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Lose 8, Gain 8: The Diet Stand Still?

"Is it possible to lose 8 pounds and then gain 8 pounds right back and be in a stand still?"

This is one of my most asked questions. This is an important topic for most people but especially for women. Women are more concerned with physical number changes and less likely to have successful recomps without very specific attention. Most fit pros will not tell you this, but body recomposition is much harder for women than it is for men. 

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On Progress

How do we measure progress? How do we quantify the work we do on a daily basis to improve our lives or work on our goals? Part of my job has been to answer these questions, to help people see their growth even if in the midst of perceived failure or confusion. When someone asks, “What do you do to help people?” I often think, “Progress. I help them see progress, judge progress, rate progress. I help people progress.”

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The Age of the Eternal Student

The problem with doing everything on your own—reading on your own, learning on your own—is you don’t have, well, teachers, and the great thing about doing everything on your own is you don’t have, well, teachers.

There comes a point in which you have to acknowledge two important thoughts:

1. Think for yourself
2. Ask for help

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Saying No to Your Drama (Premium)

As people, we have stories and emotions we use to explain and reflect our lives. This lesson is not about judging or criticizing other people for how they wade through their own trauma, trials, and life events but how to view and master the navigation of your own. I discuss:

  • What pain ranking is, and why not to do it.
  • Why it’s important not to define yourself by your ailments.
  • That despite what many say, you can work to be happier.
  • Tools to help change your automatic thoughts.

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Make My Body… (Premium)

A long time ago I released a series called, “Make My Body Hot.” It received a lot of praise but looking back I believe it was a short-sighted view. Now, I raise the value of understanding how much you can control what you want with your body. I’ll discuss:

  • Different Body Types
  • How to Train for Different Styles
  • How to Incorporate Every Aspect of What You Want in Regards to Your Body Goals
  • How to Focus and Shut Out the Noise

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Body Fat Percentages and Pictures

Do we need to know our body fat percentage?

Technically, there is not a need to know our body fat percentage. While our body fat percentage can provide insights into our health status, simply knowing doesn’t do much to change things. Knowing merely provides amusement, motivation, or a harsh dose of reality.

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Defining Bulky, Once and for All

In New York during the early 1900’s, there was a “women’s only” weight lifting group. They met privately in a rundown gym after closing hours. The janitor would let them in and they would train with tremendous intensity and passion. They would leave and return to their families and husbands, never saying a word about where they had been or what they had been doing.

100 years later the world has new (and not so new) perspectives.

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A Realistic Look at Goal Setting: Muscle Gain

I want to touch on logical muscle gain expectations and percentage of surplus needed for both males and females. Do men and women gain muscle differently?

Yes, dramatically so, as you can see. While the newbie rate of gain can run a little closer, the slowing point is met at a faster rate and comes to a near halt when experience is gained.

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Mifflin St. Jeor Formula

10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5

10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161

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Harris-Benedict Formula

66.5 + (13.75 X weight in kg) + (5.003 X height in cm) – (6.775 X age in years)

655.1 + (9.563 X weight in kg) + (1.85 X height in cm) – (4.676 X age in years)

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Body Fat Reduction Calculator (Premium)

The Body Fat Reduction Calculator has been used to help members achieve their fat loss goals. Though all calculations can have human error tied to them, this calculator is a great guideline to realistically achieve your goal and give you a timeline of how quickly that goal can be attained.

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Minimum Macronutrients Calculator (Premium)

When going into a deficit, there are nutrients we need in order to ensure we get the needed essential nutrients. These numbers will allow you to still get your amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals with whole foods. In some instances, supplements may be needed to aid to get your full profile, but this is a good base point. This calculator is for those MINIMUM nutrients. You are to use this in conjunction with your overall daily caloric burn.

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Katch-McArdle Formula

Formulas for Men and Women:

BMR = 370 + (21.6 x Lean Body Mass(kg) )

Lean Body Mass = (Weight(kg) x (100-(Body Fat)))/100

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Are We Missing the Caloric Forest for the Trees?

The point of this article is to drive home the main mission statement that caloric accuracy is not the goal, learning your caloric need is.

It doesn’t matter if 2,000 calories is actually 1,800 calories or 2,200 calories (in testing reality) as long as you adjust for your needs correctly. You shouldn’t be shooting for an arbitrary number, not in weight, activity, etc. Rarely, unless in competition, does the scale matter. It’s not about the accuracy of the numbers.

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Calories, What You Need to Know (Premium)

We will take a look at calories, what they mean (to our best guess), and how to make them work for you to achieve your physical and lifestyle goals. You’ll learn:

● Methods of Monitoring
● Monitoring Accuracy
● Formulas
● Activity Monitors
● Deficits, Maintenance, and Bulking

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The Deficit – How We Lose Fat

One positive thing that has come out of discussions on topics like “metabolic damage” and “starvation mode” is people are learning (even though they are often misguided) that eating for your energy needs is necessary for an optimal metabolic rate.

On the flip side, people are now under the impression that going into a deficit is a bad idea. Boy how fast does that pendulum swing, eh? I am frequently asked questions like…

“I heard deficits make you store fat, not lose it!”

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“Starvation Mode?” – How Dieting Affects Us and How to Reverse It

“No matter how much I exercise, I can’t lose weight! Is this starvation mode?”

“No matter how little I eat, I can’t lose weight!!! Am I in starvation mode?”

“If I eat this low amount of calories, will I go into starvation mode?”

“Starvation mode means your body stops burning fat and starts storing fat.”

My favorite is the last, as if the body is going to transition from being a pitcher to a catcher. It doesn’t work that way, but late night infomercials have been spewing these lies for decades. And who gets the raw end of the deal? You do.

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Blood Tests for Diet, Training, and Your Sanity

This may not be the sexiest article, but it covers an extremely important topic you should take seriously. The problems I see people face because of paranoia, lazy testing, and a lack of testing are overwhelming. Take a minute and write a few things down for your next check-up.

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Does Age Hinder Weight Loss & Body Transformation?

There are all types of myths regarding aging and weight loss ranging from the dreaded “freshman 15” to the saying, “If only I could eat the way I used to when I was 20.” This isn’t only done with dieting; many of my clients have said, “If only I had youth on my side again.” Which brings us to the question: does age hinder weight loss and body transformation?

The short answer? Yes, of course it does. However, the long answer is more complex and detailed.

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Sizeism: Hate and Ignorance, On Both Sides?

America is big on the, “If I can do it, you can do it!” motto. This is great when we are looking through rose colored glasses and transformation photos. This is great when we are watching a documentary of the outlier making a life for themselves. It’s not so great when it is coming from people who look down on you—be it from someone with rippling abs or a congressperson. Being in the position of defending your thoughts and opinions is hard.

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Staying Younger with Training & Nutrition (Premium)

When people desire to “stay young” they often know what they are striving for in the process. The truth is you can’t avoid certain aspects of aging without the aid of surgery. However, there is a lot you can do with training to keep yourself looking and feeling years younger.

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Diet Break – Managing the Plan

There are two ways most people think when it comes to eating.

1. On a diet
2. Off a diet

Being on a diet can mean various things and is usually related to the latest guru or eating fad. Being off a diet usually means that what you see is what you eat. Think about it, if everyone ate what they should off of their diet, eventually they should obtain their goal weight.

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Go from a Bad to Good Maintenance in Six Steps

If you really have been “dieting” down a while you are likely avoiding the inevitable refeed that needs to take place. If you think you are dieting down, you are just making it harder on yourself and creating a mental frustration that will leave you jaded. The same is true for gaining muscle mass.

Chances are you have already created negative patterns in your mind. Chances are you already may not believe in yourself or in the fact that dieting can work. Don’t worry, I have provided these simple steps to follow in order to achieve your goal.

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A Lesson in the Art of Maintenance

You may think your life is a never ending fat loss journey. The truth is if you understand maintenance, fat loss should be a simple and short process. If you can learn how to nail maintenance, you will learn how to nail fat loss. Intrigued? You should be.

Maintenance is eating at, or close to, your daily caloric need. Everyday we expend a certain amount of calories. This can vary based on training, weight, general activity, etc.

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Consistency: How a Pattern Shapes Your Outcome

Usually when people think about the action of consistency, they think of it in a positive manner. People think that being consistent can only bring about good things. What I am going to explain is the full potential and danger that consistency can have, and how there are patterns for everything you do, whether positive or negative.

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Do What Other People Will Not (Premium)

It really is true that if you want things in life that most people do not have, you have to do what most people do not do. However, determining those variables and what those things can be isn’t as simple as “working harder.” There are factors you must consider from your background to knowing ultimately how to work smarter.

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The Goal in Goal Setting (Premium)

Goal setting is still a significant work of practice. There are a lot of theories set in place to help set goals. If you've ever delved into the topic, you'll see key research from Edwin Locke and Gary Latham. You've likely heard of the S.M.A.R.T system as well. I'm not here to tell you in great detail about things you already know; I'm here to inform you about things you may not.

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Investing in Your Motivational Dollar

Motivation is a living thing. It eats, it breathes, and it begs you to take it out for a spin each and every day. The biggest mistake people make is thinking motivation is waiting for them. But it is not; you must work for it. Let me give you an example.

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On Progress

How do we measure progress? How do we quantify the work we do on a daily basis to improve our lives or work on our goals? Part of my job has been to answer these questions, to help people see their growth even if in the midst of perceived failure or confusion. When someone asks, “What do you do to help people?” I often think, “Progress. I help them see progress, judge progress, rate progress. I help people progress.”

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Why Emotional Dieting Leads to Never-Ending Dieting

You are reading this hoping I will share how to go from point A (unhappy fatty) to point B (ecstatically lean) as fast as possible. You want to be lean. You deserve to be lean. You are tired of dieting, thinking about dieting, and your life being ruled by dieting. You are tired of trying to figure out if you should or shouldn’t eat carbs.

You don’t care, you just want out and to get on with your life. Sadly, you lack crazy motivation that only exists in those who win Oscars or one-way tickets to institutions. Some of you even did that and it didn’t work.

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Making the Fitness Industry a Better Place…

I’ll be the first to admit the idea for this article came from a negative place. A place fueled by frustration because of the things I see happen in this industry—in all industries.

But as the adage goes, “Bring me your solutions, not your problems.” That’s not to say voices of complaint aren’t important, but I’m not one to perpetuate criticism without trying to make things better.

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A Response to The New York Times’ Biggest Loser Study

While The Biggest Loser has shown to be an effective way to lose body fat, it is not turning out to be the best method to maintain body fat loss. The main reason it’s ineffective is an incomplete education for the contestants. To some degree, this rests on the education of the doctors and trainers themselves. At the release of this article, I saw a flood of trainers and doctors share the article and study as the “smoking gun” without any critical thought given to the method behind it. The best trainers and doctors utilized this information as food for thought not the end of the world and scare tactics.

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William Banting’s Diet, Taubes, and Anecdotal Weight Loss

Gary Taubes’ bestselling book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, starts off with the story of William Banting. Banting tells his tale in his late 1800s release titled Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. It started as a pamphlet and turned into a best-selling book with multiple editions. In the low carb community, Banting has been proclaimed as one of the first low carb gurus. He is often cited in works ranging from Taubes to Atkins.

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WTF Can I Eat?

Anyone can visit the website of a “health expert” and find a food item they are not supposed to eat. Recently, I decided to take a closer look and tally the foods put on “don’t” lists and who was doing it. Sadly, I was not surprised to find that there was not one food I couldn’t find a person damning as something that shouldn’t be consumed.

From celery to lamb, I can point to a site that recommends against it’s intake. Ironically enough, people who are usually against eating fruit are the people who recommend a daily glass or two of wine.

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Daily Mobility and “Injury Prevention” (Premium)

Be it repetitive office work to training, having a daily mobility routine can keep stiffness at bay. While injury prevention is often talked about in absolutes, the truth is we don’t have a sure-fire way to prevent it, but we can set ourselves up to avoid as much pain as possible due to lacking mobility. I’ll discuss:

● What mobility means in this instance
● What Physical Preparation Training is
● A few exercises you can do at various levels of ability

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How to Hire a Personal Trainer

I find it quite remarkable how flippant people are about putting their body in the hands of someone they don’t know. I have seen people more cautious about the installation of an air conditioning unit. Before you think about hiring a trainer, you should know how vital it actually is.

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Running for Fat Loss: Optimal vs Possible

Running is free, and technically, anyone can do it. We can all run if we have to and it requires no equipment. For many, it also provides a personal solace and stress relief along with a connection to nature. However, the majority of people start running for weight loss. Poll any marathon line, and being leaner is the purpose of most. Speed, distance, and improving their expertise usually falls to the back of the list, if they are listed at all.

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Training, It’s Relative (Premium)

Most people select the wrong training program for what they want to achieve because they rarely understand the true purpose of training goals, even at higher levels of performance. You will learn how to match training programs relative to your goals. You’ll learn:

● Types of Training
● Discovering Your Training Program
● Trainer, Coach, or Equipment Selection
● Keeping Nutrition In Mind

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So I Read This Thing

A Podcast Wherein Myself & Other People Discuss The Things They've Read, Watched, Heard, And Did. Nutrition, Training, Mental Health, Art & Business Are Just A Few Of Things We Will Cover. Research & Opinion Based Look At All The Things. 

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