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There's this interesting trend I noticed where people don't want to admit that their primary driver for fat loss is to look good.  Here are the most common answers I receive to the question "why do you want to lose weight?"  1) to be healthier, 2) to get in shape, and 3) to feel better.  When digging deeper, these vague answers tend to be a cover up for some aesthetic motivation.  It's as if we are embarrassed to show any level of vanity.  If you are 30 pounds overweight and not happy with the way you look, what's wrong with saying that you want to look lean and ripped?  If that's what will keep you motivated throughout your journey, have at it.

It's OK to be vain.

Seriously, who doesn't want to look good naked?  I have no shame in admitting that I love having shredded abs, big shoulders, and bicep veins.  That's not the only reason I am dedicated to health and fitness but it's definitely a big factor.  

The only caveat here is setting the MOTIVATION to to look good.  If it is for yourself, i.e. feeling comfortable wearing a bikini to the beach for the first time, that is fine.  If you are thinking that all of your current problems will go away if you are skinny, a rude awakening is around the corner.  Stressors/life problems tend to be underlying issues that aren't related to our physiques.  I can tell you that whether I am 205 lbs and fluffy or 180 lbs and shredded, I still have the same problems.  People don't like me more when my abs are popping and the stress of hitting a sales goal at work doesn't get any easier when I am lean.

Embrace the idea of wanting an incredible physique, just don't do it for the wrong reasons!

 
 
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The other day, I was thinking- "how much time do I actually spend in my car commuting/driving for work?"  In a normal week I am on the road 4 days with an average of 4 hours/day spent driving.  I'm sure there are millions of people out there with a similar setup.  

Let's do a little math to see what this equates to:

4 hours/day  x  4 days/week  =  16 hours/week

16 hours/week  /  40 hours/week  =  40% of work week

16 hours/week  x  50 weeks  =  800 hours/year

800 hours/year  /  24 hours  =  33 days/year

33 days  /  365 days  =  9% of year


Are you kidding me bro?  40% of my work week, 1+ month per year, and 9% of my total year a.k.a. my life is spent driving for work?  Holy shit, I better find a way to use that time wisely.  About a year ago, that's just what I decided to do.  Prior to that, my daily commute was a complete waste of time.  I'd make a few calls for work but spend hours on end listening to nothing but sports radio.  Finally, I hit a boiling point.  I actually started disliking sports, which I love, because I was immersed in it 24/7.  Too much of anything is going to reach a point of diminishing returns no matter what that is.  That combined with feeling unproductive for such a large part of the day prompted a change.  

While I know there are many things you can do in the car (listening to music, thinking, etc.), I am going to focus on my routine to maximize a commute.  It breaks down into two parts which are 1) business/personal phone calls and 2) learning/growth.

Business and personal phone calls
Since you can't email while driving (seriously, don't do this.  I had some close calls which forced me to stop), make outbound calls that are going to help your business.  I write down a minimum of 5 names to call on a sticky note and put it right on my dashboard. 

Personal calls is something I admittedly am still working on improving.  Just pick one friend or family member to call a day.  That's not a lot to commit to.

Learning/Growth
Back when I reached my sports radio boiling point, I decided that I wanted to start using my car time to learn as much as possible.  For me, this takes the form of audio books and podcasts.  I have to say this has changed my life.  This blog wouldn't exist without the motivation I received from the many hours of podcasts listened to.  I break down my audiobooks/podcasts into categories and cycle them.  I can't stress how important variety is.  You are not going to grow as a person by just listening to what you are most interested in all the time.  This was very hard for me at first.  All I wanted to listen to was health and fitness podcasts.  However, I have learned the most from recordings that I had no previous interest in or much knowledge on.  Makes sense right? 

I have also found that while driving, we have this unique ability to completely focus and absorb info like a sponge.  I've tried listening podcasts while working, doing chores, etc. and it's just not the same as being in the car.

Here's what my audio book/podcast rotation looks like:

News/Economics
I typically listen to the Sunday 60 Minutes on my Monday AM commute.  Freakanomics Radio is pretty awesome as well

Health and Fitness
My favorites here are The Road to Ripped Podcast (Greg O'Gallagher), Barbell Shrugged, Ben Coomber Radio, and New York Muscle Radio

Personal Development/Business
The Tim Ferriss Show, The School of Greatness (Lewis Howes), Ted Talks, and The Power of Now audiobook (Eckhart Tolle)

Something New
Each week, I'll browse the top podcast charts and pick something new that I have never listened to.  Right now it's Hardcore History by Dan Carlin


Just like with trying to change the way you eat or work out, going from 0 to 100 is not going to be sustainable.  If you are currently 100% music in the car but want to take steps to start maximizing your commute, try one podcast and one phone call a week and slowly increase from there. 

I hope this gave you a fresh perspective on how to start making your commute more productive!

 
 
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I don't know about you, but one of the worst feelings in the world is being hungry.  The reality is that hunger is going to be there from time to time, especially if you are in a calorie deficit trying to lose body fat.  Fear not, I have collected a few hacks to blunt hunger when it strikes!  

First, a quick note on psychological hunger (mental) vs. physiological hunger (physical).  Mental hunger is simply the desire to eat food out of habit or craving.  Physical hunger is going to rear it's ugly head in the form of stomach emptiness, hunger pangs, feelings of weakness, etc.  Listen to your body - if the hunger you are experiencing is deep physical hunger, then eat some damn food!  Otherwise, for mental hunger or minor physical hunger, think about using some of the below tips.

#1- Black Coffee
Black coffee is an amazing drink with one of it's main benefits being a big time appetite suppressant.  I have found that no trick can blunt hunger nearly as well as coffee can.  However, for best results, it should be consumed black and on it's own.  Some Splenda or low calorie creamers are fine, but once you start adding excess calories in or pairing with a muffin or donut, it's potency will decrease exponentially. 

Try using coffee strategically for when you get hungry (for most it's that 9-11am window while at work) instead of drinking coffee just to drink coffee.  You'll be amazed at how quickly and for how long it blunts hunger.  For afternoon hunger issues, stick with decaf.

#2- Sparkling Water/Diet Soda
I use coffee as my main tool but when that's not available, sparkling water or diet soda do a great job.  Don't worry, a diet soda here and there is not going to have a negative impact on your health.

#3- Water
Sometimes, the hunger you are feeling is not hunger at all.  You may just be thirsty!  Hunger and thirst can have similar symptoms.  Throw back some high quality H20.

#4- Eat less frequent, larger meals
I know bros will read this and curse me for putting down their 6 meals a day routine.  While that may work for some, the majority will not succeed on this approach.  It may sound counterintuitive but eating can lead to more hunger.  If you are eating several small meals comprised of 200-300 calories, satiety (feeling full) will never set in.  That is just not enough food to fill you up.  I ate this way for several years and sometimes I would eat a small meal and would literally be hungrier afterwards!

I suggest eating 2-3 times per day, depending on your lifestyle.  What sounds better- eating 1,800 calories in six meals (300 calories/meal) and being hungry all day and night vs. 1,800 calories in 2 large meals with a snack (a 200 calorie snack with 2 large 800 calorie meals)?  Those dense meals are going to be way more satisfying.

For more content like this, follow @theshreddedsalesman on Instagram!

 
 
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Ahh, tis' the season to be bulking.  In this article I am going to discuss what bulking is, the problems with it in the fitness industry, and finally how to set up a productive bulk phase.

If you know a bro who is bulking, please, share this with them- it just may save their life. 

What bulking is commonly known as

A period of time, usually stretching from early fall to early spring, where bros all across the world gorge on as much food as they can possibly handle in order to get the ever elusive gainz.  A substantial amount of fat will be put on in the process, but it's OK because "gainz bro".  Being in a caloric surplus is mandatory for muscle gain just as a caloric deficit is mandatory for fat loss.  The guideline most commonly used is to gain one pound per week while bulking.  Bulking was popularized by "enhanced" bodybuilders who took the weight gain to the extreme during the off season.  Come cut time, the "enhancements" allowed them to shed all of the excess body fat very easily while maintaining all of the muscle they gained.  Hence the phrase "you gotta eat big to get big" was born.  Even I have drank the Kool Aid before, as recently as last year, packing on 25 pounds while bulking.


Why the mainstream bulking concept is flawed

First off, there is a whole binge eating/eating disorder aspect to bulking that everyone seems to ignore but I'm not getting into that here.

My main focus is on muscle to fat ratio in a bulk, as there is a cap to how much muscle we can gain if not "enhanced."  If you are on the sauce, feel free to stop reading here as none of this applies to you.  If you are all natty, our potential muscle gains are depressing after the newbie gains we get during the first year of weight training.  Here's an overview from Lyle McDonald's website, www.bodyrecomposition.com (if you are unfamiliar with Lyle, check out his site. It's awesome).  The majority of experts out there have very similar numbers to his.

Years of Proper Training           Max Muscle Gain/Year 
  • 1                                            20-25 lbs (2 lbs/month)
  • 2                                            10-12 lbs (1 lbs/month)
  • 3                                            5-6 lbs (.5 lbs/month)
  • 4+                                          2-3 lbs (.25 lbs/month)

If you've been lifting for 4+ years, 2-3 pounds of muscle gain/year MAX (.25 lbs/month) is all you can expect.  And this is if you are doing EVERYTHING right (being in a calorie surplus year round, progressively overloading in your weight training, sleeping 8+ hours, etc.).  While it's depressing to see numbers that small, you have to just accept the facts and plan how to maximize it.

Most people who are reading this are most likely in that 3+ years of training category.  Knowing that the MAXIMUM amount of muscle you can gain is .25-.5 lbs/month, why would you want to gain 1 lbs/week during a bulk?  That would be 4 lbs/month of which .5 is muscle and 3.5 is fat (see the problem?).  Let's play this out over a full bulking cycle from September-February and assume that you are hitting muscle growth of .5/lbs month.

5 month bulking phase @ +1 lbs/week
  • Total weight gained:     20 lbs
  • Total muscle gained:    2.5 lbs
  • Total fat gained:            17.5 lbs
  • % gained from fat:        88%

Yup, that innocent little 1 lbs/week gain just made your cut months longer.  And for what, a barely noticeable amount of muscle?  Again, 2.5 pounds of muscle would be BEST CASE SCENARIO and is most likely less.  As you get fatter, insulin sensitivity drops meaning that nutrients aren't being shuttled into muscles as efficiently as they were when you were leaner.  This equates to less muscle growth.  So once you hit that 15-17% body fat mark, it's likely that any weight gain is going to be fat.

That 17.5 pounds of fat is going to be a pain in the ass to cut off to get you ready for that big Memorial Day weekend party.  At 1 lbs/week fat loss (safe and healthy pace for fat loss) you are looking at 4.5 months of cutting.  Yeah, that doesn't get you ready in time to play shirtless beer pong at that party.  So, you decide to get more aggressive and lose 2 lbs/week.  Similar to how we can only gain so much muscle in a week, we can only lose so much fat in a week as well.  Once you hit that 2 lbs/week mark, chances are you are tapping into muscle as well to burn as energy.  So as sad as it sounds, you may actually lose most, if not all, of that 2.5 lbs of muscle and be exactly where you were when the bulk started.

Here's an idea- don't get so fat during the bulk.  I know it's fun to eat entire pizzas and thousands of calories in a sitting but there's a better way to gain muscle while keeping the fat gains to a minimum.  


How to set up a proper bulk

How do I know if I should bulk?
If your body fat percentage is currently 15% or higher, you should not be bulking.  Cut down to ~10% body fat and then bulk.  To test body fat you can buy a body fat caliper or literally just google "body fat percentage" and there will be picture charts of people at different body fat percentages.  This should give you a rough idea of where you are at.  Also, it should go without saying that you shouldn't be bulking if not lifting weights.  Your muscles need a stimulus to grow (resistance training) so without that stimulus any weight gain will just be fat.

How much should I gain per week?
Beginners (no weight training experience): Gain 1 lbs/week
This is the only category of lifters that I would recommend gaining 1 lbs/week.  The newbie gains only come once so you should be maximizing that potential and thinking long term, not about short term fat gain.

Everyone else (1+ years weight training experience): Gain .5 lbs/week
Yes this will still come with some fat gain but instead of putting on 17.5 lbs of fat from the above example it would be 9 lbs instead.  That can be taken care of in a 6 week cut.  .5 lbs/week will promote muscle gain while keeping fat to a minimum.

How much food should I be eating?
This comes down to calories.  First step is finding your maintenance calories (amount of calories where your weight holds steady for 2 weeks).  This is going to be different for everyone but a good starting point is to take your body weight and multiply it by 14.  So, for a 180lb dude that would be ~2,500 calories.  If you lose weight at this intake, add 100 calories/week until your weight holds steady.  If you gain weight at this intake, subtract 100 calories/week until your weight holds steady.  It's important to chill out at maintenance for a few weeks because that's where your body is most comfortable and will allow all of your hormones to stabilize before entering into an extended caloric surplus.  Make sure that you are getting 1 gram per pound of body weight in protein (180g if you weigh 180 lbs) or roughly 30% of your calories.  The remaining calories can come from carbs and fats.

After 2 weeks of being at maintenance, simply add in 100 calories/week until you start gaining .5 lbs/week.  You will hit weight gain plateaus as your body adapts to the new calorie intake.  If your weight holds steady for a week straight (plateau), bump your calories up another 100/week until you start gaining .5 lbs/week again.
 
How long should I bulk for?
Everyone is going to have different goals but I would gain until the earlier of:

A) The date you want to begin your cut 
                    OR
B) When you hit 15-17% body fat

Point B is very important.  As discussed earlier, higher body fat percentages are associated with lower insulin sensitivity which is going to blunt your muscle gains.  Also, body fat ranges above 15-17% means a long cut to lose the added weight.


Remember, there is a way to make your bulk productive by keeping fat gain to a minimum while adding lean muscle.  I hope you found this helpful and remember to share with a bro who is bulking- it just may save their life!

 
 
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90's kids- do you remember the life/health meter on the screen in games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter?  Every time your fighter took a punch or roundhouse kick to the head your health meter would reduce.  Once down to 0% it was game over.  Well this is kind of how our willpower works.  Every decision and thought we have throughout the day gradually reduces our Willpower Meter until it is down to nothing.  How you decide to order your coffee at Dunkin Donuts, the 3 meetings you have during the day, the talk you have with your kid about misbehaving all contribute to reducing your Willpower Meter.  By the time 7pm rolls around, how much mental capacity and willpower do you realistically have left to eat a salad instead of ordering pizza?  Most of us overeat at night more than any other time during the day because that's when our Willpower Meter is lowest.  It’s cruel how our willpower is lowest when our cravings are highest but there are ways around it.

How to hack the Willpower Meter

Hack #1: Automation
Automate or pre-plan as much as possible so you aren't making as many decisions during the day. Examples would be eating the same breakfast, not checking email until a designated time (I usually wait until 9-10a), or going to the gym at the same time every day.  Decisions on auto pilot become habits therefore do not get factored into your Willpower Meter.  Bringing it back around to eating, more willpower left in the bank at night will make good food choices easier.

Hack# 2: Saving calories for later in the day (Calorie Backloading and Intermittent Fasting)
This entails eating most of your calories later in the day while eating smaller meals or no meals earlier in the day. It's easier to make good food choices earlier in the day when your Willpower Meter is highest. Going to use myself as an example to illustrate why saving calories is a good idea.  Towards the end of my most recent fat loss phase I was consuming ~2,000 calories daily, which is not a ton of food for someone my size.  If I ate 6 equal meals throughout the day starting in the early morning, that would equate to 333 calories per meal.  That is absolutely miserable as I would never get that satisfied or full feeling.  I'd also most likely be going to bed hungry which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  This is not sustainable and would eventually lead to giving in and overeating.

How do you make it work then?  

Well first off, don't eat 6 meals and save your largest meals for later in the day (Calorie Backloading).  By lowering your number of meals in the 2-4 range, you are allotted much more calories per feeding.  If you eat 4 meals per day it can look something like this- 200 calories before the gym in AM, 300 calories after the gym in AM, 600 calories at lunch, and 900 calories at dinner/snack time.  Or, you can even skip breakfast entirely and wait to have your first meal at lunch time (aka Intermittent Fasting, I use this approach on my off days).  This opens up the door for epic, gigantic meals!

These bigger meals in the afternoon/night hours are so satisfying that you won't even feel like you're dieting.  By having less meals thus larger calorie meals, you are able to fit in higher calorie foods you crave that wouldn't work if eating a lot of food earlier in the day or eating every few hours.  An example would be a piece of cheesecake or a slice of pizza (both are roughly 400-500 calories) as a snack after dinner. A great approach if you have a stressful job and know you will struggle with willpower in the nighttime hours.  Willpower hacked.

This approach also works very well if you are socially active as most events like happy hour, dinner, or parties occur at night.  Imagine going out for dinner and drinks knowing you only had 200 calories left for the day.  That is going to be a terrible experience, you might as well not even go.  Instead, save your calories so you can enjoy yourself!  Side note- don't worry about eating late at night.  That's a complete BS myth that has been scientifically debunked several times.  All that matters is your total calories for the day.  

I've taken many steps to automate as much as possible in both my professional and personal life. For the Calorie Backloading/Intermittent Fasting piece, it's one part working around willpower later in the day and one part that most people are hungriest at night. Personally, I have no problems eating small meals early in the day knowing there is a large meal I love waiting for me at night.  It's kind of like a reward for a productive and successful day. 

The moral of the story is by saving calories for later in the day you won't have to demonstrate much willpower at night when it is the lowest, while at the same time enjoying your favorite foods.  Don't fight willpower, hack it!

If you need some help figuring out your specific calorie and macronutrient breakdown, shoot me an email.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram @theshreddedsalesman

 
 
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Part 2 of a two part series.  Part 1 was posted last week if you missed it!


Now that we got the general recommendations out of the way in Part 1, let's dive into specifics on where and how to work out while traveling. While there are several ways people exercise, I am going to break this down into a few categories for simplicity purposes.    



  • Runners: You know what to do.  Running is running, so just do it outdoors if you have the opportunity.  I've noticed a lot of areas now have running routes/paths near big hotel areas which is pretty cool. If you don't use the app Strava to track your runs, check it out.  There are usually built into "challenges" that others have done in your area that are fun to try and compete against.

  • Just trying to stay in shape peeps: Run outside/on the hotel treadmill or do some High Intensity Interval Training (google HIIT workouts or hotel workouts and you will find hundreds).  It doesn't have to be overly complicated- body weight workouts that include pushups, air squats, and burpees is fine. You can even run through a circuit of lifting weights at the hotel gym although they will be fairly light weights.  Whatever you do, push yourself and get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes.  

  • Crossfitters: One of the coolest things about Crossfit is that no matter where you go, a "box" is probably within 15 minutes.  Typically, they will allow for drop ins for $20.  I used to do this all the time when I dabbled in Crossfit.  Warning- CF boxes are hit or miss on coaching quality and programming.  After googling what boxes are close to you (literally type crossfit and the town you are staying in), research their websites and facebook/instagram pages and find one that you like.

  • Weightlifters/Powerlifters/Bros: I'm just going to assume right off the bat that a hotel gym isn't going to cut it (although I was just at Aria in Vegas and their gym was better than the gym I go to everyday at home, so you may luck out).  Although, check ahead of time as I've seen some hotels have dumbbells up to 100 lbs along with all the machines you are used to at your hometown gym.  Luckily, if your hotel gym sucks there are a lot of solutions.  First, call your hotel ahead of time to see if they have any partnerships set up with any local gyms.  In a recent trip to Tampa, my hotel had free weekly passes to a Golds Gym right around the corner.  That is the bro jackpot right thur'.  Here's what I typically end up doing on these trips- go to www.Gymvisit.com and do a search for the city you are staying in.  This site is awesome.  A full listing of every gym with a review of each pops up.  I even found a great gym in Rome a few months ago through Gymvisit.com.  What you want to really be checking for is the equipment and whether or not they allow drop ins.  If you really can't find anything or are in a remote area, go to a Crossfit gym and tell them you are doing your own workout.  At the very least, they have barbells so you can deadlift/bench/squat (which you should probably be doing anyway).  Just don't start doing bicep curls with the barbell or you will get a kipping pull up to the face by an avid Crossfitter.  No gym or Crossfit gym in your area?  Make do with what you can in the hotel gym.  If the dumbbells are light just make up the volume by doing a high amount of reps until you get that same fatigue from heavier weights.  

  • Not planning to workout crowd:  I go this route from time to time.  I will plan my lifting rest days to land on days I am away which may mean taking less rest in the preceding week to get the same workout volume in.  Back in my bro science days (aka not knowing what the F I was doing), I thought taking more than 3 days off from lifting weights would burn all my muscle away.  It takes way longer than that for muscle to break down, so don't stress about losing your gains.  Remember, try to get some level of activity in even if you don't plan on working out like usual.  Go for a walk/jog outside of your hotel or run on the treadmill.  Again, even though you are taking days off think about active recovery and burning a few cals for the nighttime feast/all of the sitting you will probably be doing.  If you truly do not want to do ANYTHING exercise related, that's fine.  In this situation, I'd turn the attention to your sleep and focus on maybe getting a few extra hours in that you don't get at home.  A massage is always a plus if you have time/money for it.

Remember- set a goal for your exercise and hold yourself accountable.  Plan your workout times, routines, and where you will be working out ahead of time.  Follow these rules and you won't skip a beat while traveling!

Instagram: @theshreddedsalesman

 
 
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This is going to be a two part series.  I split it up due to word count and the average attention span of most people being 4 seconds.  Part 1 gives some general guidelines and Part 2 gets into the weeds of where and how to workout while traveling. 

I get asked this question frequently and am actually traveling for business this week so thought I'd address working out while on the road.  Many people, myself included, struggle to stay on track with their exercise or training while heading out of town on business.  The advice here really applies to anyone traveling away from home, not just those leaving for business.  I used to dread these corporate get aways as all I could think of was losing my momentum with my diet and working out.  Now, I come back home from trips weighing the same or sometimes even a few pounds lighter.  With a few minutes of planning, you can make it work for you too! 

First, decide what your workout goal is for your upcoming trip ahead of time.  You can do this at home or even in the airport while waiting for your plane.  Maybe you've been hitting the weights really hard and need a deload week so this is the perfect opportunity to chill out.  Maybe you are training for a marathon and 5 days off from training is not an option.  Define a goal, write it down, and hold yourself as accountable as you are for the business part of your trip.  Next, figure out HOW you are going to workout.  Hotel gym?  Outdoor workout?  Regular Gym?  

General tips:
  • Exercise in the morning.  While on a business trip, your schedule is probably packed from early morning to late afternoon or night.  You are probably also tired from travel so once 5pm rolls around, the last thing on your mind is exercise.  Dinners/cocktail hours are probably also involved so once alcohol comes into play, working out is out of play.  While waking up early while traveling is tough, you'll be surprised at how much even 20 minutes of high intensity activity will help get rid of jet lag, a foggy mind, or a vodka club hangover.
  • Arrive at your destination early. This has more of a psychological benefit than anything else, but getting in early and hitting an intense workout with no time restrictions feels great.  I find this to really set a positive tone for the trip.  If you fall off track during the remainder of the trip, at least you hit it hard one of the days!
  • Get outdoors.  If you're going to be stuck in a windowless conference room for 12 hours of corporate speak, why not get some fresh air before the lock down begins?
  • Any movement is good movement.  Even if you plan on taking a break from working out while away, I still suggest doing some sort of physical activity.  Let's be honest- while everyone has the best intentions, eating habits slip on trips so getting a calorie burn earlier in the day will help limit some of the damage from that 38 oz. rib eye and gallon of Fish Face IPA at dinner.  I am the most disciplined person you will meet when it comes to staying on track with food but for some reason when I travel, my will power stays at home in NJ.  For this reason, I make sure to workout.  Trust me, you will feel much better about yourself if you do.

Part 2: Where and how to work out:  Coming next week!


Instagram: @theshreddedsalesman

 
 
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The Shredded Salesman's Secret to Fat Loss is that......there is no secret to fat loss.  It’s fairly well known what causes us to lose fat- energy balance in the body or in layman's terms Calories In vs. Calories Out.  

Our bodies' energy source comes from the calories that are in the food and drink we consume.  Take in fewer calories than your body requires for energy and you will lose weight (calorie deficit).  Take in more calories than your body requires for energy and you will gain weight (calorie surplus).  It's that simple. This is fact and really cannot be disputed.  Eating #paleo will not help you lose fat if it isn't combined with a calorie deficit.  Note- for optimal body composition (building and holding onto muscle), macronutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat) need to be set as well.  However, if your goal is solely to lose weight you don't have to focus on anything other than calories.
 
If it's so simple to lose weight then why is the majority of the U.S. population overweight?

Regarding nutrition, there are two main culprits:

 #1- We overeat relative to the amount of calories our bodies require
Most people have no clue about the basic nutritional profile (calories) of the food they are consuming therefore they overeat and enter into a calorie surplus.  Let's use me as an example.  I more or less maintain my weight around 3,000 calories.  If I take in 3,500 calories daily, I will put on body fat.  And it doesn't matter if the 3,500 calories comes from grilled chicken and vegetables or from chicken fingers and fries.  A calorie surplus will result in weight gain no matter the food choice.  "Eating healthy" does not make you exempt from this. Conversely, if I took in 2,500 calories, that would result in a calorie deficit and fat loss would follow.  Again, it’s as simple as that.

 #2- We can't stick to a long term plan
Most people have no problem losing weight in the short term but rarely keep it off for good.  I believe lack of compliance long term is due to the extreme nature of the diets people try.  Yes, you may have lost a lot of weight on a low carb/no carb diet but can you really go your whole life not eating carbs?  Is that really sustainable?  If your answer is yes you are just being hardheaded and naive.  Any diet built around restriction (severely restricting caloric intake or restricting certain types of foods or macronutrients) is not a long term solution.  It's sad to see someone who worked so hard to lose 20 pounds end up gaining the weight back and then some, but that's what happens with an unsustainable approach.  Keep this in mind before committing to the new flavor of the month diet- the more extreme it sounds, the more extreme the rebound will be when the diet ends.

Bringing it back to the main theme, Calories In vs. Calories Out is king.  It doesn't matter whether you eat Paleo, Low Carb, Vegan, Clean, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Organic, Intermittent Fast, etc.- none of these strategies will help you lose fat if you are not in a calorie deficit.  Start thinking about food in terms of overall calories instead of focusing on the types of food you eat/don't eat and I promise the results will follow.  My body completely changed when I shifted my focus from "eating healthy" to tracking caloric intake.  Whether you choose to track calories or not, your body is doing it and will never stop doing it.

If you want some help figuring out the caloric intake that is right for you, shoot me an email and I can get you started. 

Also, follow me on Instagram (@theshreddedsalesman) as I frequently post tips that don't make it into the blog!

 

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