the information junkie that I am I had to check out his site and find out what he was all about. Then some time passed and I started to hear his name mentioned more and more. Eventually, I got around to contacting him and the rest is pretty much history. I think you guys will really enjoy this interview.
Hunt- For the readers who may not be familiar with the name Nate Miyaki can you tell them a little bit about who you are personally and professionally as well as how you got involved in the fitness lifestyle?
Miyaki- How is someone not familiar with the legend that is Nate Miyaki? Hahahaha… Dude, it’s like one of those Geico commercials man. “Could switching to Miyaki’s hybrid nutrition approach help you slash 15% of your body fat?” What have you been living under a rock?”
Personally, I’m a laid-back beach dude, a pervert, and a slightly weird guy with no filter. I’m passionate about health, natural bodybuilding & fitness, fat slashing nutrition, and Bruce Lee & Miyamoto Musashi philosophy, and I enjoy sharing those passions with anyone who wants to listen. So yes, I talk to myself often.
Professionally, I run a private training and nutrition consulting business, although lately I am focusing more on my writing and speaking engagements in the industry.
Professionally, I also strip under the stage name Little Shitake Miyaki. Just kidding, at least about the first part.
Hunt- You are a competitive bodybuilder. What are some of your past shows and what are your future plans in the sport?
Miyaki- Yeah, I won the lightweight class at the 2004 NPC Max Muscle Naturals, got my a$$ kicked at the 2004 Musclemania America & World Championships, and won the bantamweight class (the weight classes are different in Musclemania) at the 2009 Musclemania America & World Championships.
I plan on doing the 2012 Musclemania Championships again this year, this time as a lightweight. So if the existing pattern holds true, I’ll probably get my a$$ kicked. But it doesn’t matter.
My goal with this whole bodybuilding “thang” is twofold:
A. Show I have at least some practical experience in the fat loss and physique enhancement game, unlike a lot of trainers and coaches out there.
B. Show that you can get in bodybuilding-style shape with some non-traditional methods, and without compromising your health OR career goals.
Otherwise, you can sacrifice everything, follow some extreme protocol, destroy your health and sanity, be miserable and depressed all the time, set yourself up for huge weight rebounds and a lifetime of yo-yo’ing (guys too), live in a van down by the gym, etc. all for a 6-pack and cheap trophy (or even for some, just a Facebook photo). Oops, did I just say that out loud. Sorry dude. To each their own.
Hunt- How did you first get involved in the fitness industry as a trainer and nutrition coach? What are some of your credentials?
Miyaki- Well, I was working at a gym and the owner knew I was studying Kinesiology in school. He also knew I had some practical experience as an athlete. So he offered to pay for my certification and help me get started with building my clientele.
Since I don’t think too far ahead, I was bored doing the gym’s accounting work, and I was broke, I accepted. 13 years later, we’re still rocking and rolling with this thing.
Certified Personal Trainer (ACE)
Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition (ISSA)
Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition (ISSA)
Post-baccalaureate studies in Kinesiology
Certified Cool Guy (self-certified in this one)
DA NUTRITION APPROACH
Hunt- How would you describe your general approach to nutrition? I have heard you describe it as “paleo plus sports nutrition” can you explain that?
Miyaki- Well, now that we’re getting down to the real sh*t, lets dispense with the fun and games and get down to the heart of the matter. And let’s simplify this completely fluff-filled and information-overloaded industry.
1. Use Paleo/Caveman Nutrition as a base for both your food choices and overall diet structure (food distribution).
2. Food Choices: Emphasize real, natural foods (relatively lean animal proteins, vegetables, whole fruit, nuts, muddy pond water) over both refined garbage, and even self-proclaimed health foods (100 calorie snack bars, whole grain breads and cereals, pro-biotic yogurts). But what about “x”, Oprah says its good for me? CAVEMAN THEME!! See how simple that is.
3. Diet Structure: Hunt and Feast, baby. We evolved fasting/eating lighter during the day while hunting, and eating the majority of our calories/carbs at night while relaxing or socializing. You should do the exact same thing if you want to make shedding fat as functional, sustainable, and quite frankly, enjoyable, as possible. There is virtually no science that supports the “eat 6 small meals a day and starve at night, most miserable way to frickin’ diet” approach.
I’m not saying it doesn’t work (it absolutely does, and I’ve used it myself in the past with good results). But it’s more tradition than necessity, and it’s not a realistic, long-term plan for most. That’s why so many competitors yo-yo, and the majority of the rest of the population never get started. Go with, not against your evolutionary instincts (eat big at night), and your fat slashing plan becomes infinitely easier.
4. And the Sports Nutrition modification. Cavemen were trying to survive, not performing glycogen-depleting strength training sessions for cosmetic enhancement (building lean muscle, slashing fat, looking awesome, etc.). Low/no-carb diets are great for insulin resistant, obese, and sedentary populations, but not so much for athletes. Add back in some low gluten, low sugar starch foods to support this targeted anaerobic training.
For this I use the Traditional Village-style Japanese Diet as an example/simple educational tool (not dogmatic creed to follow). Paleo-style diet with the addition of root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.) and rice at dinner (remember, eat the majority of our cals and carbs at night).
That’s about it in a nut sack. Mine is 100% Paleo-friendly and available for the right price by the way.
Am I brilliant or stupid? Only you can decide that for yourself. There are people on both sides of the fence. So be it.
Hunt- Do you have specific pre/post workout parameters you like to go by?
Miyaki- Pre? I think the best option is to train in a relatively fasted state. So if you train in the morning up until lunch, train fasted and then fill the tank the rest of the day. If you train in the afternoon or evening, I recommend a Paleo-style lunch 3-5 hours before. Gives you just enough energy without digestive stress or rebound hypoglycemia from a more traditional, starchy-carb filled lunch.
Post? Lets reverse it. If you train in the evening its simple, carb-feast like a beast for dinner, which is your post-workout meal. If you train in the morning or afternoon, it’s a little different. While I get that the majority of your carbs should be placed in the “post workout window” (although I do think that is a little overstated, full glycogen restoration can take 24 hours or more, protein synthesis can be elevated for 48 hours, etc., but I digress), I still think the most functional, sustainable, and enjoyable plans, which means the most successful plans, are the ones that place the majority of carbs at night.
So eat some protein with a piece of fruit post-workout regardless of what time of day you train (the fruit provides some quick digesting carbs for glycogen replenishment, halts catabolic activity, etc., without spiking insulin and leading to rebound hypoglycemia and energy crashes).
Then feast on those insulin spiking carbs at night to induce a hyper-anabolic environment.
Hunt- What is your opinion on intermittent fasting and carb back loading?
Miyaki- As you can see from the above answers, I’ve studied them both, love them both, and have incorporated both into my overall approach. And listen, I’m not the type of guy who has a big ego, wants to become a guru, or needs to claim I invented anything. I think you can learn a lot from “The Intermittent Fasting Guy – Martin Berkhan” or “That Carb-Backloading Dude – DH Kiefer”. To be honest, the Godfather of it all is Ori Hofmekler. If you are a knowledge whore, you should read their work immediately.
These guys are brilliant and have contributed a ton to the health & fitness industry, help shattered dogma and myths, etc. But on that same note, if my approach were exactly the same as any of them, I’d just refer you to them.
My Way has subtle differences in either food choices or overall diet structure, or both. I take a Ronin approach (not serving any master, not following any creed, using whatever weapons necessary to get the job done, etc.) to both my nutrition plans and to my life in general. It is what it is.
If you want to do the same, learn from valuable resources, and then follow Bruce Lee’s advice: “absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.”
I hope you can absorb a few things from my work. That is all.
Hunt- How do you structure food selection? Do you have specific protein, carbohydrate and fat sources that you recommend and/or ones that you tell your clients to stay away from?
Miyaki- Back to the Caveman Theme, plus rice and root vegetables for anaerobic athletes. See, it is a simple and effective educational tool.
The one detail I tend to harp on is if you eat “added” fats in your diet. Fat in nature is meant to be eaten with protein or fiber. Eat whole food fats (nuts, avocado, coconut), not refined oils, which are easy to overeat, have no effects on the hormones that regulate appetite, how you end up with the 2000 calorie salad that you think is a “light” lunch, etc.
And carbs tend to get a bad name because of the ones most people emphasize. Stay away from concentrated sources of fructose (sugar, HFCS), gluten (wheat), what Paleo nutritionists would refer to as “anti-nutrients” (found in most grains and cereals), and of course, Cocoa Pebbles.
Stick to rice and roots, and you’ll do alright.
Hunt- What supplements do you recommend to your clients and do you have any that you would consider “staples”?
Miyaki- Whole foods are the only thing I consider to be “staples”.
But I’ll be totally honest man. I haven’t spent a lot of time studying targeted supplement protocols. It’s just not my area of focus or interest. So I generally refer supplement questions to one of my colleagues who have spent a good portion of their careers researching the “ins and outs” of all of that.
In other words, don’t ask a plumber about your taxes. Ask an accountant. Cool?
Hunt- Who are some of the people in the fitness industry that you respect and look up to?
Miyaki- Well first off, don’t look up to anyone in life you haven’t met in person. There are successful scumbags and average heroes just the same.
But respect their work? Too many brother, as I consider myself a lifelong student. Here are a few, not in any particular order, there are more: Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Ori Hofmekler, Chris Aceto, Jason Ferruggia, Martin Berkhan, DH Kiefer, John Meadows, Lyle McDonald, Layne Norton, Asker Jeukendrup…
I could keep going on and on, but the sands of time are ticking away (and I gotta “drop a deuce” pretty soon here), so lets wrap this thing up in the next few minutes or so. Cool?
Hunt- I get asked this question a lot so I figure I would ask you. What are the top 5 books you recommend on training or nutrition?
Miyaki- My passion is the nutrition side of the ballgame, so…
The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain
The Paleo Solution – Robb Wolf
Sports Nutrition, 2nd Edition – Asker Jeukendrup
Championship Bodybuilding – Chris Aceto
Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat – Ori Hofmekler
Hunt- You yourself just came out with a new book. Tell the readers a little bit about your new book “The Fat Loss Consultant” and how they can get it.
Miyaki- Why yes I did my friend, and its available now, hahaha….
I’m not going to lie, this interview covers about 90% of what you need to know. Fat loss nutrition is basic and simple. The industry overcomplicates it to sell you a bunch of sh*t you don’t really need. Coaches overcomplicate it to either validate their profession, prove their superiority, or because they are actually more information overloaded and confused than the general public.
It’s the Wild West minus the cool hats.
Me? I have no secrets. Hunt and eat lighter Paleo-style foods during the day, and feast on the majority of your calories and carbs at night. I can’t tell you it is more complicated than that because I don’t believe it is.
Consistency is the key to success, not magic pills or miracle formulas.
So why the book? Damn, sh*tty sales job so far huh? Good thing I’m my own boss. Let me see if I can improve:
1. If you go out and apply my advice, you get great results, it changes your life, etc., well, you should buy my f*cking book out of shear appreciation. That’s called honor.
But beyond that, it is all about the details my friend, and the details can make or break you…
2. It gives you specific food charts, targeted numbers and calculations for higher-level physique goals, sample diets based on specific situations, etc.
3. The hunt and feast structure makes fat loss dieting way more realistic, functional, and sustainable for busy working professionals (or students, or those of us addicted to video games or internet porn = anyone whose time is limited). The book goes into even more practical application strategies regarding how to stay on track with your plan. Food prep tips, how to eat out at almost any restaurant (with examples and guides), how to improve the office setting, what to do at coffee shops and bars, etc.
Most plans look great on the chalkboard or in a textbook, but DON’T work in the real world. What’s the point? Not this one. We get into the real world strategies that make a difference.
4. A lot of what I’m recommending goes completely against mainstream/traditional health, fitness, & bodybuilding advice. If you trust me, that’s the end of it. But if you are skeptical, the book expands more upon the theories from which my Way was formulated. And despite my laid-back attitude, I have spent over 10 years studying this stuff and know what I’m talking about. Towards the end, the book dives into the hardcore science. I’ve provided my resources and references with links to supporting studies on every individual topic. You can come to your own conclusions, as you should with everything in life.
And you should spend some time educating yourself, whether it is through me or someone else. Otherwise you’ll keep blindly jumping from program to program with no results.
5. At the very least, you’ll get to dive more into my messed up mind. So at least you will be entertained.
Here’s where you can get it: http://www.thefatlossconsultant.com/
Hunt- Lastly, how can people reach you?
Booty calls can hit me up any time. My number is 555…
Thanks a lot for allowing me to hang out with you and your crew Kyle. We’ve shared some laughs, shared some cries, made some new friends (and probably some new enemies), etc. It was a blast.
*You can visit my buddy Kyle’s site here: http://www.kylehuntfitness.com/
My buddy Jason Ferruggia hit me up and asked me if I’d like to do an interview on his Renegade Strength & Conditioning blog. It was a huge honor and I accepted. When asked a question, I give an honest, straightforward, no bullsh*t answer, and then I ramble about nonsense because I’m a weird guy like that. I guess Jason liked that style, because the interview ended up being a 3-parter.
Quite frankly, I think this is one of the best pieces of content I’ve been a part of, and contains a ton of useful information for you. Here are the links to each part of the interview, including what we covered:
NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE BOMBS WITH NATE MIYAKI – PART I: Why low carb diets are good for certain populations vs. the various reasons why anaerobic athletes & strength trainers should include some carbs in their diets, why you should go AGAINST mainstream fitness advice and eat the majority of your calories and carbs at night, good carb choices (hint, Japanese Village-style – white rice and root vegetables), various Seinfeld quotes and references.
NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE BOMBS WITH NATE MIYAKI – PART II: We call out bullsh*t “health” foods including why flaxseed oil sucks, why “whole food” fats are far superior to refined oils, specific pre-workout advice and modifications, and we talk about what would be the female equivalent of erectile dysfunction (but are a little more vulgar about it, so beware).
NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE BOMBS WITH NATE MIYAKI – PART III: Starts with a phenomenal picture of Eva Mendes which is all you really need to know but then, specific post-workout recommendations and modifications, how the diet set-up changes for gaining muscle/mass vs. targeted fat loss, specific adjustments for those dealing with acute or chronic inflammatory conditions.
AND, a lot of the magic happened (I answered a bunch of questions) in the comments section, so make sure to check that out.
Until next time, this is how the Renegade and the Ronin (me, in honor of Musashi) roll…
Well because if your goal is to look like a Cro-Magnon man, then Paleo diets are great. And if you are 100lbs overweight, insulin resistant, type II diabetic, and just need to move closer to a natural, healthy bodyweight, Paleo diets are great. But if your goal is to reach the upper echelon of physical development (ie lose that last 10lbs, get ripped, look great naked, etc.), then in my opinion, 100% Paleo diets suck caveman booty. Just kidding, but not really.
Reaching a healthy body weight is one thing, but at some point getting to ultra-low body fat percentages, six-packs and whatnot, becomes somewhat of an unnatural process. The ripped guy would have died first in caveman times because a certain amount of body fat is advantageous as a back-up fuel source during times of food deprivation. So if you want to get rid of that extra reserve that your body physiologically wants to carry, you can’t just eat what your ancestors ate or rely on instinct. You need to add in targeted Sports Nutrition principles.
Why do you think you never see Paleo-ites with their shirts off? Because the majority are just skinny-fat (although there is always one guy that is genetically gifted, is an exception to the rule, and everyone points to as their example of Paleo-superiority). Well sorry to bust your bubble, but I’ve competed against world class NATURAL bodybuilders that would make your Paleo-god look like Richard Simmons.
And I don’t mean to be a jerk, honestly, I am really just trying to help you. I know what its like to be frustrated at a plateau, because I used to follow a 100% Paleo diet back in the day until I became more educated in exercise physiology and nutritional biochemistry. 100% Paleo is honestly just too simple of an approach for a physiological process as complex as fat loss.
Now before anyone gets their caveman, loin cloth panties in a bunch, I believe there are many great principles we can take from the Paleo Diet. In fact, so much so, that I’d say about 80% of my dietary recommendations are Paleo-influenced. But in my industry, we need to get out of trying to slot everyone into one little neat system. You’ll never convince me that a 300lbs sedentary office worker just trying to see his toes (among other body parts) again should be eating the same thing as a relatively fit, athlete trying to reach elite body composition levels. That makes no sense, common, scientific, or any other.
OK, now that the overview is out of the way, you are either (A) asleep, and in that case sweet dreams (B) logged off this site and logged onto Sportscenter.com (guys) or an online shoe store (girls, or vice versa, who knows?), and in that case have fun (C) excited to learn more, and in that case let’s break down your specific situation step-by-step. We’re going to go down a few different assumption roads so we can look at several possible solutions to your specific problem.
1. Maybe your current bodyweight IS your natural, healthy bodyweight. If it is, and that’s all you are shooting for, congratulations. Keep doing whatever it is that you are doing. I think most people could attain a healthy bodyweight by following a Paleo-style diet and walking alone, no formal exercise necessary.
2. But if you have higher physique development aspirations, maybe you need to look outside of 100% strict Paleo parameters.
3. You need to follow a diet more than a few weeks to attain noticeable results. Try a few months (and a few years if you want to reach elite status). I think shows like the Biggest Loser, and miracle pill and supplement marketing have skewed the public’s perception of realistic weight loss goals and time frames . We want fat loss and we wanted it yesterday right? Well, real fat loss takes time. And if you lose weight too quickly, you are likely losing more muscle than fat, damaging your metabolism, and setting yourself up for a huge weight rebound. This is the stuff you don’t see off camera on NBC.
4. Although food selections may give you a few metabolic and hormonal advantages, calories still count. If you are not in a relative calorie deficit, you are not providing an environment where your body will break down its own fat stores to obtain fatty acids. And on a side note, most formulas I’ve seen overestimate people’s true daily caloric needs.
5. Oils are not a true Paleo food. Where were the oil-refining factories in Caveman times. You may be in a “fat burning” mode, but if you are pouring oil on everything, your body is simply burning the dietary fatty acids you are consuming instead of being forced to break down body fat. True cavemen got most of their fat through their animal protein sources.
6. Fruit: Fructose is one of the worst compounds for body composition enhancement — directly leads to insulin resistance and fat accumulation. A small amount of fructose from 1-2 pieces of whole fruit a day is cool, but if you’re pounding bananas all day like a chimp, the fructose can add up. And definitely cut out concentrated sources of fructose like fruit juice, dried fruits, high fructose corn syrup and SUGAR (which is actually one molecule of glucose per one molecule of fructose.
7. What kind of training are you doing? Cardio sucks for fat loss, you can check out my article on this topic in the articles section. And if you have a knee injury, the repetitive nature of, and joint pounding cardio can have on the joints is probably only aggravating your condition. At least with strength training, you can control the exercise tempos and vary the angles to make sure you aren’t making the knee worse.
Alright, I’m worn out. Hope that helps answer your question.