Increase Your Energy In Less Than 3 Days

Learn the secrets of those who wake up with energy and sustain it all day long

Have you ever been around those people who just seem like they have an endless amount of energy, yet you can’t seem to keep your eyes open?

Those who you imagine jumping out of bed full of life yet you have to snooze your alarm 7 times before you actually get out of bed?

There’s a formula for this and these people aren’t special, they have just followed the formula below.

We Create Energy, It Isn’t Something You Have Or Don’t Have

I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to consistently wake up every morning on fire then a couple of things had to happen:

A: I had to get out of victim mode and realize that I am the only person who can decide how I feel every day and I had to do the necessary steps to get there.

B: I had to research how the athletes, the high performance people developed and sustained their energy and I wouldn’t stop until I did.

And guess what?

You don’t have to research the second one because I am going to provide you will all that I know and how to achieve it!

#1 You’re Going To Have To Say NO To A lot Of Things

We are only allotted a certain amount of energy each day and can only commit to a certain amount of things.

When you become a “Yes Man” you can pretty much say goodbye to your energy for the rest of the day.

Too often we put others needs before our own, which is a massive mistake in terms of our health and boundaries.

Women especially are constantly trying to save everyone else before they tend to their own needs.

By simply telling someone, “I’m really focusing on things of my own right now” You take your power back and conserve energy for needs of your own.

Now I’m not saying stop doing things for other people, but evaluate and audit if these things you’re doing are draining your energy or uplifting you.

Doing acts of service should uplift you and GIVE you energy, not drain it.

Tip: Write down the people in your life who are energy vampires. Remind yourself that you are the number one person in your life and by constantly tending to them, you leave nothing for yourself.

#2 Prioritize Sleep, Organization, And A Morning Routine

Have you ever woken up after staying up watching a full season of something on Netflix and feel incredibly drained?

This is because sleep is the number one way to generate and renew energy and if you don’t make sleep a priority, you will never know what it feels like to have that high vibin’ energy.

Most people don’t realize it, but they need a full 7-8 hours to feel fresh and to have sharp cognition. Make sure you’re shutting off the TV and allotting at least 7 hours of deep rest.

Another thing successful and high energy people do is they get organized and make sure they aren’t spending unneeded energy on rushing to find things to wear or stressing about their next meal or where they put their phone.

They realize that by organizing their home and workspace ahead of time, it saves stress and also energy so you don’t have to spike your cortisol and lose your patience by searching for things in messy environments.

Do you have a morning routine or do you rush out of the house and forget to eat breakfast?

Whether you chose to eat breakfast before you leave the house or not can make a huge impact on your energy levels.

When your blood sugar dips so does your energy, and you tend to make poor food choices when this happens searching for a quick carb or sugary food to eat.

Tip: Start your morning slowly and make sure to organize your day and also nourish your body with amazing food so you don’t utilize unnecessary energy throughout the day.

#3 Track When You’re Feeling Lower Energy And Address It

Maybe right now you’re noticing that you are doing all of the above things, so what gives?

Sometimes our energy can dip by the poor food choices we are making, adrenal gland dysfunction (from high stress and excess caffeine) and also from working out excessively.

The next time you’re feeling lower energy, write it down. Keep track of it in your phone and figure out what you were doing right before that may have drained it.

More often than not, there will be a correlation.

When I’ve ask my clients where their energy is being drained, most can pinpoint a certain situation of where it’s stemming from.

And once you know this, address it!

Don’t stay in victim mode, make sure you start doing the necessary things to gain your energy back and don’t compromise.

If right now you’re unaware of what to eat or if you’re exercising too excessively, make sure you check out our 30 Day Metabolic Reset Program where we give you the tools to not only lose fat but to also gain more energy.

Now is the time to make changes, not January 1st when everyone will be scrambling to make changes.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that’s not how I roll or how I want any of my friends to go through life. Make the necessary changes NOW and thank yourself later.


7 Tips To Stay Healthy While Traveling

Are you traveling for work or vacation but don’t want to lose your hard earned work? Use these 6 tips to stay on track.

How many of you who travel frequently or are constantly on the go struggle with staying on track with your health and fitness goals?

This is a question I get a lot from people reaching out who feel like they’re spinning their wheels and are on a roller coaster because life gets in the way.

They feel like they undo all of their hard earned work in one short weekend and struggle to get back on track.

My advice? Don’t let it spin out of control, and follow these 6 tips that I have found to be a game changer for me while traveling.

1. Prioritize Sleep

I make sure I’m getting enough sleep the week or weeks before I travel. Sleep greatly improves your immune system, plus it lessens your anxiety and stress response which naturally happens while traveling.

I always aim for 7-8 every night, but I prioritize this more than ever before I travel. You have to build healthy cells and immunity and sleep is one of the main ways to do this.

Yeah, partying is cool until you realize you’ve only slept 3 hours and now want to eat and drink the things you normally don’t.

Break this habit by reminding yourself of past trips you took that didn’t make you feel great by the end of the trip.

2. Make Workouts And Nutrition Non-Negotiable

I ramp up my workout, nutrition, supplements and morning routine every time I travel.

The reason I do this is not necessarily just to get ripped (though it’s a nice side effect) I do this because of the way I feel, which reminds me that I want to feel this way while I’m traveling and it makes it easier to commit to.

I also make sure I take my Metabolic Supplement Stack with me so I stay on track.

Plus, when I stick to this while I’m traveling I don’t have that feeling of any regret when I come home. #Winning.

3. Always Be Prepared

I make sure I have enough snacks to fuel me and also for emergencies. This is so I don’t make poor decisions when on the road or doing interviews and I don’t grab only what’s available.

This has been a lifesaver while I have been interviewing for my podcast. The rule is still true that if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

When you’re hunger is in full force, all you want is calories and it’s usually in the form or sugar and processed carbohydrates. Having snacks on hand makes it a no brainer to stick to the plan.

Make sure to always have a gallon of water with you also to stay hydrated because you also may confuse dehydration and thirst for hunger.

4. Fill Up On Fiber

I make sure I load up like crazy on fiber every single day I’m gone.

You can bring packets of chia seeds, flax and also psyllium husk which you can find at most health food stores.

This keeps me regular and not backed up like most people complain about when traveling.

5. Eat Before You Leave

Not only will this keep you regular in that “department”, but it helps to rid excess toxins and hormones from foods that you can probably already guess won’t be organic or grass-fed.

I eat a large breakfast in the morning full of healthy fats and proteins so I don’t focus on food the entire trip.

If you’re staying at a hotel, they will usually have some form of a continental breakfast where I grab hard boiled eggs and a banana on the way, or if you’re lucky and have a full breakfast, fuel up on the healthy options.

Not fueling up before you go exploring or traveling will make you want that churro on the side of the street and though a churro won’t kill you, that’s not really nutritious to eat every day and I want to feel GOOD while I travel and I can’t really compromise.

6. You Are In Control

And last but not least, I remind myself that I AM in control and that I don’t want to undo everything I have done in terms of my health and wellness goals.

Having a treat meal once in awhile is awesome, but one too many can and WILL undo your progress and I’m not just speaking in terms of gaining fat or anything to do with aesthetics. That week of travel can disrupt your health in terms of hormones, gut health, cognition and energy.

It’s non-negotiable to me to have fun, but be mindful that binging on loafs of bread and taking back 7 sugary daiquiris a day you will most definitely regret when you return back home.

It really all comes down to this…….

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

Those cravings will pass, but realizing you didn’t stick with the plan and go for your goals will stick with you.

If you’re struggling to know what to eat, when, and which workouts you should be doing, we just launched our brand new Group Coaching Platform which we made affordable to everyone to help you reach your goals.

Keep up the awesome work and know that your goals are waiting for you, you just have to go for them and know it’s possible for you.


Top 5 Healthy Fats For Your Diet And Why

Changing the types of fats you are using can greatly increase your health and your ability to burn stubborn fat.

We live in a time where we all trust and believe that restaurants and health food stores have our best interest at heart, but unfortunately this isn’t the reality.

More and more often I am seeing also health food stores bake a cook foods with oils that are actually harmful to our bodies.

Now how could this happen?

We believe we should just trust the healthy restaurants we go to, hoping that the lean chicken breast and green beans we just ordered were cooked in oils that will actually make us healthier and stronger?

Unfortunately not.

But what actually distinguishes a healthy fat vs an unhealthy fat?

The Science

Fats are responsible for helping to regulate hormones by production of cholesterol, for protecting your organs (to cushion them), produce energy, growth of the body, brain function, regulation of immune function, metabolism, and so many other functions.

Basically, you can’t live without them and your body does not produce fats on it’s own so we have to ingest them.

Fat isn’t the devil, and it’s important to understand that not all fats are the created the same either.

Some fats can actually do harm to your body, and can actually make you gain weight.

So Which Fats Actually Add To Your Health?

#1: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a powerful fat as it has been shown to help improve overall immune function, metabolism, insulin resistance, and can also be used as a topical lotion as it’s very moisturizing.

Though coconut oil is considered a saturated fat, don’t let the name fool you. There are certain types of saturated fats that are actually good for you, and coconut oil is one of them.

There is something called MCT’s which stand for Medium Chain Triglycerides inside coconut oil which have also been known to speed up weight loss and reduce appetite.

Coconut oil has also been shown to improve HDL, the good cholesterol we all need.

As any fat and food, make sure to rotate it and mix it up by using other fats which are included below.

#2 Avocados

Who doesn’t love guacamole?

Not only are avocados delicious to eat, but they are one of the most nourishing fats as they have a great macronutrient profile of protein, carbs and fats.

Avocados have been known to also help balance hormones in both men and women, which is a huge plus to this food.

Avocados are also extremely high in nutrients like: Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C. Giving this fruit (yes, I said fruit) a huge incentive to eat it.

They are also loaded with fiber which none of us tend to get enough of, and help to keep us, ahem…regular.

#3 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Olive oil has been used for years in the mediterranean and Mediterranean Diet as a way for Europeans to stay healthy and lean and is very easy to incorporate into your diet.

EVOO is rich in antioxidants that help to keep your immune system high and keep your strength in the gym as an athlete.

It also has high antiinflammatory properties which may combat against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

EVOO can be used in a number of ways including cooking on a stove, adding to salad dressings, and also baked goods.

#4 Egg Yolks

This one may rattle some feathers!

How many of you have been told to avoid the yolks as they raise your cholesterol?

Science is constantly evolving, there’s even a book out now called “Eat The Yolks” which I encourage any of you who are skeptical to read.

The bottom line is that eating cholesterol rich foods doesn’t lead to cholesterol.

Egg yolks are rich in choline (brain health), lutein and zeaxanthin (eye health) and are also loaded with vitamin A, E and calcium.

Eat em’ up! Don’t waste the yolks when they are a nourishing source of fats.

#5 Grass-Fed Butter

It’s important to note that not all butter is created equally.

Grass-fed butter is highly nutritious and comes from cows who ate grass and not grain or other chemicals most cows intake.

This is important because you eat what the animal also ate. Kind of crazy, right?

Grass-fed butter is high in CLA which is short for conjugated linoleic acid which helps to burn body fat while preserving muscle mass.

It contains over 400 different fatty acids and is also extremely high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which is amazing for your heart health.

Some experts and doctors are now labeling grass-fed butter as one of the healthiest fats on the planet due to its nutrient profile and positive effects on the body.

Now The Obvious Question Is: How Often Do You Have These?

It’s always a great thing to rotate your foods and not eat the same things every single day to gain the most nutrients.

I suggest eating two of the fats daily, then rotating another two in and so fourth. The amount of fat you need (grams) depends entirely on your body, activity level and type and is a specific calculation.

If you are looking to find the ideal ratio for your body, you can join our 30 Day Metabolic Reset Program which tells you exactly how many carbs, fats, and protein you should be eating, which type and how often.

It pretty much just helps you take the guesswork out and oh yeah, comes with a FULL workout program also.

Prioritize your health and make sure to start incorporating these healthy fats into your diet and start to see the radical changes not only in your physical body, but in how you feel energetically and mentally.


Healthy Nachos Without The Guilt….

Just In Time For Football Season

Love football food but feel like you backtrack every time you watch a game? Not happening this year with this awesome and guilt free recipe.

Football season is finally here, baby!

Who wants nachos but doesn’t want the chemical hangover that most recipes create or lose your hard earned abs?

I’m always looking for unhealthy favorites to make clean and healthy and these nachos were nothing short of AMAZING.

Something that most people don’t realize when having “cheat” meals, is that not only are you loading up on unwanted calories, but also chemicals.

Most restaurants and companies fill their food with preservatives, hormone and antibiotic filled meats, genetically modified foods and artificial flavoring.

Our body doesn’t recognize these chemicals or know how to process them, so we store them as fat in our cells.

This is part of the reason you wake up after eating out and feel like you were hit by a truck.

You have chemicals flowing through your blood, your gut gets imbalanced and you overall feel like crap.

Food hangovers ARE a real thing.

This is why I wanted to share this recipe with you so you can avoid all of that and stay true to your goals.

Just make sure you don’t load up on beer, instead.

Healthy Nacho Recipe

What you need:

(Makes 4 servings)

  • Jackson’s Honest Organic Corn Chips
  • Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips (optional)
  • 1lb Organic Grass-fed beef
  • 1 can Organic Turkey Chili Beans
  • 1 bag Raw Organic Shredded Cheese
  • 1 can Chopped Olives
  • 2 Avocados- made into guacamole
  • Low Sodium Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Fage Greek Yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray (soy free).

  • Cook the ground beef in a skillet and season with just sea salt.
  • Line the baking sheet with chips then pour the COOKED ground beef over chips.
  • Add chili beans on top
  • Add cheese on top and other condiments you desire

Bake for 10-15 minutes and make sure to watch that the cheese does not burn.

Remove from oven, add remaining ingredients on top and ENJOY!

What If I’m Doing The 30 Day Metabolic Reset During Football Season, Can I Still Make This?

 

Awesome question!

I would have to tell you that since I can’t see your portion size that you’re giving yourself, I’d say try to stick as close to your nutrition plan as possible. And if you do choose to make this recipe, do longer fasted cardio in the morning and make sure you take your Supplement Stack.

And for those of you who decide to make this recipe but also want to still follow your plan, do the following:

  • If you’re on a high carb day, avoid the cheese and use a leaner ground beef which will lower your fat intake.
  • If you’re on a low carb day, limit your chips and beans and opt for using everything as a chili rather than nachos which will still taste incredible.

Have a healthy football recipe you want to share? Send it over!

We would love to share it and and GO GIANTS!!


3 Signs You Have a Nutrient Deficiency

Feeling “ok” but like something is missing in your nutrition?
This is for you.

In a world of instant gratification, it’s hard to trust a nutrition program and be sure you’re getting enough nutrients, not just macronutrients.

And what are macronutrients?

Macronutrients consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They are the building blocks of your cells and give you energy and give your body life.

While these are extremely important, it’s also important to understand that your body also needs micronutrients.

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that help to support your immune system, metabolism and overall well-being.

They help to replenish your body from intense workouts and the depletion of minerals through sweating.

They are also vital to hormone health, helping you grow muscles and lose fat, and many other functions which we will get into later.

Where do micronutrients come from?

Micronutrients come from different types of foods including vegetables, high quality meats, grains, some fruits (mainly berries) and also fortified foods.

Fortified foods are the pre-packaged foods you want to avoid like cereals, cookies, crackers, and sugar loaded electrolyte drinks that you want to stay far far away from.

And we’ve all seen the TV commercials that ensure you that Frosted Flakes give you your daily dose of iron and I hope you know better than to eat it;)

The problem in this day and age, is that it’s VERY hard to get the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamins and minerals if you are not eating packaged foods. The solution is a quality nutrition program mixed with additional supplementation which we will also cover a little later.

So let’s get right to it, what are different signs and symptoms you have a nutrient deficiency?

#1 YOU’RE LOSING MUSCLE MASS AND UNABLE TO LOSE STUBBORN FAT​

Raise your hand if you feel like you’re doing everything possible in the gym, following your nutrition plan to the T, yet still can’t seem to make some #gains?

This is because you are not getting the right amount of nutrients in the food that you’re eating which isn’t allowing you to show off your hard earned work.

One of the most underestimated mineral when it comes to recovery and fat loss, is magnesium.

Magnesium controls many functions inside your body along with relaxation and regulation of hormones, and you can’t get much of it from food.

Magnesium is also responsible for helping to control the stress response (cortisol) which also affects fat loss and muscle tone when you are deficient.

You can get magnesium by eating more avocado, spinach, almonds, and also pumpkin seeds which are the best options with the most amount of this mineral.

Another way to implement this mineral is by taking a supplement at bedtime on an empty stomach and watch your hard work start to pay off and your stress start to melt away.

#2 Hormonal Imbalance Including Loss of Sex Drive

This one applies to both men and women, though I will be focusing on the men.

I get messages daily asking how to increase testosterone without the juice and my number one recommendation is to make sure you’re getting in your micronutrients and not eating crappy foods.

The foods you eat will either add to your well being, or take it away and you have to make sure you’re getting the right macronutrients as well as micronutrients.

Inside the 30 Day Metabolic Reset program you’re told how many calories you need to eat to reach your goals, and most men without a dialed in plan are not hitting the amount they need per day.

Not only does this slow your metabolism down, but your hormones especially your testosterone will take a hit.

The best way to make sure you’re not harming your mojo?

Eat the right amount of calories for your body, and don’t over train either.

If you want a customized plan that tells you how many proteins carbs, and fats as well as a training plan that won’t overwork your hormones, check out our Metabolic Reset Program.

#3 FATIGUE AND LOSS OF MEMORY AND CONCENTRATION​

You’re not just getting older, you’re missing vital nutrients that aren’t giving your brain the power it needs.

Constantly feeling tired both when you wake up and the middle of the day is not normal. Our bodies were designed to be alert when waking and also throughout the day.

One of the best ways to tell if you are missing something in your diet is to ask yourself how you’re feeling on a daily basis.

Not being able to remember things, feeling sluggish and overall “off” and not being energized to do the things you once loved means it’s time for an evaluation.

First make sure that you are getting enough sleep throughout the night, and if you’re still feeling sluggish, evaluate your nutrition and what you’re eating.

“I’M REALIZING I MAY HAVE A DEFICIENCY, NOW WHAT?”​

Here’s the thing I love about the body: once you start giving it what it needs it starts working with you and not against you.

If you’re realizing that you may not have been loving up on your body and nourishing it with the vitamins and minerals it needs, know that it’s a quick turn around to see your desired results once you’ve implemented them.

My number one suggestion for addressing this is dialing in your nutrition and making sure you’re on a quality plan like the customized one that’s created when you join the Metabolic Reset.

Next, begin taking a high quality multivitamin that has high quality vitamins and minerals, but please understand that if you’re choosing to take a supplement but deciding to not change your diet: they won’t help.

I know, I know…..not what you wanted to hear but you will waste your money if you don’t also put in the work.

It isn’t hard work, but it’s work.

If you’re ready to join the program that has changed thousands of lives, click below and take back control of your health and fitness.


The Top 7 Superfoods You Can’t Afford To Live Without

Add these to your diet and cut through the nutritional confusion to level up your health, vitality and weight loss.

Superfoods.

We’ve all heard of these before, and it can be a near-impossible task to figure what a superfood is, and if it’s worth adding to your diet and busy lifestyle.

Let’s face it:

There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors out there — and some so-called superfoods are anything but.

Even for someone who’s been in the training and nutrition game for a couple decades, I can even lose myself in the grocery store aisle trying to figure out what’s real — and what’s not.

Which is why I can only imagine what you may be going through as we’re fed conflicting information all day.

That’s exactly why I wrote this: to help you cut through the confusion and know exactly what a superfood is, and identify the Top 7 Superfoods you should be adding right now.

These are handpicked to level up your health, prevent chronic disease, and oh yeah…look like a million bucks.

That’s what we’re here for, right?

Let’s get started.

So, What Is A Superfood?

First, we’re going to define what a superfood is.

There’s no one set definition out there — but mine is simple:

A superfood is any food loaded with nutrients that are proven to help improve your health, increase your vitality or level up your energy.

What I’m specifically looking for is nutrient density, which is:

The proportion of nutrients in a given food, both micronutrients, and macronutrients that pack a powerful punch.

You and I know the difference in how we feel after slamming down some fast food, as compared to a nutrient-rich salad with chicken and avocado.

I call this the “30 minute effect” where there’s a stark difference between how we feel after we’ve ate a meal, which says a lot about quality. Superfoods are designed to optimize your health, vitality, and energy — while making you feel great on the regular.

Now, let’s get into the best 7 superfoods in the game!

Superfood 1: Blueberries

Straight out of the gate, we welcome the first superfood — blueberries.

They may be small, but they pack a powerful punch of nutrients, including antioxidants, phytochemicals and high doses of vitamin C and vitamin K (1.)

Antioxidants protect you from free radicals in the body, and blueberries have more than any other berry — which is great news for you.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Throw these in a morning smoothie, and have at it.

Superfood 2: Eggs

Next up, we’ve got eggs — a nutritional powerhouse unlike any other, and a great bang for your buck.

You can read endless opinions about eggs from varying sources, but there’s no denying them as one of the best sources of low-calorie protein as well as being loaded with vitamins and good fats.

Lastly, all this cholesterol talk is misguided — eggs are proven to help raise ‘good’ cholesterol while lowering bad and have been proven to lower risk of heart disease and stroke (2.)

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Don’t go Rocky style with raw eggs…get creative, whip and cook them in any way and enjoy!

Superfood 3: Avocado

Next up, we’ve got the lean, green machine that is known as the avocado. One of my favorites on game day — avocados are the definition of a superfood.

Avocados are chock full of monounsaturated fats designed to help your heart, including vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. These are also fantastic for brain health, and include magnesium and countless other dense nutrients (3.)

The best part is how versatile they are — and can be used in almost any way imaginable.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Throw them in a smoothie, make some game-day guacamole or sub them instead of toast with your breakfast…#winning.

Superfood 4: Almonds

Next up we’ve got one of my favorites on the run while traveling to seminars and events — almonds.

These nutrient-rich delights contain some of the highest sources of calcium while being high in protein and vitamin E.

They’re dense in healthy fats, calories and a few handfuls can keep you full for hours, or complement a meal. Studies have shown consuming almonds lowers the risk for heart disease (4.)

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Have these healthy snacks ready-to-go in your car or office, and you’ll never be hungry again.

Superfood 5: Kale

It’s time to go green, and my next superfood pick is none other than the jam-packed, nutrient-rich kale. I could have chosen various leafy greens, but none can match the nutrient density of the green monster.

Kale is fantastic for weight loss and full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and may even make your brain function seem 11 years younger (5.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking:

Steve, kale tastes like cardboard!

Don’t worry, below I’ll share how to get your Kale in, even if you don’t love it.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Smoothie, smoothie, smoothie! Another option: bake your fresh Kale and it turns into a crispy, delicious snack that tastes like a chip.

Superfood 6: Coconut

Next up, we’ve got coconut — one of the best sources of medium-chain triglycerides that comes in all shapes, forms and sizes.

Sure, that’s a mouthful — but MCT’s are a powerful fatty acid designed to help with weight loss (6), improve brain function and help fight bacteria.

Basically, you’ll not only feel great…but get smarter, too. Coconut is extremely dense, so if you’re watching your calories — pay attention because a little goes a long way.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: The options are endless, cook with coconut oil, or take some coconut butter on the run — a little bit goes a long way.

Superfood 7: Salmon

The last superfood is the powerhouse of the sea — jam packed with high doses of Omega 3 Fatty acids, protein and more.

This is your one-stop shop for improved heart health, brain function and leveling up your immunity.

Omega 3 Fatty acids have been proven to prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions in a wide array of populations (7.)

HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Grill, grill, grill…and do your best to find Wild Caught salmon when possible.

You Got Your Superfoods, Now What?

So, there we have it — but I know I’ll get this question:

Steve, what about this food, or that food?

It’s likely you should have those, too — there are many other nutrient-dense foods you should be consuming. Choosing seven was a challenge, but I wanted to get you off to a great start.

Now, for a little warning: there are no guidelines or restrictions on what makes a ‘superfood’ so be careful with the latest craze at the grocery store and check the label.

By the way, I created a free, downloadable grocery checklist with these exact superfoods for you to use on the run:

>>> Download My Top 7 Superfoods Grocery Store Checklist!

Need Help Figuring It All Out?

Many times, knowing the top superfoods and what to eat is only a start. What happens next will dictate whether it becomes more information, or real results you can see in the mirror.

That’s why you need a plan tailored to your needs, your goals and your lifestyle.

This is exactly why I created the 30 Day Metabolic Reset — a step by step, day by day system that includes nutrition, training, and lifestyle…

Without guesswork.
Without ‘crash’ diets.
Without confusion.

If you’re ready, click below to learn how thousands of people all over the world are finally taking back control of their health and fitness:


RESOURCES

  1. Survey of antioxidant capacity and phenolic composition of blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry in Nanjing
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3274736/?elq_cid=3130543&x_id=
  2. Meta-Analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27710205/
  3. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
  4. Effect of almond consumption on the serum fatty acid profile: a dose-response study. http://www.almonds.com/newsletters/handle/new-study-shows-benefits-daily-almond-consumption
  5. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. http://n.neurology.org/content/90/3/e214
  6. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326600
  7. Study of Alaska Natives confirms salmon-rich diet prevents diabetes, heart disease https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/article/study-alaska-natives-confirms-salmon-rich-diet-prevents-diabetes-heart-disease/2011/03/30/?page=0,1

Fact or Fiction: Do Carbs Make You Fat?

Carbohydrates have long been regarded as a primary cause of fat gain, but is that actually the truth?

While carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for most of us, if consumed in excess, they can certainly lead to weight and fat gain, but fortunately for all of us, this doesn’t happen to the extent that most think.

In this article, I’ll touch on what carbohydrates are, their purpose and how they can result in excess weight gain. Afterwards, I provide best practices for adjusting your carb intake based on your energy requirements.

What Are Carbohydrates?

Before getting directly into whether or not carbohydrates can make you fat, you first need to understand what carbohydrates are, what their purpose is and finally, what contributes to carbs being stored as body fat.

Carbohydrates are essentially chains of sugar molecules of differing length. Very short chain or single molecules of sugar, otherwise known as glucose, are considered to be “simple sugars.” This includes ingredients like table sugar, rice, honey and even fructose found in fruits.

On the other hand, you have what are known as complex carbohydrates, which have much longer chains of sugar molecules and are a bit more difficult to digest. This includes ingredients like starchy vegetables, some oats, whole grain products and beans (1).

Eventually however, all of these carbohydrates once ingested, are broken down to their simplest form, known as glucose.

Glucose is a simple sugar that our body derives its main energy source known as ATP. When carbohydrates are consumed, they all have the fate of being broken down into glucose but the complexity of their structures determine how quickly this occurs.

What Role Do Carbohydrates Play Once Ingested?

As briefly mentioned, when consumed, carbohydrates of all sorts are broken down into glucose, which can then enter the blood stream to be used for a number of different purposes.

The first fate of carbohydrate, or glucose for that matter is to begin metabolism and be used immediately through a process known as glycolysis. This would happen if you were active, such as during a workout, and you ingested a sugary drink. This glucose is metabolized to provide ATP, to push you through the workout (2).

Second, this glucose can be shuttled towards different tissues such as organs like the liver and even muscle, where it’s transformed into what is known as glycogen, the stored version of glucose. Essentially, it’s a stockpile of glucose just incase you need it for further activity or even survival (3).

Third and lastly, this glucose can be transported to fat cells, stored and converted into triglyceride or body fat, through a process known as De Novo Lipogenesis (4).

While this process does occur, it’s actually less common than most think and really only becomes an issue if carbohydrate intake is extremely high and activity level is very low. But we’ll get into that a bit later.

Carbohydrate Intake & Activity Level

The main issue with the fear of carbohydrate leading to fat gain is that there is some truth to the theory, just not in the way that most people think.

Your energy balance, or the ratio of the calories that you consume, relative to the amount of energy your body burns through activity on a day-to-day basis largely regulates bodyweight changes (5).

If you’re consuming more calories than you’re expending, you’re creating what is known as a positive energy balance, which leads to weight gain. Essentially, you’re ingesting more energy than you need, so the body stores it for later use.

Considering that carbohydrates have calorie amounts, if you end up consuming more calories from carbohydrate sources than are required by your activity level, you can expect this to contribute to overall weight gain.

At this point, the process of De Novo Lipogenesis occurs, where glucose in the blood is shuttled towards fat cells, stored and then converted into triglyceride (4).

Essentially, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessarily the carbohydrates themselves causing the weight gain. Rather, the weight gain is due to consuming far more carbohydrates and thus, calories than are required.

Use Carb-Cycling To Manage Your Carbohydrate Intake

Based on the previous information, it’s safe to say that overall, carbohydrates really only contribute to weight and fat gain, if their consumed in a greater amount than is actually required by the body for energy and storage.

Since this may be the case, it’s suggested that you consider using what is known as carb-cycling; a method that allows you to manipulate your carbohydrate intake, based on your energy requirements and activity level each day.

For example, if carbohydrate can become and issue when consumed in large amounts, it makes sense to adjust your carb intake based on how active you are. On days that you’re very active or have a high volume training session like a leg day, you consume your highest amount of carbohydrate.

On days that your training volume is lower or even on rest days, you consume your lowest amount of carbohydrates. Essentially, this method allows you to increase or curtail carb consumption based on activity.

Additionally, you can even use this method with equal calorie amounts or if you’re attempting to lose body fat, you can also manipulate total calorie amounts, in addition to carbohydrate.

Here’s a week example of how to pair your carb consumption with your activity level:

  • Day 1: High Volume Leg Day – High Carb Day
  • Day 2: Rest Day – Low Carb Day
  • Day 3: Upper Body, Moderate Volume – Moderate Carb Day
  • Day 4: High Volume Leg Day – High Carb Day
  • Day 5: Rest Day – Low Carb Day
  • Day 6: High Volume Leg Day – High Carb Day
  • Day 7: High Volume Arm Day – High Carb Day

Fact or Fiction: Do Carbs Make You Fat?

Overall, it’s safe to say that carbohydrates themselves don’t directly contribute to weight gain, but they certainly can if you’re consuming them in excess.

Essentially, the factor deciding whether or not carbohydrates get stored as body fat is activity level. If activity level is very low, yet carb intake is high, it’s possible that those carbohydrates could eventually contribute to fat and weight gain.

Based on this information, if you’re concerned about carbohydrates and fat gain, consider using a carb-cycling approach that allows you to manipulate carb intake, based on daily activity level.

References

  1. Simple vs Complex Carbs. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2017, from http://www.diabetes.co.uk/nutrition/simple-carbs-vs-complex-carbs.html
  2. Brooks, G. A. (2010). What does glycolysis make and why is it important?.
  3. Ivy, J. L. (2001). Dietary strategies to promote glycogen synthesis after exercise. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 26(S1), S236-S245.
  4. Acheson, K. J., Schutz, Y., Bessard, T., Anantharaman, K. R. I. S. H. N. A., Flatt, J. P., & Jequier, E. (1988). Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 48(2), 240-247.
  5. Spiegelman, B. M., & Flier, J. S. (2001). Obesity and the regulation of energy balance. Cell, 104(4), 531-543.

How to Cheat – Cheat Meals

Let me ask you this: how would it feel to indulge in your favorite foods while destroying unwanted pounds of fat at the same time?

Sounds like a stretch? Well, we understand if you’re skeptical. After all, most trainers claim you must eat “clean” to shape a body that makes you proud when you look in the mirror. But don’t fall for that belief! In fact, if you approach it right, enjoying “naughty” foods on a weekly basis can actually spur your fat loss efforts.

So, in this article, you’ll discover exactly why you should add cheat meals to your diet plan, and how to do so in the most efficient way. Let’s get started!

WHAT ARE CHEAT MEALS

A cheat meal is one where you don’t have to stick to the “approved” foods list. So, rather than going for the chicken with brown rice and vegetables, you can indulge in stuffed-crust pizza, crunchy potato chips, or another favorite junk food of yours. Cheat meals usually go with an increase in calorie intake. An often-used guideline is raising calorie consumption by 30%.

So, let’s say you usually consume 2,000 daily. On the day of your cheat meal, your calorie intake will hit the 2,600 mark.

The most common approach is consuming those extra calories in one meal (cheat meal), but spreading them throughout the day works, too (cheat day). This concept of “cheating” might sound counterproductive, but guess what? Overeating once in a while can actually help you shed fat. There are five reasons why.

REASON #1: CHEAT MEALS INCREASE LEPTIN

Leptin – often called the “starvation hormone” or the “satiety hormone” – is a hormone produced by your body fat cells [1]. Leptin plays a crucial role in regulating your body weight [2]. It does so by controlling how many calories you eat and burn and how much fat you store [3]. When you lose fat, leptin levels drop. This increases hunger, lowers your metabolic rate, and reduces your motivation for physical activities [4-5].

This feedback mechanism is why most people rebound to their previous weight after slimming down. Fortunately, adding a cheat meal to your diet boosts leptin. This, in turn, raises satiety, ups your metabolic rate, and helps you stay on track with your fat loss program [6-8].

REASON #2: CHEAT meals provide a diet break

Even those fully committed to losing fat can fall prey to the temptation of indulging in junk food. Yes, willpower can keep you on track, but being too strict with your diet puts you at high risk of eventually giving in to the urges. While a few extra calories don’t ruin your diet, there’s the following problem: satisfying those urges usually means binging on thousands of additional calories. As you can understand, this will undo all your fat loss progress of the last days, if not weeks.

The solution? Add a cheat meal to your diet plan. You’re less likely to fall prey to a binge if you have a structured time where you can consume your favorite foods without any guilt trips.

REASON #3: CHEAT MEALS boast your metabolic rate

Spiking your calorie intake boosts your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours [9]. Of course, this rise in metabolic rate does not undo the extra calories you’ve consumed – it doesn’t even come close. But here’s the thing: a cheat meal can undo some of the dieting-induced drop in metabolic rate.

That’s great because a dieting body naturally lowers its metabolic rate to preserve energy. A cheat meal helps counterbalance this.

REASON #4: cheat meals restock your glycogen stores

When you’re on a fat loss plan, glycogen levels naturally decline [10]. By adding a high-carb cheat meal to your diet, you replenish your glycogen reserves.This, in turn, boosts your gym performance. The reason is that glycogen serves as the primary energy source during high-intensity activities such as running and lifting weights [11].

REASON #5: Cheat Meals Boost Your Hormones

Dieting can take a toll on your hormonal health. The production of certain “good” hormones decrease because there is less energy available for your body to produce them. An example is testosterone, which drops in response to dieting. Fortunately, by spiking your calorie intake, testosterone levels – along with other important hormones – get restored [12].

Word of Warning

By now, you know why spiking your calorie intake while dieting can help you get lean.  And in your nutrition plans, you’ll see exactly how to add cheat meals to your diet. But before you descend on your favorite foods, one important note: the number on the scale might show up higher the day after your cheat meal. That might be discouraging to see, but there’s no need to overreact. If you follow our instructions, the increase in weight will not come from fat. There are three other explanations for this rise in body weight. First off, most cheat meals are rich in salt. And salt, as you probably know, can cause water retention [13-14].

Secondly, cheat meals usually contain lots of carbs. This, in turn, refills your glycogen stores. That’s great because it improves your gym performance. But keep in mind that glycogen also attracts water. For every gram of glycogen you store, your body holds onto three milliliters of water [15]. So, if your body stores 250 grams of glycogen, you’ll weigh (at least in theory) 2.2 pounds more. The third reason is that carbs spike insulin, which prevents your kidneys from shedding water. The carbs can thus cause you to hold onto extra fluids [16].

What’s the Bottom Line on Cheat Meals?

You don’t have to suffer a bland and boring “chicken, rice, and broccoli” diet to nuke unwanted pounds of fat. If you approach it right, eating your favorite “naughty” foods can even speed up your journey to a lean figure. In your nutrition plans, you’ll find how to add cheat meals to your diet. Good luck on your fat loss adventure!

references

  1.  Margetic, S., Gazzola, C., Pegg, G. G., & Hill, R. A. (2002). Leptin: a review of its peripheral actions and interactions. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 26(11), 1407-33.
  2. Allison, M. B., & Myers, M. G., Jr. (2014). 20 years of leptin: connecting leptin signaling to biological function. Journal of Endocrinology, 223(1), 25-35.
  3. Friedman, J. M., & Halaas, J. L. (1998). Leptin and the regulation of body weight in mammals. Nature, 22;395(6704), 763-70.
  4. Keim, N. L., Stern, J. S., & Havel, P. J. (1998). Relation between circulating leptin concentrations and appetite during a prolonged, moderate energy deficit in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68(4), 794-801.
  5. Ahima, R. S. (2008). Revisiting leptin’s role in obesity and weight loss. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 118(7), 2380-3.
  6. Pratley, R. E., Nicolson, M., Bogardus, C., & Ravussin, E. (1997). Plasma leptin responses to fasting in Pima Indians. American Journal of Physiology, 273(3 pt 1), 644-9.
  7. Davis, J. F. (2010). Adipostatic regulation of motivation and emotion. Discovery Medicine, 9(48), 462-7.
  8. Davis, J. F., Choi, D. L., & Benoit, S. C. (2010). Insulin, leptin and reward. Trends Endocrinology Metabolism, 21(2), 68-74.
  9. Katzeff, H. L., O’Connell, M., Horton, E. S., Danforth, E., Jr., Young, J. B., & Landsberg, L. (1986). Metabolic studies in human obesity during overnutrition and undernutrition: thermogenic and hormonal responses to norepinephrine. Metabolism, 35(2), 166-75.
  10. Kreitzman, S. N., Coxon, A. Y., & Szaz, K. F. (1992). Glycogen storage: illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 56(1), 292-293.
  11. Christmass, M. A., Dawson, B., Passeretto, P., & Arthur, P. G. (1999). A comparison of skeletal muscle oxygenation and fuel use in sustained continuous and intermittent exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 80(5), 423-35.
  12. Rossow, L. M., Fukuda, D. H., Fahs, C. A., Loenneke, J. P., & Stout, J. R. (2013). Natural bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery: a 12-month case study. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 8(5), 582-92.
  13. Kojima, S., Inoue, I., Hirata, Y., Saito, F., Yoshida, K., Abe, H., . . . Yoshima, H. (1987). Effects of changes in dietary sodium intake and saline infusion on plasma atrial natriuretic peptide in hypertensive patients. Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, 9(7), 1243-58.
  14. Luft, F. C., Rankin, L. I., Bloch, R., Willis, L. R., Fineberg, N. S., & Weinberger, M. H. (1983). The effects of rapid saline infusion on sodium excretion, renal function, and blood pressure at different sodium intakes in man. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2(4), 464-70.
  15. Fernández-Elías, V. E., Ortega, J. F., Nelson, R. K., & Mora-Rodriquez, R. (2015). Relationship between muscle water and glycogen recovery after prolonged exercise in the heat in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(9), 1919-26.
  16. Tiwari, S., Riazi, S., & Ecelbarger, C. A. (2007). Insulin’s impact on renal sodium transport and blood pressure in health, obesity, and diabetes. Renal Physiology – American Journal of Physiology, 293(4), 974-84.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas On A Budget

Breakfast has long been considered to be the most important meal of the day. While breakfast may be important, many people just take that to mean that as long as you’re eating breakfast; you’ll get in great shape.

Truthfully, breakfast can be very important but only if it provides you with the results you’re hoping for.

Additionally, healthy ingredients can often be quite expensive, which is a deal breaker for many. Fortunately, there are some great options out there for healthy breakfast options that don’t have to cost you a fortune.

In this article, I’ll touch on how to build the perfect breakfast, while doing it without breaking the bank.

The Importance Of Breakfast

The fact of the matter is, breakfast is really only important if it actually helps you achieve whichever goal you’re working towards. If you’re hoping to lose weight, breakfast will only be beneficial if it allows you to control calorie intake throughout the whole day.

Alternatively, if your goal is to pack on muscle mass, breakfast is important if it helps you successfully hit your calorie and macronutrient goals.

Realistically, breakfast is far more important than simply eating a meal. It’s an opportunity to consume the healthy nutrients you need for progress, while also giving you an opportunity to influence factors like hunger and muscle building.

Ingredients Matter

As I mentioned earlier, breakfast can be integral to your training and diet plan as long as it pushes you towards the goal you’re working towards. If you’re eating a subpar breakfast, then you’re just increasing calories, rather than either reducing calories for weight loss or stimulating muscle-building processes for muscle growth.

That’s why I suggest you have a breakfast that is high in protein, healthy fats and fiber.

Protein especially is the most important ingredient mentioned here. Unfortunately, the most common breakfasts often include ingredients like cereal or bagels, even though they don’t really provide benefit other than more calories.

Protein on the other hand first provides the amino acids that are need to actually build new muscle. Not to mention, protein has been shown to be somewhat appetite suppressing, since it’s difficult to digest (1, 2, 3).

Thus, by consuming large amounts of protein at breakfast, you can initiate muscle growth while also having better control over calorie intake the rest of the day.

Fiber, such as from oatmeal or vegetables is very beneficial for helping you moderate your intake of food. Fiber actually absorbs water once ingested, which forms a gel-like substance in the stomach and intestines.

When this occurs, the speed that nutrients travel through the digestive tract are slowed, meaning that you feel a bit less hungry and more able to control your appetite and cravings (4, 5).

Together, protein and fiber rich foods combine to make a muscle building meal that will help you stay on track without even trying.

Healthy, Cheap Breakfast Options

Just because you’re starting to eat better breakfasts for your health and physique doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank. Over the years, I’ve compiled some of my favorite breakfast ideas that often come in under $5.

Breakfast #1: The Omelet

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Whole Eggs
  2. ½ Cup Egg Whites
  3. ¼ Cup Shredded Cheese
  4. 4 Oz. Ground Turkey, Seasoned
  5. 1 Cup Broccoli
  6. 1 Cup Tomato

Totals:

  1. Calories: 533
  2. Fat: 27g
  3. Carbs: 14g
  4. Protein: 57g

Instructions:

  1. Heat skillet to medium temperature
  2. Brown/drain ground turkey
  3. Crack whole eggs, whisk with egg whites
  4. Cook eggs on skillet
  5. Add all ingredients to skillet, atop eggs
  6. Once complete, fold and enjoy after cooling.

While this breakfast option is extremely cheap (eggs are usually around $1 per dozen), it’s also a fantastic combination of protein, healthy fats and of course some fiber from the vegetables.

Truth be told, this sort of meal is acceptable at just about any time of the day.

Breakfast #2: The Casserole

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Cup Diced Ham
  2. ½ Cup Shredded Cheddar
  3. 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  4. ¼ Cup Crushed Saltines (around 6)
  5. 3 Links Breakfast Sausage

Totals:

  1. Calories: 802
  2. Fat: 42g
  3. Carbs: 27g
  4. Protein: 77g

Note: Can be multiple servings

Instructions:

  1. Cook Ham & Sausage. Chop
  2. In a bowl, mix shredded cheddar, eggs and yogurt
  3. Mix rest of ingredients
  4. Pour into baking pan
  5. Cook on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes
  6. Periodically insert toothpick. Once pick is removed clean, the casserole is done.
  7. Let cool and enjoy

One of my personal favorites, this ham, and sausage and egg casserole is a knockout of a recipe providing high amounts of protein and healthy fats. Fortunately, you’ll have to make a fairly large portion to get it right so you’ll at least have some leftovers for lunch!

Breakfast #3: Back to Basics

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Whole Eggs
  2. 2 Egg Whites
  3. 1 Slice Ezekiel Bread
  4. ½ Avocado
  5. ½ cup Greek Yogurt

Totals:

  1. Calories: 447
  2. Fat: 22g
  3. Carbs: 27g
  4. Protein: 40g

Instructions:

  1. Cook eggs and whites as desired
  2. Toast Ezekiel bread
  3. Spread Avocado onto Ezekiel bread
  4. Scoop Greek yogurt into side bowl or dish
  5. Enjoy

Over the years, I’ve found that sometimes, breakfast just needs to be simple and healthy. With a combination of amazing proteins from the eggs and Greek yogurt in addition to healthy fats and fiber from the avocado and Ezekiel bread, you can’t go wrong with this healthy and cheap option.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas On A Budget

Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day, but that’s really only true if consuming it actually helps you reach your goals.

If you’re dieting, a high protein diet can help you control your appetite and if you’re looking to pack on mass, it can act as an additional opportunity to increase precious protein.

Unfortunately, healthy food options can sometimes be expensive but it doesn’t need to be that way. With the healthy and cheap options I provided, you’ll be consuming an optimal breakfast each morning, for less than the price of your morning coffee.

References

  1. Tipton, K. D., Elliott, T. A., Cree, M. G., Wolf, S. E., Sanford, A. P., & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36, 2073-2081.
  2. Hulmi, J. J., Lockwood, C. M., & Stout, J. R. (2010). Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutrition & metabolism, 7(1), 51.
  3. Veldhorst, M., Smeets, A. J. P. G., Soenen, S., Hochstenbach-Waelen, A., Hursel, R., Diepvens, K., … & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008). Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 300-307.
  4. Cho, S. S., Case, I. L., & Nishi, S. (2009). Fiber and Satiety. Weight Control and Slimming Ingredients in Food Technology, 227.
  5. Lefranc-Millot, C., Macioce, V., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Lee, A. W., & Cho, S. S. (2012). Fiber and Satiety. Dietary Fiber and Health, 83.