facebook_pixel

Articles Tagged: nutritional counseling

Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting

Do you ever feel like you’re on a “perma-bulk” or always seem to be in a cutting phase?

Most of us are genetically predisposed to either carrying more body fat than we’d prefer, or less muscle mass than we’d like. Only the lucky few are naturally inclined towards those lean bodies packed with muscle.

While there’s a greater proportion  of the lucky individuals in the world of competition compared to the general population, plenty of competitors still land on either side of the spectrum.

As such, we tend to gravitate towards the eating/training style that matches our natural struggle–those of us who struggle to lose weight are always eating at a calorie deficit and doing a lot of cardio, while the “hardgainers” among us pack away calories day after day and spend a lot of time pumping iron. Continue Reading Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting »

Putting on the Brakes: Why Your Prep Needs a Reverse Diet!

Competitors–have you ever felt like you’re on a permanent prep diet? Do you have trouble remembering the last time you consciously increased your calories for an extended period of time, outside of a post-show binge?

Do you also feel like your energy levels, strength and stamina have decreased while your stress levels have increased over time?

Is getting lean and staying there becoming more and more difficult, requiring you to drop calories further and further and/or increase cardio more and more each time you cut?

Bikini athletes in particular tend to suffer this scenario due to the fact that high levels of muscle are not as emphasized of a requirement as other divisions of fitness competition, and thus many women never go into a “bulking” stage that is foundational to programs for bodybuilding, physique and figure divisions. Continue Reading Putting on the Brakes: Why Your Prep Needs a Reverse Diet! »

Why the IIFYM Approach to Dieting Isn’t Enough

It’s human nature to appeal to labels and neat packaging of ideas. In the fitness and nutrition industry, this is readily apparent.

If you look at most workout programs, they have a name, a brand: Body Pump. Jazzercize. CrossFit. P90x.

The same thing is true with nutrition: the Paleo Diet. Atkins Diet. Clean Eating. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).

Labels are convenient because we can wrap said labels around a bunch of ideas and make the ideas appear more cohesive than if we had to track each idea individually. It allows us to understand relatively complex concepts more easily.

In competition prep, nutrition has primarily focused around two pre-packaged ideas: clean eating and IIFYM.

Let’s take a historical trip together down competition prep’s “memory lane.” Continue Reading Why the IIFYM Approach to Dieting Isn’t Enough »

4 Elements of Basic Nutrition

Before you can run, you must walk. Likewise, before you can optimize and perfect your diet, you must fully understand the basic elements of nutrition and how they affect your health and results.

The good news is that basic nutrition is both simple and effective. It’s true that the fitness industry has hopelessly over-complicated nutrition in an effort to justify product differentiation (e.g. “my nutrition system is SO effective because it covers these 3 ‘secret tricks’ that nobody else knows!!!”) that many people feel like they need a master’s degree just to take care of themselves at a basic level.

This is not the case. The fact is I can teach you everything you need to know to cover basic nutrition in about 10 minutes, which I am going to do with this very article. Continue Reading 4 Elements of Basic Nutrition »

Think You can Starve Your Way to Weight Loss Goals? Think Again!

Eating for weight loss can be tricky. Everywhere you look, there’s different advice being given. Some articles/authority figures say eat more to lose more, others tell you to go on a juice fast, yet others recommend eating nothing but specialized meal replacements, or to eat low carb/high fat, go Paleo… the list goes on and on.

Frustratingly, every piece of advice seems to directly contradict that which came before it. So who is right?

In this article I’m going to break down one of the main claims–that eating as little as possible (whether in terms of calories, carbohydrates, fats or otherwise) is the best way to lose weight–and I’ll give you a better method that will help you get vastly superior results. Continue Reading Think You can Starve Your Way to Weight Loss Goals? Think Again! »

The Three Pillars of Body Transformation Success

When it comes to getting into amazing shape, there are three crucial factors that come into play.

Missing any of these three results in failure to achieve your goal 99 times out of 100.

And yet, take a look at nearly any effort you or anyone you know has made in the past to get into shape, and chances are that you were missing at least one of these important components.

The three factors are: fitness, nutrition and accountability. Let’s take a look at each individually, and what makes them so important. Continue Reading The Three Pillars of Body Transformation Success »

Nutritional Success Starts in Your Kitchen

Imagine trying to quit smoking cigarettes while working in a convenience store that sells them right behind where you stand.

Or, imagine trying to overcome alcohol addiction while working as a bartender.

My point is, if you’re attempting to unlearn poor habits, nothing makes the process harder than being surrounded by temptations for sabotage.

So, if our goal is to eat better and control portions, one of the best ways we can ensure our success is to start in our kitchen and make sure it’s aligned with our goals.

If your goal is weight loss for example, it likely behooves you to get rid of the cookies, cakes and other treat foods that you would have a tendency to binge on–especially as your body rebels at first against the improvement of your diet and tapering down of calories. Continue Reading Nutritional Success Starts in Your Kitchen »

Easy Nutrition Category Food List

Do you have trouble when it comes to making meal plans for yourself that include enough variety?

When you list out your meals, do you draw a blank and sit there until you get frustrated and give up?

Coming up with a healthy diet approach shouldn’t be difficult or stress-inducing; it should be an easy, pleasant experience.

To help make that the case for you, here’s a list of recommended foods we’ve put together by nutritional category to help make it easier for you to plan your meals out quickly and efficiently.

Note: This list also includes fat content of specific foods for those who are following our 28 day nutritional system. Continue Reading Easy Nutrition Category Food List »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 5

Intro by Coach B: Finishing our 5-part our bulking recipe series (see part 1 here, part 2 herepart 3 here and part 4 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure. Enjoy and be sure to share this recipe series with anyone else you know who needs to put on size and needs to learn how to eat appropriately for their goals.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Coach Tracy here, I hope these recipes have helped increase your repertoire, and most importantly, helped you start putting on some size!

Here are the key points that I wanted you to learn as we took you through this article series:

  1. For maximum performance and an optimal lean mass gain to body fat mass gain ratio, meals must have more than just lots of calories; they must have optimal macros, which for the typical hardgainer is going to be high carbohydrate, moderately-high protein, and moderately-high fat.
  2. Choosing low volume foods with higher carbohydrate content like white rice, potatoes, and white pasta will help prevent that extremely full feeling compared with eating very volumous, fiber-rich carbs. Remember, 2 cups of hash browns have almost the same amount of carbs as 9 cups of green beans!
  3. Choosing full fat dairy products like whole milk, ice cream, cheeses, sour cream and heavy cream gives you a big boost to calories without having to drench things in oil.
  4. Creating flavorful sauces that are high in calories and take up a good portion of the meal’s calories will make you feel less full. For example, Alfredo sauce uses milk, cream, butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese and can pack a caloric wallop.
  5. Eating a “bro-diet” of chicken, sweet potato and broccoli every 2 hours, six times a day is not ideal for lean mass gain (or anything, other than pushing you to jump off a cliff in nutritional boredom and misery).
  6. Having fun and be patient are key to long-term success!

Here are the last three recipes of the series, bringing you a total of 15 mass-gain recipes. All very different, very delicious, and very easy to pack away. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 5 »

Snacking: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For many people, snacks are more of a staple part of their diet, often, than eating regular meals themselves. Nearly every single one of us has adapted snacking as a part of our daily routine, at least at some point.

Snacking is particularly popular amongst Americans, since we have the luxury of constant access to food—especially snacks—via grocery stores, gas stations, vending machines, fast food restaurants, etc. Many think they’re harmless and forget to account for them in their daily calorie intake, but that quickly adds up.

Some say that snacking might be a good way to control binges, especially if trying to lose weight, but that might not necessarily work in your favor. This issue becomes relevant once you try to lose weight and it just seems like you can’t—could it possibly be your snacking that’s halting your progress? Continue Reading Snacking: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly »