Tag Archives: muscle poppin weight droppin

Blasting away stubborn body fat

It’s day three of the Muscle Poppin’, Weight Droppin’ challenge!

I thought it was about time I explain my approach to exercise and eating plan in greater detail to give you an idea of how we are going about our 90 day challenge.

Number one

Weight loss (and optimal health) starts first and foremost in the kitchen! You can work out all you want but if your diet doesn’t support fat loss.. well you simply aren’t going to lose fat.

The key to starting any new eating regimen is food prep. Every week Faith and I prep meals (mostly protein and veggies!) for the week to ensure that we have healthy food on hand so we don’t make desperate choices (or spend extra money buying food out).

Our fridge looks something like this on food-prep-Sundays:

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What you see here is a combination of:

Protein

  • Lean ground turkey (use in omelettes, stir frys, on the side, as a snack)
  • Turkey bacon (used in omelettes, snack, stir frys)
  • Baked tilapia
  • Eggs (boiled, in salads, fried, as omelettes, poached on top of stir frys)
  • Lean beef meat balls

Fruit and Veggies

  • Spinach (goes in everything – shakes, stir frys, omelettes, salads)
  • Avocados
  • Raw veggies chopped for easy snacking (peppers, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Kale salad prepared
  • Baked kabotcha squash (nothing added but water!)
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

Extras

  • Hummus
  • Almond butter (I’m addicted and working to eliminate completely.. but good in moderation!)
  • Healthy oils (flax, coconut, MCT oil)
  • Salsa
  • Almond butter (trying to ween myself off of it!)

Other than that, I drink lots of water, black coffee and protein shakes (Visalus protein and meal replacement). I’m trying not to snack very often, but making sure I eat every 3-5 hours.

I avoid anything processed and anything that contains more than a handful of ingredients. If I can’t pronounce it – it’s not optimal food. If it has sugar and/or wheat – I avoid completely. And, I’ve cut milk, yogurt and mostly all dairy products.

Most people don’t realize that many foods you think are going to help you achieve fat loss, are actually not optimal choices at all. Here are a few healthy weight loss food” myths:

  • Low-fat yogurt – how many ingredients are on the label? TOO MANY. If it needs to be preserved or have added chemicals, it’s not worth it.
  • Skim milk – Do you ever wonder why so many people are lactose intolerant? Our bodies weren’t designed to digest milk from another species. Enough said.
  • Whole-wheat bread – before the industrial revolution of mass agriculture food production, humans did not consume nearly as much wheat and especially not the genetically modified wheat we find on the grocery store shelves. The chemical make up of today’s wheat is incomparable to that of our ancestors, and therefore, cannot be optimally broken down by the body. In fact, it’s been proven to cause illness and disease. Want to learn more? Read here.
  • High-sugar fruits – fruit is good for you, don’t get me wrong, but fruit is also high in natural glucose. Glucose is needed for energy – but if not used immediately for energy, is converted to fat and is stored in the body. The bad news is, once glucose turned into fat, it cannot turn back into glucose for your body to burn for energy.. thus it stays as fat. Check out this article to read more about this process.
  • Anything “low calorie” or “low fat” – these foods are gimics to “drop weight” and make you think you are fueling your body optimally. They aren’t. They are processes, chemically modified and often stripped of all nutrients. Basically you’re being tricked into thinking eating cardboard rice cakes is actually good for you.

I’m not saying these foods won’t help you lose weight, because they just might. I’m sharing the knowledge I’ve gained from nutrition experts on how to rid excess body fat by fueling it properly and restoring your health. I also believe in everything in moderation. If you eat many of these foods on a regular basis, try eliminating one at a time. You need to remember it’s a gradual progress and there’s no need to change everything drastically all at once. Clean, whole, natural foods are the way to go.

To give you an example, today’s meals looked a little something like this:

Breakfast (after my metabolic interval training at Element Athletic) was kabotcha squash and three boiled eggs.

Lunch was a kale salad (kale, chopped walnuts, diced apple, chopped broccoli, 1/2 avocado) with baked tilapia and drizzled with one teaspoon of flax oil.

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Dinner was a two egg (plus egg whites) omelette with turkey bacon, turkey, goat cheese and spinach. Served with 1/2 avocado and organic (meaning no preservative of sugar added) salsa.

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All of this, except for the omelette was pre-cooked and ready to go.

Seems logical right? So why do people find it so difficult to implement? We are stuck in a society who places convenience and price before nutrition and logic. You wouldn’t put windshield washer fluid in your gas tank and expect that your car will run properly would you? The same goes for what you put in your body. It wasn’t designed to process certain foods including processed carbs, most gluten and even dairy – and especially not genetically modified foods – so why do you think it’s not acting like you want it to?

Optimal health starts first and foremost in your diet.

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Number two

The second step is proper exercise. It’s difficult for most people to know the proper way to train for fat loss because there is SO much information out there telling us “strength training is better than cardio” and equally as much out there saying “cardio burns more calories so therefore it’s better than strength training” – so which is it?!

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I used to think that cardio was the quick solution to fat loss so I took up running.. and just ran my second half marathon. I figured the more you work at it, the more calories you burn and therefore the more fat you will lose.. right? Wrong.

Doing Cardio Is The Only Way To Lose Weight

I was talking to Dave, a friend of mine from Element Athletic, about my fat loss struggles and he told me stop running and get my butt (pun intended) back to weight training. Cardio is good to reduce mass, but it won’t help in continuous fat burning. Muscle burns more energy (or calories) at a resting state than fat. People who strength train have more lean muscle mass, thus they burn more energy throughout the day. People who strictly do cardio don’t get this “after-burn” effect and lose out on that extra calorie burning that their strength training friends get to experience.

He then explained the fat loss process simply through a gas-burning car analogy: Imagine a Volkswagen bug and a hummer driving around the city. You told the person driving the bug to coast around at a normal speed not stopping at any lights (ie. jogging or sitting on a stationary bike) and the hummer to gun it between each stop light and when it turns red, come to a complete stop, turn off the engine and turn it back on after the light turns green (HIIT or high intensity interval training).

Result: the bug obviously burned less gas and while going the same distance, required less gas (ie. energy) to get there. The hummer, which already burns lots of gas as is (ie. muscular body), used a burst of energy for a short period of time before coming to a complete stop for a short amount of time before re-firing the engine and gunning it again (HIIT). Which method burns more gas (energy) – obviously the hummer.

His analogy only solidified what I’ve believed all along. Not only that, but we all know people are busy. We all lead hectic lives which unfortunately makes health and proper nutrition difficult. The best part about interval strength training and conditioning is quick, easy to learn, builds muscle and burns a hell of a lot of calories!

(I’ll explain more about the benefits of HIIT and the “after-burn effect” in an upcoming post.)

Still here? Whew! I hope you gained some insight into what parts of your diet or exercise routine might need a little tweaking to get you over that weight loss hump. After years of self-education and consulting with experts in varying fields, I believe this is the optimal way to achieve fat loss and will continue to post insight, learnings and progress along the way.

Have a question about anything you read in this post – please feel free to ask away!

I leave you with a quote that always helps me stay accountable and focus on my goals:

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90 Day Challenge: Muscle Poppin’, Weight Droppin’

90 day challenge

I’m an optimist. I always see the positive side in most situations – good or bad. For those not so ideal situations – I’m always finding a solution. Some call it annoying too much; I call it a sure fire route to success.

Years ago, I learned that the mega successful – with varying examples of “success” – were people who never gave up even when they failed over and over again.

Fall-Down-Seven-Times

When it seems like there is no hope in hell whatever they are working on is going to work out – they keep going. And you know what? Those people, the crazy, addicted, workaholics are the ones who succeed.

I apply this thinking to every part of my life – work, personal, social and everything in between – no matter what it is, I give 110% to everything I do. You can never be disappointed in what you’ve done or feel unaccomplished along the way when you give 110% effort, because in the end, you’ve done literally all you can do.

Sure it has its upsides and downsides… learning how to say NO is difficult… but the life experiences and personal accomplishments you are able to achieve are worth the stress (okay – sometimes worth the stress… I’m working on this one), dedication and effort. I will promise you of that.

That brings us to today. What happened to giving my fitness goals 110%?

It’s not like I’ve let myself slide.. because that is certainly not the case – but I’ve also not made extreme progress in a long time. I’ve been aiming for an ideal fitness look and level for years which I have still not achieved. I know it takes time (I may have an issue with wanting everything – now) and effort (trust me, I have the effort part down) but it also takes extreme dedication and accountability.

When it comes to other areas in my life I realize everything is a learning process. I never let myself sit stagnant so why would I do that with my body?

Here’s how I see it. There is always something new to learn whether it’s work related, relationship related or personal – there is change happening in every part of our lives at all times. How is your personal fitness any different? It’s not.

It’s time to get back to working hard on my fitness goals, thus, I give you:

The 90-Day Challenge: Muscle Poppin’, Weight Droppin’!

muscle poppin

The Plan:
1. Be ruthlessly dedicated to nutrition. We hear it all the time – abs are made in the kitchen – but it’s okay to drink and cheat on the weekends.. Right? WRONG!

I mean sure, it’s fine if you aren’t looking to reduce your weight.. Treating yourself once and awhile is fine – but it’s not going to allow you to reach those goals. So what does this mean for me? No more calamari and beers on Friday nights. Crazy you say? Maybe. But I know my body and I know it refuses to cooperate when I feed it fat-storing foods.

I will be eating clean and strict paleo. I will also be posting recipes and photos along the way.

2. Workouts 6-days a week. Again, you’re thinking I’m crazy right? WRONG again.

With proper recovery (nutrition, sleep and proper exerciese form) – three metabolic conditioning workouts (think, quick, high-energy, bursts of work followed by short rest periods) and three strength (body building) workouts on alternating days.

Lift heavy and HIIT it out!

3. Supplement one meal with Visalus. Yes, I’m including the 90-day challenge as part of my plan.
Let me know if you want to know more about it – I’ve been using it for a while and I am a big fan.

I don’t think I necessaily NEED to be on a shake program, but it’s a great and easy way to get your protien and recovery when you are short on time. Morning workouts will always mean I’m short on time in the morning. Visalus will ensure I get the most important meal of the day in!

4. Relax and trust the process. I have control issues. There. I said it.

I’m accustom to wanting and getting everything I want, immediately. Not only is this ridiculous, it missed the whole point of working hard for things and truly being able to appreciate them when you get there. I’m going to stick to the plan and trust the change will happen as it should.

5. Be accountable.

Faith and I decided that we are going to do this together. Similarly to working-out, it’s so much easier to push yourself and stay accountable when you have someone else relying on you. We have written down our workout and food plans as a basis, and will be posting about this challenge publicly. We want to share, inspire and encourage others who need that little boost of support and direction to stay accountable. Giving up/in is NOT an option!

90 day calendar

So, friends this our plan of action! We’d love for you to particiapte to some capacity – or take on a few 90-day goals for yourself! Let us know you are setting a goal and let’s keep eachother accountable.

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Follow our hashtag #musclepoppinweightdroppin on twitter, instagram and facebook for updates, recipes, videos and inspiration to push yourself to achieve your goals. Also, follow Faith’s blog for her updates and posts at ‘Cause you gotta have Faith.

“Lets get these muscles poppin’ and this weight droppin’.” – Me

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