Articles Tagged: nutritional counseling

Top Recommended Supplements and Their Uses

I’m not big on supplement use. I feel like most supplements are either utterly useless, supported only by hype-filled marketing tactics, or are misused, either in situations they’re not intended or useful in, or used as a crutch for poor nutritional habits.

As such, my general recommendation is to focus on diet and exercise first, and avoid getting drawn into the supplementation trap.

However, there are exceptions to that rule, and once someone DOES reach that point, I will admit that there are a few supplements that can help performance and/or results that you can take a look at. Just remember, all the extra-credit in the world won’t help your grade if you never do your homework. The analogy applies to diet/supplementation directly if you think about it.

So, which supplements do I recommend, and when? Continue Reading Top Recommended Supplements and Their Uses »

How to Improve Your Chances of Fitness and Nutrition Success

Success is a spectrum, not a light switch. Think about that for a second and let it sink in. Most people judge their success rates based on a measurement of perfection, with the only values being “yes, I was perfect” or “no, I failed”.

The problem is that we’re human. By our very nature we’re imperfect creatures, as is the world around us. Perfection is an impossible fantasy that we can simply strive TOWARDS, but never reach. So if you only see success as achieving perfection, then you, my friend, are in for a world of disappointment.

The difference between someone who can reach their goals and someone who can’t is often a case of whether or not one has a realistic view of success and human nature. If you accept that there will be periods of less-than-stellar compliance, plan for these periods ahead of time, and most importantly, learn to ACCEPT these periods and get “back on the horse” as QUICKLY as possible afterwards, you will reach your goals faster and enjoy the process infinitely more. Continue Reading How to Improve Your Chances of Fitness and Nutrition Success »

Hydration’s Effect on Fat Loss and What Drinks to Avoid

In week 1, we talked about chewing your food slowly and stopping your meal when you’re 80% full. In week 2, we reviewed the crucial role of protein, what the best sources are and how much to eat per day. In week 3, we talked about how many vegetables and fruits we should be eating and why. Week 4’s subject matter was all about healthy fats and why they are so important to our health and physique. Last week, we reviewed the 5th habit regarding proper carbohydrate intake and timing.

So this brings us to our 6th and final week, where I am going to discuss the final habit that ties everything up. And that is the habit of drinking enough zero-calorie fluids each day.

Yeah yeah, but you “already drink PLENTY of water”, right? I can’t tell you how many times I hear this when I ask a new athlete about their liquid intake. Actually, I can—about 100% of the time. Continue Reading Hydration’s Effect on Fat Loss and What Drinks to Avoid »

Carbohydrate Intake and Timing Strategies to Maximize Results

“Carbohydrates are the devil and will end your life early!” Obviously, this statement is nonsense, but in this day and age many people seem to take it as fact. Probably because a TON of people posing as nutrition experts insist that carbohydrates make people fat.

This is misinformation and needs to be cleared up for once and for all, so here we go. By the way, this is also habit #5 out of 6 we will be covering in this series, so read on and implement what you learn.

I’m going to keep this explanation fairly simple so it’s easy to read, but gets to the point.

When ingested, carbohydrates cause the body to respond by releasing insulin into the blood stream—a hormone responsible for shuttling the broken down carbohydrates (which break into molecules of sugar) into the cells to be used for energy production (immediate or stored energy depending on what the body needs at the time). Continue Reading Carbohydrate Intake and Timing Strategies to Maximize Results »

Healthy Fats are Critical to Optimal Health, Physique and Performance

The bad news is that you’ve been lied to all this time about what constitutes a healthy diet, by the very people you trust most.

The good news is today we’re going to destroy one of the biggest myths surrounding healthy nutrition that has likely resulted in MORE obesity, MORE heart disease and MORE hormonal issues than any other nutritional misinformation since the Dark Ages.

I’m talking about the role that dietary fat plays in our health.

“Don’t eat fat! It causes heart disease, high cholesterol and worst of all, it makes you FAT!”

How many times have you heard this? How many times have you gone down the aisles at the store, seeing row after row of “healthy” “low-fat” or “no-fat” options? If they say healthy on them, they must be, right? Continue Reading Healthy Fats are Critical to Optimal Health, Physique and Performance »

5 Reasons Why Grandma Was Right About Vegetables

I hope that you’ve been successfully implementing the previous two habits into your daily life (chewing your food slowly/stopping at 80% full, and adding a serving of protein to each meal). These habits have a compounding effect—not only from simply adding new habits on top of the ones you’re already doing, but more importantly, from the effect of doing the habits week after week.

The health effects build over time and you see a huge return on your investment the longer you stay compliant. That’s the entire reason why we keep these habits simple: simplicity means better compliance… and better compliance means better results. And better results means better confidence, a better sex life (sorry, it’s true!) and more HAPPINESS, which at the end of the day is all that matters.

If you haven’t implemented the previous habits, please bookmark this for the future, and go back and read the previous installments. They’re posted on the Training Ground TransformationNATION blog—part 1 can be viewed here and part 2 can be viewed here. Start with part 1, implement it for a week, then move to part 2, and then finally come back to part 3… and then continue on from there. Continue Reading 5 Reasons Why Grandma Was Right About Vegetables »

Relax, Take It Easy!

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

It seems that these days people are on the go more than ever. There is always some sort of event, class, work event, or just somewhere to be, and you have to get there NOW. In 2013, people have been accustomed to getting everything pretty much done for them on the spot. From online banking to ordering food via the web.

Things have become so easy and instant that we think we are just “too” busy to cook, and rather get in the car and drive blocks away to the nearest drive-thru window and God forbid there’s a 5 minute wait! I mean c’mon, if your food takes less than 5 minutes to be prepped and cooked there might be a slight chance it’s not the best option for you, wouldn’t you agree?

Now in that time that it took you to get in your car, drive to the oh so healthy and delicious fast food joint, you could have easily made yourself an awesome meal at home. Continue Reading Relax, Take It Easy! »

Protein: The Secret Physique Weapon

How’s it been going with the eating slowly and stopping when you’re 80% full? I truly hope you made the effort to implement this habit last week, because if you did, it’s probably almost second nature by now.

Which means that adding another habit isn’t going to be a big deal. Remember, the EASIER a specific program is to follow, the more likely you are to be successful at being compliant over the long run.

This week we’re going to talk about protein, because protein is honestly one area that most people are not focused enough on. We usually hear that American diets tend to contain excessive protein and unhealthy fats, and a lack of “healthy carbs”.

This is because most of the people writing that stuff have an alternative motive, or have no idea what the %^&* they’re talking about. Continue Reading Protein: The Secret Physique Weapon »

Chewing Your Food Slowly

First things first—this weekend we’re holding a Nutrition 101 course at our facility where we will be going over all of the lessons I’m going to expand on in these newsletters in a good amount of detail, with a Q&A session afterwards and will be handing out an entire MONTH’S worth of sample habit-compliant meal plans to everyone who attends (these meal plans will not be available ANYWHERE ELSE, except to my online coaching clients).

What: Nutrition 101 @ TGOC
When: Saturday, May 18th, 2013 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Training Ground TransformationNATION – 755 W 17th St, Unit D, Costa Mesa, CA 926267
Price: FREE for members, $10 for guests
More Info: Facebook Event Continue Reading Chewing Your Food Slowly »

I’m a Big Kid Now

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

Do you remember your days as a kid, filled with endless dreams and ambitions to become whatever it is that you wanted that day? As a child, I remember seeing all the great things life had to offer to all grown ups and I couldn’t wait to become an adult. I would be free to set out and accomplish all of things that I’ve always wanted. From finishing school to living in a big bright city as an independent woman carrying around a brief case—my mind was open and limitless to any possibility, and rather to even think for a second that I could NOT do it, I knew that there would be nothing to stop me. The word can’t and never wasn’t part of my vocabulary.

One thing that I will always be envious of are children with an endless imagination. What does imagination mean to you? To me, it means what I see when I close my eyes. The image of what I want my life to be if there was no obstacles that can prevent me from accomplishing. Continue Reading I’m a Big Kid Now »