Motivation and sticking with it

Everyone has to start somewhere right? It’s hard to just jump in the gym with little knowledge of what you’re doing and how to go about doing it. Sure, everyone can say they have a goal in mind…lose fat, gain muscle, get in better shape, tone up, etc etc. I think it is much easier to stay motivated and on track if you have a PLAN on how to achieve that goal. It is easier to stay focused and to stay consistent with your nutrition and training if you have some basic knowledge and a little will power.

I also tend to stay more motivated if I can see and have evidence of the results and progress that I may or may not be making. What I mean by that is I like to take my weight at the beginning and also before pictures and body fat % levels. Every 4 weeks or so, I will retake my weight and bodyfat % levels and look at my before picture(s). That way you have you have numbers and visuals to refrence to track your progress. When you can see that progress, you WILL stay motivated.

Get past the first two months and you’re golden. Allow me to elaborate….the first couple months are the hardest. In my case, I started at a low point physically, but after I got past that “hump” and started to see small changes I stayed focused and motivated. Stick with it for two months and if you are consistent you will soon find that you have gone two more months, and then another two months; soon you will reach a point where that person you were a year ago is in the distant past.

Don’t get complacent! After you reach a small goal, set another one. When you reach that, set another, and another…always strive for improvement. Those improvements or small goals can be a number of things. One goal could be that you want to lose 4 pounds, once you reach that it could be that you want to increase the weights you use on a certain exercise (the reason I want you to write down the weight you use). Another could be that you want to lose 2% more of your body fat, or that you want to tone up your arms more, and on and on and on.

Find someone to share your small successes with. This is not being arrogant, just a way to feel better about yourself and a way to receive outside praise so that you will want to keep going and improving. It’s hard to do this all on your own, when you have a small support team they can kick your ass in gear sometimes when you aren’t feeling up to it that’s why having a training partner that has similar goals is a great idea.

CHAPTER 2

Macro-Nutrition, Metabolism and Fat loss

Your macro-nutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Your diet should revolve around these. Like I said earlier…I think it is easier to follow a nutrition plan if you keep it basic and simple. If it’s hard to follow or understand or prepare your food, then you are less inclined to stick with it. However, if you know the basics, you know what you want to accomplish and you keep your plan simple, it will be easy to follow.
In my experience, I find it easier and more cost-effective to write out what I am going to eat for the week. That way, I am not picking up random deals at the grocery on food that probably won’t benefit me physically or financially. It may sound boring….but you can make the same foods in many different and yet tasty ways! I will normally write out what I am going to eat in one day and just stick with that same daily routine for the whole week. After 4 weeks or so, I will change it up so my taste buds and metabolism (more on that later) don’t get bored.

But what about going out to eat with friends and trying to eat healthier with family?? Luckily for you…all the foods you gave me were very healthy and suitable for your fat-loss goals. So this may not be that hard for you. The way I look at it, is that dinner is one meal. I would hope that a supportive family member will understand if you cannot have take-out Chinese for that one meal. Sure, you can buy it for them…but I would suggest sticking with your pre-planned meal. Who knows, good habits turn into routine and maybe those family members will start to follow your healthier meal choices!

Protein- repairs and rebuilds your tissues. You can’t be you without amino acids from protein sources. Protein is the building block of muscle, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. In my opinion, this intake should be spread out the same throughout your day divided equally between meals. Every day should be nearly same on a balanced diet for an average training person. Just like oil in your car.
Fats - provide energy and helps cellular integrity, hormone production, and can help your body get into an inflammatory state, or help with anti inflammation. I look for a 1:4 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid. We definitely don’t get enough omega 3’s in our diet. They help with anti-inflammation, metabolism, etc. lots of good things. Remember, this isn’t the 80’s any more and you won’t get fat just by reading the word FAT or eating good fats. But you will if you eat TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING that is over your maintenance level. There is a reason that they are called ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS>>>>> you can only get them from fat… and they are ESSENTIAL to life.
Carbohydrates- OK this is where everyone is so confused!! and you have a right to be because every says something different about them being good or bad for you.. CARBOHYDRATES FUEL AND REFUEL YOUR BODY. They can be stored in muscle and liver to be used as fuel. Think of them as the gas you put in your car. It runs out and you have to fill it up again. Well, would you fill up your car before you garaged it at night then stop at SHELL before work in the morning to fill it again? It would spill out. Same thing happens to us with overeating carbohydrates except after our muscles etc are full, then our fat cells will easily take what SPILLS over . MY TIPS FOR CARBS:
pair with a protein/ fat / fiber to slow down release of the carbs into your system
choose low glycemic load carbs (from the glycemic index). they are released slower.
Glycemic Index—a ranking of how fast carbohydrates release blood glucose. “Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.
REMEMBER-- THE HIGHER THE GLYCEMIC NUMBER-- THE LESS HEALTHY, AND MORE EMPTY CALORIES ARE IN THESE FOODS!
Examples: Foods

Food List

Rating

Food Glycemic Index

Negative Calorie Diet eBooks

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Bakery Products

*Pound cake

Low

54

Danish pastry

Medium

59

Muffin (unsweetened)

Medium

62

Cake , tart

Medium

65

Cake, angel

Medium

67

Croissant

Medium

67

Waffles

High

76

Doughnut

High

76

Beverages

Soya milk

Low

30

Apple juice

Low

41

Carrot juice

Low

45

Pineapple juice

Low

46

Grapefruit juice

Low

48

Orange juice

Low

52

Biscuits

Digestives

Medium

58

Shortbread

Medium

64

Water biscuits

Medium

65

Ryvita

Medium

67

Wafer biscuits

High

77

**Rice cakes

High

77

Breads

Multi grain bread

Low

48

Whole grain

Low

50

Pita bread, white

Medium

57

Pizza, cheese

Medium

60

Hamburger bun

Medium

61

Rye-flour bread

Medium

64

Whole meal bread

Medium

69

White bread

High

71

White rolls

High

73

Baguette

High

95

Breakfast Cereals

All-Bran

Low

42

Porridge, non instant

Low

49

Oat bran

Medium

55

Muesli

Medium

56

Mini Wheats (wholemeal)

Medium

57

Shredded Wheat

Medium

69

Golden Grahams

High

71

Puffed wheat

High

74

Weetabix

High

77

Rice Krispies

High

82

Cornflakes

High

83

Cereal Grains

Pearl barley

Low

25

Rye

Low

34

Wheat kernels

Low

41

Rice, instant

Low

46

Rice, parboiled

Low

48

Barley, cracked

Low

50

Rice, brown

Medium

55

Rice, wild

Medium

57

Rice, white

Medium

58

Barley, flakes

Medium

66

Taco Shell

Medium

68

Millet

High

71

Dairy Foods

Yogurt low- fat (sweetened)

Low

14

Milk, chocolate

Low

24

Milk, whole

Low

27

Milk, Fat-free

Low

32

Milk ,skimmed

Low

32

Milk, semi-skimmed

Low

34

*Ice-cream (low- fat)

Low

50

*Ice-cream

Medium

61

Fruits

Cherries

Low

22

Grapefruit

Low

25

Apricots (dried)

Low

31

Apples

Low

38

Pears

Low

38

Plums

Low

39

Peaches

Low

42

Oranges

Low

44

Grapes

Low

46

Kiwi fruit

Low

53

Bananas

Low

54

Fruit cocktail

Medium

55

Mangoes

Medium

56

Apricots

Medium

57

Apricots (tinned in syrup)

Medium

64

Raisins

Medium

64

Pineapple

Medium

66

**Watermelon

High

72

Pasta

Spaghetti, protein enriched

Low

27

Fettuccine

Low

32

Vermicelli

Low

35

Spaghetti, whole wheat

Low

37

Ravioli, meat filled

Low

39

Spaghetti, white

Low

41

Macaroni

Low

45

Spaghetti, durum wheat

Medium

55

Macaroni cheese

Medium

64

Rice pasta, brown

High

92

Root Crop

Carrots, cooked

Low

39

Yam

Low

51

Sweet potato

Low

54

Potato, boiled

Medium

56

Potato, new

Medium

57

Potato, tinned

Medium

61

Beetroot

Medium

64

Potato, steamed

Medium

65

Potato, mashed

Medium

70

Chips

High

75

Potato, micro waved

High

82

Potato, instant

High

83

**Potato, baked

High

85

Parsnips

High

97

Snack Food and Sweets

Peanuts

Low

15

*M&Ms (peanut)

Low

32

*Snickers bar

Low

40

*Chocolate bar; 30g

Low

49

Jams and marmalades

Low

49

*Crisps

Low

54

Popcorn

Medium

55

Mars bar

Medium

64

*Table sugar (sucrose)

Medium

65

Corn chips

High

74

Jelly beans

High

80

Pretzels

High

81

Dates

High

103

Soups

Tomato soup, tinned

Low

38

Lentil soup, tinned

Low

44

Black bean soup, tinned

Medium

64

Green pea soup, tinned

Medium

66

Vegetable and Beans

Artichoke

Low

15

Asparagus

Low

15

Broccoli

Low

15

Cauliflower

Low

15

Celery

Low

15

Cucumber

Low

15

Eggplant

Low

15

Green beans

Low

15

Lettuce, all varieties

Low

15

Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened

Low

15

Peppers, all varieties

Low

15

Snow peas

Low

15

Spinach

Low

15

Young summer squash

Low

15

Tomatoes

Low

15

Zucchini

Low

15

Soya beans, boiled

Low

16

Peas, dried

Low

22

Kidney beans, boiled

Low

29

Lentils green, boiled

Low

29

Chickpeas

Low

33

Haricot beans, boiled

Low

38

Black-eyed beans

Low

41

Chickpeas, tinned

Low

42

Baked beans, tinned

Low

48

Kidney beans, tinned

Low

52

Lentils green, tinned

Low

52

Broad beans

High

79

Notes: *high in empty calories **low-calorie and nutritious foods

Remember, carbs fuel you for what activity you're about to do in the next few hours. Thinking of oats and a boiled egg for breakfast before spinning?? Good choice. Pasta shells with low fat meat sauce as your last meal before bed? Not so much—because sleeping requires very little physical activity. You're SLEEPING, NOT RUNNING FOR MILES.
I could go on about this forever but just realize that everyone is different and the food you fuel yourself with will be in different ratios also.
Ok, now that we have the macros covered, below is a list of good, and not so good food choices for each macro.

Food List
Protein

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean ground turkey
Swordfish
Orange roughy
Haddock
Tilapia
Salmon
Tuna
Crab
Lobster
Shrimp
Top round steak
Top sirloin steak
Lean ground beef
Buffalo
Lean ham
Egg whites or substitutes
Trout
Low-fat cottage cheese
Wild-game meat
Turkey Bacon
Complex Carbohydrates

Potato
Sweet potato
Yams
Squash
Pumpkin
Steamed brown rice
Steamed wild rice
Lentils
Couscous
Kashi
Bulgur
Whole-wheat pasta
Oatmeal
Barley
Beans (black, kidney)
Corn
Strawberries
Melon
Apple
Orange
Fat-free yogurt
Fat-free milk
Whole-wheat bread
High-fiber cereal
Whole-wheat tortilla
Whole-wheat pita bread
Whole grains
Vegetables

Broccoli
Asparagus
Lettuce
Carrots
Cauliflower
Green beans
Green peppers
Mushrooms
Spinach
Tomato
Peas
Brussels sprouts
Artichoke
Cabbage
Celery
Zucchini
Cucumber
Onion
Vegetable Proteins

Tempeh
Seitan
Tofu
Texturized vegetable protein
Soy foods
Veggie burgers
Healthy Fats

Avocado
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Cold-water fish
Natural peanut butter
Low-fat cheese
Low-sodium nuts
Olives and olive oil
Safflower oil
Canola oil
Sunflower oil
Flax seed oil

What Not to Eat (except on your Free Day)
Protein
Pork bacon
Deep-fried meat such as fried chicken, chicken fingers, fish sticks, Buffalo wings, etc.
Hamburgers and fatty cuts of beef
Hot dogs
Simple Carbs
Cookies
Cake
White rice
White bread
Crackers
Candy
French Fries
Chips
Doughnuts
Soda
Unhealthy Fats
Butter
Lard
Mayonnaise
Coconut oil
Cream-based sauces
Full-

Above are the three macros of your diet, along with some wise food choices for each. Another important part of your diet, along with your macros, should be fiber.

Including good sources of fiber into your diet is important in not only weight loss but also general health. Firstly, it “helps to keep our bowel movements regular and ward off certain diseases. Carcinogens in our intestines bind to it and move through our colon more quickly than they otherwise would, reducing our risk for colon cancer. Fiber also helps transport cholesterol out of our body, reducing our risk for heart disease.” Inweight loss, fiber stays in the stomach longer and allows you to feel fuller for a longer period of time. Because whole grain bread has a greater fiber count than a single piece of white bread, consuming just one piece of whole grain bread makes you feel more full than eating two slices of white bread. It is fairly simple to include fiber rich foods into the diet. Great sources of fiber can come from legumes (beans, lentils, peas), vegitables, fruits, brown rice, and whole grains. Another option is to include a sugar free fiber supplement, such as Metamucil.

Allow me to talk about one more crucial aspect of dieting…and that is, METABOLISM. Your metabolism is the “wild card” of your body. Use it wisely, and it can greatly aid in your fat loss. Metabolism is basically the sum of the chemical and physical processes in the body that allow it to function. There are two main processes involved in your metabolism, and they are (remember these terms?) anabolism, and catabolism. Again, anabolism is just the building or storing of muscle and fat, and catabolism is the burning or breakdown of these two. If you are able to control your metabolism you can more efficiently store (anabolic) the muscle and burn(catabolic) the fats.

“Here are the main reasons for a slow metabolism:
A sedentary life style causes loss of muscle tissue
As people age they often become less physically active
You lose muscle when you don't get enough protein
Skipping meals or eating less than 1000 calories a day
Too much body fat compared to lean muscle tissue
Lack of hormone producing nutrients leads to a low thyroid.”

So, the above list the problems—let’s find solutions, or ways to speed up metabolism. First, picture your metabolism as your car. The better you take care of it (oil changes, routine maintenance, washing, replacing tires), the better it will perform for you. In your body’s case, the better you take care of your metabolism (eating right consistently through the day, exercising daily), the better it will take care of you. Here are some simple ways to increase your metabolism:
Train with weights
I have laid out a routine for you. Weights build muscle, muscle burns fat and increases metabolism.
Full-body weight training has been shown to speed up metabolism. Your first 6 weeks will consist of full-body weight training
Supplement with healthy fats
Don’t fear carbohydrates
Altering daily habits
i.e. standing, not sitting
walking, not driving
taking stairs, not elevator
Fluctuate calories
Remember, your metabolism, just like the rest of your body, including your muscles, will adapt to anything you consistently do. If you are changing your calorie intake every couple of weeks then your metabolism will always be guessing and working at a greater pace.
Example: if your maintenance calorie total a day is 2000, then eat 1800 for two weeks, and 2200 the next two weeks.
Increase protein
Converting protein to energy requires a substantial chemical conversion. In other words, it needs a greater boost from your metabolism to be converted to energy.
Also, eating a protein-based meal within a couple hours of waking is important in kick starting your metabolism
Perform high Intense cardio (HIIT)
Just like weight-training, this form of exercise is taxing and takes a lot of effort from the body (and therefore metabolism) to recover.
Increase frequency of eating
Eating smaller more frequent meals kick starts digestion, and digestion requires calories. If you are eating more frequently, you are feeding your body with nutrients while forcing it to digest and break down the foods.
Eat whole foods
Eating whole foods vs. processed foods requires more energy for the body to break down all the nutrients it contains. When foods are processed a lot of the digesting work is already done for you. Eating whole grains, vegetables and protein requires a greater effort from your body as opposed to breaking down simple sugars from processed snacks and foods.

CHAPTER 3

Pre-workout Fueling/Nutrition

Another important and often over-looked aspect to successful training and nutrition is the pre-workout meal. Now, if you worked out in the afternoon this is not as important as you have already eaten throughout the day and your body has an adequate amount of nutrition to fuel your workout. But like me, you workout in the early morning. Think about this for one second…as of 4 o’clock in the morning(while you are in the gym) when was the last time I ate? It was probably the night before at dinner, or maybe you had a snack around 8 or 9 pm. Even then, your body has had no food for almost 8 hours. You need energy, and fuel in order to workout. What happens if you go all that time without eating and then you go through a grueling workout? Your body goes through catabolism. As it relates to weight training, catabolism is the breakdown of muscle protein in order to provide energy to the cell. Essentially, one enters a catabolic state when not enough of one of the vital resources - nutrition, supplements, sleep, or training - is available. Simply put, you must have nutrients available before you use weights or cardio. The nutrients you received from supper at 7 pm the previous night is going too long. No nutrients equals muscle loss and fat gain—you do not want that! Even if you aren’t training in the morning, say on an off day or a weekend day—you still must have a nutritious carbohydrate and protein upon waking or else your body will store fat as energy. Eggs are an easy and fast digesting protein source. Couple that with a whole wheat English muffin and you have an anabolic (muscle building-fat-busting) breakfast on your off days or weekend days.
As for training days…I recommend a couple of things that you eat/drink BEFORE you go to the gym. Just like your post-workout meal…your pre-workout nutrition/ fuel is best coming from a protein and a carb. I know there is little time in the morning to get up, take care of things and make it to the gym on time. So, make this as simple and easy as possible. Anything is better than nothing! Even heated up dinner from last night is ok. Like I said, after going 8 hours (sleeping at night) or more without eating—your body is craving something—anything in the morning to kick your metabolism (more on metabolism later) into gear. I don’t eat great all the time, but I always like to think that if I am going to eat something bad for me—early in the morning is the time to do it because your body will better utilize these calories after fasting for 8 hours (again, while you sleep) and put them to good use rather than storing them as fat if you were to eat this later in the day. Anyhow--- a breakfast bar is good—like I said earlier, south beach diet makes decent tasting breakfast bars that are high in protein. A whey protein shake. Yes, having this before and after your workout is great and ideal!

A couple other things I recommend taking pre-workout in the morning: Green tea pills, L-carnitine, a multi-vitamin, and WATER. The following are optional to you, but are the most basic and best supplements for fat loss. They are also all very cheap and can be found in any grocery or retail store. I can also get them all very cheap from my brother I’m not saying you have to take all of these, but I do recommend them.

Green tea- Among being a great anti-oxidant source and great for preventing cancer, green tea can give you some stimulation for that energy boost you will need when you work out. More importantly, it is a great fat burner. “First of all, green tea extract is a source of caffeine, and is often used as the caffeine component of many popular fat burners. Caffeine, of course, is a decent fat burner with a well-established track record. Green tea has also helped aid weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, causing those who use it to experience greater calorie burn. A recent study further validates green tea's effectiveness. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Am J Clin Nutr; 81:122-129), it indicated the ingestion of a tea rich in catechins (catechins are a major component of green tea extract) leads to both a lowering of bodyfat AND of cholesterol levels.Additionally, green tea may inhibit fatty acid synthase (see Life Sci. 2004 Mar 26;74(19):2389-99, Int J Cancer. 2003 Oct 10;106(6):856-62 , Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2006 Jan;43(Pt 1):1-7, Curr Med Chem. 2006;13(8):967-77). Fatty acid synthase is an enzymatic system that is involved in the process of turning carbohydrates into fat. Early animal studies suggest the inhibition of fatty acid synthase can lead to dramatic weight loss.” Long story short----green tea is awesome.

L-Carnitine- L-carnitine can be bought in pill form any where and has many benefits. “The primary function of carnitine in the body, is to regulate fat oxidation (burning). L-Carnitine is responsible for transporting fat to the fat furnace in our cells called mitochondria. L-Carnitine assists in the transport of long-chained fatty acids that are burned for energy.

L-Carnitine enhances the consumption of fat as a source of fuel.
L-Carnitine has been shown to increase the amount of fat you burn during both anaerobic (strength training) and aerobic (cardiovascular) workouts.
L-Carnitine plays an important role in mobilizing fatty deposits found in tissues of overweight individuals.
L-Carnitine helps remove fats waste products (ketones) from the blood stream.
Effective carnitine activity helps to discourage fatty build up in the liver, heart, and skeletal muscle.
L-Carnitine has been shown to improve lean muscle strength. Maintaining muscle tissue takes four to five times more calories than maintaining fat tissue, which is important for permanent weight loss.
L-Carnitine helps to stabilize blood sugar and eliminate cravings for carbohydrates.”

Multi-Vitamin- Simple, a multi-will provide your body with vitamins it doesn’t normally get from your food for energy use and other health benefits. A must-have.

Water- How will the above mentioned nutrients get transported to your cells? Water! A rule of thumb on the amount of water to drink is to take your bodyweight and multiply that number by 0.7. that is the amount in ounces you should consume daily. I recommend drinking atleast 20 oz before and during your workout. Simply put, water keeps your cells hydrated and flushes out toxins. Drink lots of it! Water is also a very important factor for helping us to build muscle and lose fat. There are at least ten main reasons that make this true.

“Keytones, a natural byproduct of fat burning, are flushed out of the body through urine. Drinking water helps to flush them out, thereby improving the fat burning process. If you're a bodybuilder on a protein diet, water has an additional importance. One of the chief byproducts of protein metabolism is urea. Water helps to flush this out. While there is question on whether water is anabolic, there is no doubt of its anti-catabolic effects. Dehydration stimulates catabolic (muscle destroying) hormones and increases the cortisol response to exercise.

An additional reason to keep your muscles well hydrated is based on the theory of cell-volumization, of which Creatine plays a large role. When your muscles cells are fluid-filled, an anabolic stimulus is generated and more nutrients enter your muscle cells. Your digestion and metabolism--two factors we are concerned with in controlling weight--are greatly impaired without enough water. However, if you are drinking enough, you ensure that your metabolism and digestive system is working to its full potential.muscle requires more water.

You can help curb your appetite when you drink 6-8 glasses per day because of water's filling effect. If your stomach is full, it can help you not to overeat.

Sometimes dehydration can signal your body to eat because breaking down food releases water. Don't be fooled when really your body is asking for water! This is a phenomenon that can be controlled if you're getting enough water.

Increased workout performance results when your body is fully hydrated to meet the physical demands you are placing on it. You may have seen bodybuilders at the gym with a 2 gallon milk carton full of water...they are smart. You can truly maximize your body's potential from this simple addition to your workout, especially if you're doing an aerobic workout where you are sweating a lot.

Surprise! Your muscle is 70% water. Fat is only 25% water. By drinking water, you add muscle weight, allowing the muscle to work more efficiently, which in turn burns fat. It only makes since that the more muscle you gain, the more water you require! The higher your activity level, the more calories your muscles burn, and your needs for water become greater to maintain your muscles.

When you're more fit, you burn calories at a higher rate because your muscles store more glycogen, a form of carbohydrate that is used for energy. Every gram of glycogen requires and holds about 3 grams of water. So, again, water is essential to your energy and calorie burning.”

A couple of things that may help you get your desired amount of daily water is having a Brita pitcher/faucet at home, and crystal light. I live off crystal light….gives some taste to the water and each single serving packet only has 5 calories, 0 carbs and 0 sugar.

To summarize pre-workout--- protein, carb, multi-vitamin, green tea pill, l-carnitine pill, and water. That’s a breakfast bar and/or protein shake, 3 pills, and water. Not too bad right? The benefits from this are immeasurable. Take it into consideration.

CHAPTER 4

Post- Workout Nutrition

Let’s start by talking about the most important meal of the day(not breakfast), and what I think the most under-rated supplement is (not protein).

Your post-workout meal is by far the most important meal of the day. Why? When you train with weights or cardio, you are essentially breaking down muscle tissue. The goal is that after your muscle tissue breaks down it will rebuild itself with MORE muscle in order to adapt to the training you are putting your body through-- which explains why you are able to lift more weights, the more you train. If you are constantly breaking down muscle tissue and it is rebuilding more and more each time, that added muscle will allow you to do more work in the gym with weights and with cardio. But your muscle needs help from you in order to rebuild and repair. That comes from eating
When you are done training, your muscles are starving for nutrition to repair and to rebuild. It will soak up whatever you put into your mouth like a sponge.
--IMPORTANT FACT Your body will utilize nutrients (food) most efficiently within 1 hour of your workout. The longer you wait, the less receptive your cells are to those nutrients—they can even become insulin resistant and your body will start to break down muscle-protein . What is the byproduct of muscle-protein you ask? TOXINS, THAT GET STORED AS FAT. That is counter-effective to why you are in the gym in the first place, right? The moral here is that you do not want to waste your hard-earned time in the gym by not refueling your body afterwards. If you are now thinking, “So, eating after I workout will make me lose fat?” Then you are correct!

WHAT TO EAT?

Hmmm..…I mentioned insulin above. Insulin is important in building muscle and losing fat. Insulin is a hormone that transports nutrients to your muscles. The function of insulin is to regulate the blood sugar levels. In English: it helps the body make use of the energy you feed it with. When you eat a sugary food or drink a sugary beverage, this causes an insulin spike when a sizable surge of insulin is released, to deal with a huge surge of blood sugar. Makes sense, right? So, rather than have a lot of blood sugar floating around, insulin is released and ushers it into muscle cells and other organs for use as energy—which your muscles need post-workout. For muscle building, the key is to keep the body in a state of harmony by avoiding simple carbs (sugars) and regulating usage of complex carbs. Because complex carbs release their energy more slowly, you don’t have the same insulin spike but a slower release.

I recommend eating most of your daily carbs after a workout, when you need them the most to repair and refuel the muscles. Beforehand (pre-workout) is also important, as it gives you energy to work out properly—I will get to that later.
That leads me to the actual post-workout meal. Your post workout meal should be a high quality protein source and a complex carb source. Complex (starchy) carbs can be a number of things. Anything whole wheat—toast, english muffin, bagel. Also, potatoes, rice, other whole-wheat grains, pasta, and yams are all great starchy complex carbs that will effectively cause a slow rise in insulin which will in turn deliver your muscles the nutrients it needs!

Protein! Your body’s muscles ARE protein! This seems like an obvious post-workout choice, right? My favorite choice is 100% whey protein powder. Yes, that means a shake. Ugghhh….but wait! Protein shakes can taste good, I promise! A basic in-expensive whey protein powder can be found at any nutritional store. The great thing about America is that we have something called Wal-mart. Yes, Wal-mart has a great-tasting inexpensive protein powder that you can pick up while getting groceries! There are 2 brands there—Body Fortress, and Six-Star. I have tried all flavors of both, and I like them all. Body fortress chocolate is great, and they also have a chocolate-peanut butter. If you are going to go this route, I recommend a shaker cup. You know, thode weird cups you see me walking around with. Look to your right, on the shelf by the whey rotein at Wal-mart. Yes, they have shaker cups too. They are like $6, and make mixing your powder much easier. I recommend mixing one scoop with 8oz skim opr 1% milk, or even water.

You’re thinking, maybe protein powder isn’t sounding very good, or really my thing? I would like to add that nowadays they have made protein powders taste very good! But… any lean source of protein will do for a post workout meal. Eggs, chicken, fish, lean red meat are all excellent. However, who wants to prepare that or buy it in the cafeteria for every post-workout meal? Powders are much more convenient and effective. Maybe you’re thinking…”only younger people should have powders, I will look different drinking a protein shake.” I understand this route of thinking---but you are drinking it because you know something the others in the gym don’t. How many of the people you that you see in the gym walk out with a shake after they work out? Probably not a lot. I bet I you asked them if they were meeting their goals, they would respond by saying, “yes, but not as fast as I would like.” That’s because they are not having a post-workout meal!

Here is what I suggest for you. Go to Wal-Mart and purchase one of the whey protein powders—they are in the vitamin and supplements section. One tub will cost you $13. Buy a shaker cup--$6. Bring a scoop of powder in a bag or tuperware, and put 8 oz of water or milk in your shaker cup. Pack that in your gym bag. When you are done working out, you go back to the locker room, mix your powder and liquid and you are good to go! You could also make a smoothie the night before and bring that with you. Ask me for recipies! As for your carbohydrate…it is a little harder to find or prepare a simple and efficient carb. You are done working out around breakfast time, so, oatmeal is good, so is any other breakfast carb food item (cereal and breakfast bars). They also make great oat bars that you can bring to the gym along with your powder! South beach diet makes a good one, so does quaker oats. What I do a lot of times, is the night before I will mix milk, with my powder, 1 tb of peanut butter and a ¼ cup of oats and 2 ice cubes in a blender for a perfect post workout meal, pack that and bring that to the gym with me the next morning. Remember, that complex carb source (oatmeal, oat bars, ceral, potatoes, yams, etc) will force all that good protein from your powder into your muscles via the insulin surge—which will build muscle and cut fat. Good things!

This may sound foreign and different to you---but it works! Just remember…. Within one hour of my post workout I need----- protein source + carbohydrate= good things! This can be very easy and effective, I promise!

CHAPTER 5

SAMPLE DIET
Ok, now that you have digested (no pun intended) all that information, below is a sample diet that I think you will find effective, given your food choices and training regime. I will also include a mock training split with it so you know when to eat pre and post weight/cardio training. You must also keep in mind, that this is not a “cookie-cutter” diet. By that I mean it is not an end all be all diet. It is a good basic template to follow and apply to you. The main thing to do is to listen to your body. If it is not responding well, then switch up the diet. You could either cut carbs, increase fats, increase protein, increase carbs. There is not one super diet that works for everyone, every time. One year, your body may respond to a keto (very low carb) diet, the next year it may need to diet on 300g of carbs to shed fat. Also, just because a certain dieting protocol is getting one person shredded, that doesn't mean it'll work for you. It's important to understand that our bodies change with time, our hormone output changes, everything changes, including metabolism. You need to be flexible, patient, and make sure you listen to your body and how it's responding to your current dieting protocol.

CHAPTER 6

Weight/cardio training for building muscle and losing fat

“Many women shy away from weightlifting because they’re afraid of appearing muscular and unfeminine. They needn’t worry because the female body will retain its female contours, even when a good degree of muscularity is added. You don’t have to be afraid of muscle. It’s good for you, and with a proper weight program you can get exactly the kind of body you want.”
- From The Metabolic Diet, by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale

Finally, we are to the training aspect of all this madness. Like I said above with metabolism….weight training is great at increasing metabolism and therefore losing fat. According to Dr. Di Pasquale, “Exercise is also important in raising your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the amount of energy needed for basic functions.” When you exercise, your body NEEDS calories (energy) in order to fuel that physical exercise. Your metabolism supplies that energy by converting what you eat and drink into energy. So if the demand for energy is raised, from performing physical activity—then your metabolism will speed up in order to keep up with the demand for energy. Because you are breaking down muscle tissue (via weight training), your metabolism needs to burn and use calories in order to rebuild that broken down muscle tissue. The weight training program I have set up is eight weeks long and focuses on a higher rep range and muscle confusion through various techniques in order to keep the BMR up.

Training volume/frequency

The first four weeks will be the largest volume (number of sets and reps), and then the volume will gradually decrease to week 8. The reason for this is that as the days and weeks of training go on, you should get stronger and therefore be able to lift more weight. When you are a beginner at weight training, it takes more work load (sets and reps) to achieve a desired stimulation. As the weeks progress, and your lifts and weights increase it takes longer for the musle to recover and therefore less volume is needed for the desired muscle stimulation.

The first four weeks will be 4 sets of 10-15 reps, the next two weeks will be three sets, and the last two will be 2-3 work sets for each body part. The entire eight weeks will be three days weight training, three days of cardio, and one day of off.

I am a big proponent on using great form when weight training.

Training variation and terms

Remember when I talked about switching up your calorie intake and eating at progressively different times of the day to “confuse” your metabolism so that it is always “guessing” and therefore in high gear? The same applies to weight training. Variation and muscle confusion will assure that your muscles are never in a comfortable state. If there is variation they too will be “confused” and therefore constantly growing to adapt to the different training styles. That is why your training routine will change every 2-4 weeks. Remember though, that this program I have outlined is not designed to build a substantial amount of muscle mass, but rather to grow a moderate amount while also toning. Like I said, you will not look like a female bodybuilder—so no worries. The goal of this training method, along with your cardio is to lose fat while toning and developing new muscle.
You will notice I use certain lifting terms throughout the training split and may have you practice some of them. These different techniques or methods/forms of training will add variation to your routine. They are drop set, super-sets, positive/negative, and static hold.

Drop set- I like to use drop sets to work the muscle a little more after you can’t do anymore with a certain weight. This is a technique to continue an exercise once muscle failure has been reached with a certain weight. For example—If you are doing dumbbell side laterals with 10 lbs and on the 10th rep it is very hard, immediately drop the weight to 5 lbs and do at least 6 more reps. Again, the goal is just to work the muscle more by getting extra reps in with less weight.

Super-sets- This is a technique where you perform two different exercises using the same or different body parts at the same time. The goal is to constantly keep the body moving and to increase your weight-lifting endurance and cardio levels. If you do these with the same body part—let’s say arms/biceps, you could “superset” dumbbell curls and rope hammer curls. You could do 10 reps with the dumbbell curls, and the immediately perform the rope-hammer curls. That’s one set. If you super-set different body parts, like biceps and triceps, you could perform 10 reps of curls for your biceps, and then immediately perform a set of close-grip lat bench presses, or any other triceps exercise you choose. Again, the main idea here is to perform two exercises at the same time to increase blood flow and cardio performance.

Positive/Negative- These are two terms you will see me use to describe the different moving portions of an exercise. The positive portion of the exercise is the part where the muscle is contracting, and the negative portion is where the muscle is moving back to its stretched position. Two other synonymous terms that could be used for these are “squeeze” and “stretch.” For example, let’s say you are performing machine chest presses. The positive portion occurs when you are actually pressing the weight forward. You are contracting the chest muscles and at the end of the pressing motion you are “squeezing” or contracting the muscle. When you lower the weight back to you it is in the negative portion of the movement and will the muscle will be “stretching” back to its original place. So using this information, if you are performing a biceps curl what would the positive and negative portions of the exercise be? Remember, the positive portion is moving the muscle to its contracted or shortened state, when you feel it squeeze. So in a biceps curl you squeeze or contract the muscle when you curl the weight up to you. As for the negative portion, it would obviously be the part of the exercise where you lower it back down and stretch the muscle back out.

Static hold- This term means that you are simply holding the weight during any portion of the rep. I especially like to use these on the negative portion of an exercise when you are lowering the weight back down or stretching the muscle. Below is a picture to demonstrate this. When you are doing a biceps curl, like in the picture below, and lowering the weight/stretching the affected muscle/performing the negative portion, you hold the weight for a desired amount of time before completely lowering the weight. So as the picture demonstrates, as she is lowering the weight she is holding it at the midway negative point for a desired amount of time, until she completely finishes the motion and lowers the weight all the way back down.

Again, all of the above techniques are just supplemental tactics to add to your everyday weight lifting routine. Instead of just merely raising and lowering the weight, adding these to your training regime can wake up snoozing muscles to further promote muscle stimulation, definition, and toning.

Warming-up

Warming up prior to weight training is immensely important and often overlooked. “Warming up preps up the nervous system, heightens mental awareness and alertness, and loosens up joints and muscles to make them less prone to injuries. Warm ups jump starts the fluid located in the joints, minimizing the risk for wear and tear of the muscles. It gives the heart a suitable period to adjust and pump up blood and nutrients into muscles.” Warming up has many attributes and should be performed before any weight training you do. You could go about this many ways, and there are more right ways to do this than wrong.
Because you will mostly be doing full-body weight training with the prescribed training split below, it is ideal to warm-up the entire body before you begin the training routine. Like I said there are many ways to go about this. You could ride the exercise bike for as little as 3-5 minutes to get some blood flow to the lower body and to lubricate the joints. For the upper body you could then perform some dynamic stretches, like arm circles, side bends, or forward bends. Also using very light weight, much less than you would normally use if you were performing your actual work sets, and “going through the motions” of the exercises you are about to perform are also recommended. As far as static stretching goes---when you simply stretch and hold that stretch for a certain period of time, I would recommend doing that after you perform a light warm up set or a dynamic stretch. I try to stay away from stretching a cold muscle. As you can see there really is no right or wrong answer. Any way that you are able to warm-up that is comfortable to you is what is beneficial. The main things you want to take away from warming up is that your muscles are warm and ready, your joints are loose, you have a steady increased heartbeat, and your mind is focused.

Form

I am a firm believer in using controlled, excellent form with weight training. The main reasons for this are: preventing injury and more effectively stimulating the muscle. Select a weight that will allow you to perform a controlled rep for all the desired reps. If you pick a weight that is too heavy, you may find yourself swinging the weight up or using other body parts to aid in achieving a rep which will risk injury. Pick a weight too light, and you will never achieve progress. You want to pick a weight where the last couple of reps on each set are hard to attain. You are looking for a controlled rep with a 1-2 second positive, and a 1-2 second negative (unless static holds or increased negative times are added to the routine).

Importance of Recovery

The most overlooked aspect of training and physical well-being, in my opinion, is the recovery aspect of training and sleep! I cannot emphasize this important fact enough. Believe it or not, your muscles do not grow in the gym while you are training---your body makes the physical changes you desire while you are at home resting, taking a nap, relaxing and on days off from training when physical activity is minimized. Never underestimate the power of a nap or sleep. Like I have said earlier, when you train, you break down muscle tissue—that muscle tissue is built back up while you are resting, sleeping and eating. Did you expect me to say that sleeping and eating are two of the most important aspects of getting healthy? Sounds rather lazy, huh? In an article by David Robson, called “The Importance of Sleep,” he explains the importance of deep sleep, “Research suggests that during REM (Rapid Eye Movement: explained later) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone. Sleep has a profound effect on muscle growth and physical well being.” He went on to say that the brain also gets recharged during sleep and that this is paramount to living a healthy lifestyle, “Resting the brain has obvious implications for [health enthusiasts] given that mental alertness is desired during the day, especially during training. Motivation levels are highest when mental alertness is highest. Studies suggest that it is during REM sleep that proper functioning of the brain and alertness is assisted.”

I suggest obtaining at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. If you get up especially early and are only able to obtain 6 or fewer hours of sleep at night, I then suggest getting a one hour nap in sometime in the late afternoon or early evening.

The Central Nervous System (CNS) and Recovery

Stresses to the body, either from mental stress or physical stress (what you do when you weight train or cardio train), places a demand on your central nervous system. If you place a prolonged physical stress on the body and central nervous system, it can have negative effects. Your CNS is operated by what is called nervous energy. If you train too much or for too long without a break, you will use up your body’s pre-stored nervous energy. That puts the body in a state of alert and can have negative results. Your body will fail to regulate the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone that is released when stress is placed on the body. It does have benefits such as, increasing short term memory and helping the liver to remove toxins from the body. The immune system works with the hormone to regulate the blood sugar levels with the body also. However, it does have a negative effect, and that is reducing protein synthesis and therefore preventing muscle growth and inhibiting fat loss.

The main thing to gain from this is that if you place too much physical and mental stress on your body without giving it a break, it will be counter-productive. When it comes to training, you should take adequate time off in between weight/cardio training sessions as well as taking a week off from any weight training every 8 weeks or so. After the concluding the 8 week program I have set up, you should take a complete week off from training to give your body and CNS ample time to revocer and to recharge your nervous energy.

Nutrition and sleep (bedtime snacks)

If you can recall from the nutrition section, the general public has put a myth around the fact that if you eat right before bed, your body will just store it as fat. This is true and false. But your body needs nutrients through the night to help build muscle and lose fat—so what do you do?. You just need to know what the right food choices are to effectively aid in the recovery your body needs. I should point out that protein synthesis (building up of muscle tissue) is achieved at night, during sleep. Your body also needs nutrients through the night because sleep, ironically enough, is the longest part of the day we go without eating. After going through physical activity during the day, your muscles need nutrients to rebuild. Assuming you eat a protein-based meal before going to sleep, your body will use that to provide nutrients to your muscles—which you need to make progress. I do recommend a slow digesting protein, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, or even red meat. Dairy products are great sources of a slow digesting protein called casein, which digests slowly and will provide your muscles and body with the energy it needs throughout the night. You may find that by doing this you will wake up not feeling hungry, as you may have in the past. I also suggest a moderate amount of healthy fat, 5-10 grams, to help aid in the slow digestion of the protein. This can come from any healthy oils, peanut-butter, or fish oil tablets.

If you eat a high carb based meal before going to sleep your body may store that as fat because of the increased insulin release it provokes. Acceleratenaturalenergy.com points out that, “Elevated insulin levels can decrease the natural Human Growth Hormone level, which helps burn fat and aids in tissue building. On the contrary, muscle-glycogen levels can rapidly decrease during sleep, which is the muscle’s primary source of quick energy. To help prevent glycogen loss, eating some sort of low-glycemic carbohydrate before bed can be beneficial–vegetables are the best choice.” The only time you could get away with eating a high carb source meal is if you weight train at night, not long before going to bed. Otherwise stick with the low GI carbs as suggested. Another important issue to point out is that eating before bed is only ideal if you have not already gone over your calorie limit for the day. Remember fat loss is just the being able to burn more calories than you consume. So if you have already had a lot to eat throughout the day, stay away from the bedtime meal.

Goals from weight training

Isn’t the goal from all this, fat loss? Yes it is. By combining a solid weight training schedule with cardio and a sound nutrition plan, we are aiming for fat loss. The goal from the weight training aspect of all this is to tone, define and even increase your muscle. The more your muscles are working, the more fat is burned, and then…the better you are able to see your new muscles, and the better you look. All good stuff.

ALSO, CHECK OUT MY LIST OF 245 FITNESS AND NUTRITION TIPS ON MY BONUS STUFF PAGE ON BREAKSTRANSFORMS.COM!!!!!

Author's Bio: 

DUSHAWN (DUEY) HADINGER

Dushawn co- founded breakstransforms.com with Grant Warren in September, 2010. Dushawn has worked in the fitness, and fitness supplement industry since 2001. He worked with industry leading product formulator and developer, Dr. Charles Mesko N.D., in research and development, and has consulted with two other major supplement companies on how to properly formulate products. Dushawn has spent the last two decades designing workout training programs for health care personnel. He has also trained MMA fighters, football players and all other types of people that require adding healthy, lean, muscle mass. Dushawn is passionate about sharing his decades of research, training and results producing training regimens, to help as many people as possible. Dushawn is also currently a PhD candidate in Natural Medicine. He is looking forward to the opportunity to use the B.R.E.A.K.S. training philosophy to continue his passion for helping others transform their physique. Dushawn currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.