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Articles Tagged: caloric intake

Don’t be Fooled by Nutrition Labels!

This is a guest article written by former Training Ground coach and NPC bikini competitor Kasia Harmata:

I’ve been wanting to address this topic for awhile now. Today, I just had to man up and actually write about it after seeing something on Facebook that was far from the truth.

Now, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that foods like Special K or protein bars are healthy because companies label their shit “HEALTHY,” or “ONLY 100 CALORIES PER SERVING,” or “LOW-FAT,” etc. It’s no wonder most of the country is suffering from weight issues—we are being tricked into thinking that we are eating healthy when in all reality we’re eating crap!

Let’s take a look a Special K cereal for a second… now, keep in mind, this is my all-time favorite cereal and there was a time where I would eat at least one bowl before bed, thinking that I’m doing my body good because it has “protein” in it. Pshhh, little did I know that I’m only feeding that nasty cellulite city under my ass that I’ve been killing myself walking up those stairs on Cal Sag (this super-steep hill in my home town) to get rid of! Continue Reading Don’t be Fooled by Nutrition Labels! »

Starvation Mode: What It Is and Why You Want to Avoid It at All Costs

This may come as a surprise to you, but a large percentage of folks who are overweight and have trouble achieving weight loss actually eat to few calories as opposed to eating too many calories. This can be a confusing concept to grasp, particularly with the media constantly telling us to eat less to lose more. The truth is, effective, permanent fat loss demands a delicate balance of just the right amount of calories—not to few and not too many.

As you may know, if you eat too many calories, that which your body doesn’t use (for repair, day-to-day functioning and for energy replacement), it stores as body fat. Folks who have a food addiction or who don’t watch their portion sizes tend to have this problem, and can certainly have a hard time managing their weight for obvious reasons. In this case, the best solution is to lower the amount of calories they’re eating on a daily basis.

However, many people are on the other end of the spectrum—a situation that can be completely frustrating when you feel like you’re doing everything in your power to reduce your body fat but seeing no (or even negative) results. How is it possible that eating too few calories could halt fat loss? The answer is starvation mode. Continue Reading Starvation Mode: What It Is and Why You Want to Avoid It at All Costs »

5 Training Tips for the San Diego Mud Run

The San Diego Mud Run is an awesome, fun event that takes place during the fall each year, and in this year’s case will be held on Sunday, October 30th. If you’ve never participated in a mud run before, you are seriously missing out! Between the dressing up in costumes to getting completely plastered in dirt, water and mud, these types of events are a great way to let loose and do something active that you might not otherwise even imagine doing.

Now, just because the events are for fun doesn’t mean that they can’t and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The typical mud run is between 5km and 10km, or approximately 3-6 miles—which is a significant distance in and of itself, not even taking into account the fact that there are obstacles, pits full of mud, tunnels and a ton of other things along the way that will tax your body much more than a simple road run would. Continue Reading 5 Training Tips for the San Diego Mud Run »

The hCG Diet: Temptations of a Fad

This is a guest article written by Anchorage’s top personal trainer and natural bodybuilder Steph Figarelle:

As a personal trainer who encourages healthy diet choices and a consistent exercise regime for everyone, I have a hard time jumping on the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) diet bandwagon and find the controversy surrounding it frustrating. hCG is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women in their first trimester of pregnancy, as well as in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages at a lower concentration. I’ve read several empirical research articles and heard countless success stories from people who have lost a significant amount of weight following this “diet plan,” so I understand that it may have a short-term success rate, however I’m still convinced the diet is a quick fix. Continue Reading The hCG Diet: Temptations of a Fad »

Juice Fasting: Pointless Waste of Time and Money

This article may prove to be controversial, but this is a topic that I can’t stay quiet about any longer and it’s time to blow the lid off this thing. All over the nation, and in Orange County in particular, the trend of “juice fasting” is becoming mainstream and millions of dollars are being spent each year on detoxifying the body through a nutrition plan that consists of juices made from fruits and vegetables. These systems (at least in Orange County) typically cost between $50 and $300, depending on the company you go through and how many days you perform the cleanse for. It all sounds fine and dandy (albeit, a bit expensive) right? So what the heck’s my problem then?

My problem, simply put, is that juice fasting is completely pointless, and the industry behind it is a complete scam. First, let’s look at the claims made by typical juice fasting companies. Continue Reading Juice Fasting: Pointless Waste of Time and Money »

8 Weeks to RIPPED, Weeks #7 and #8

Well, the last two weeks of my cutting program have come and gone and the results are in—looks like I came very close to my desired goals and I am very happy with my progress over the past 20 months. While 20 months of hard training and dieting to gain 7 lbs of muscle may seem like an unfair trade-off, it’s actually a pretty good accomplishment for an advanced lifter like me who is approaching his fitness naturally (ie. without steroids). I think it’s clear at this point that I am knowledgable enough about my body that I can predict how certain situations will affect it, which is a very good skill to have for long-term weight management.

Coming out of this cut, I am leaner than I thought I would be, and yet at the same time have continued to have personal records on my lifts at the gym, which is great. Continue Reading 8 Weeks to RIPPED, Weeks #7 and #8 »

The Road to 215, Week #12

I took a much-needed break from work last week (which included blogging) so my final write-up is a week later than it should be, but the good news is that the results of my bulk were pretty close to what I was originally shooting for.  Since I still had some leeway as far as my body fat percentage was concerned, I decided to significantly increase my caloric intake for the second time since beginning my bulk.

At 4,000 calories per day, I was able to pack on quite a bit more mass per week than in previous weeks, and thanks to my intense lifting regimen, I was able to put a good portion of that weight gain towards lean mass. I ended my bulk only 3 lbs short of my original goal, both in terms of desired lean mass gained and desired total mass gained. Continue Reading The Road to 215, Week #12 »

Why You Need to Cheat on Your Diet!

Having a proper nutrition plan is paramount to achieving your goals with regards to body composition. Too often I see people fool themselves into thinking that they can get by with fitness alone—unfortunately, without a proper diet to both fuel your workouts and to either create a caloric deficit or surplus, depending on your goals, you’re just not going to get to where you want to be, period. However, when striving to reduce your level of body fat, I think cheating on your diet is necessary. You probably think that I am out of my mind to suggest this, but unless you’re preparing for a specific event such as a modeling shoot or body building competition and need to get to single digit body fat numbers, I insist that my previous statement holds true, and I’m going to explain why.

When I say cheating is necessary, I am not talking about “cheat weekends” or even “cheat days.” Continue Reading Why You Need to Cheat on Your Diet! »

January’s Recipes and Q & A Wrap-Up

Below you will find a list of all of the recipes and Q & A sessions from this past month’s newsletters. If you’d like to get these types of articles delivered to your email on a regular basis, please sign up for the Fit Facts Newsletter (and get a free e-report in the process!). Continue Reading January’s Recipes and Q & A Wrap-Up »

The Road to 215, Week #5

Last week went pretty well as far as progress is concerned towards my goal of 25 total lbs of weight gained in 12 weeks. The previous week was a little rough with New Year’s (I took a 5-day vacation to Chicago which definitely complicated my diet and workout plans, although I still was able to work out on my trip and I made sure to watch my caloric intake as well as I could) but I was able to get right back on the grind starting the 3rd. My nutrition has been on point and I hit a few short-term lifting benchmarks this week.

I often hear trainers proclaim that you need to “confuse the muscle” in order to keep progressing. I completely disagree with this sentiment. Muscles don’t have brains, and therefore cannot be “confused.” While I agree that it can be more motivating and enjoyable if you switch up your workouts frequently, the only thing required for progression is a consistent increase in workout intensity—through either: Continue Reading The Road to 215, Week #5 »