Shred Zeppelin - Week 2
This week puts us into week 2 of Shreduary. Here at Coachman, most of our members and clients have decided to participate in a body fat loss challenge. We’re not really focusing on weight as much as just trying to drop percentage points of our body fat. Everyone is into it and working hard. It’s been fun to watch our members and clients show up day after day (when weather isn't holding them back) and pushing themselves harder than ever before. It’s common after a workout to hear “this was the hardest day yet!”. While all this is amazing and truly a ton of fun, I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors by not reminding all of us that “you can’t out train a bad diet”. I know that statement isn’t new or even all that profound. We all know it. But do we TRULY believe it? I am walking proof. About a year an a half ago I was working out hard 2-3 times a day 5-6 times a week. That obviously left me starving and unable to control what I ate. Who cares right? When you’re working out like that eat what you want! Guess what? I currently work out once a day 4-5 times a week and have a very disciplined diet and I am carrying around about 5-8lbs less fat! You can do the same thing, just don't be like the guy below!
I know one of the biggest problems with this is we’re simply not educated on what a “good” vs “bad” diet looks like. Marketing departments are catching on to the fact that the general public is becoming concerned with how terrible sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and vegetable oils can be for us. Those same companies are changing the names on packaging, hiding them in foods we never anticipated, and making us think we’re eating well with “healthy” looking labels. For example, I learned this week that most almonds, unless they are raw or labeled dry roasted, are deep fried in some type of vegetable or canola oil. However, those same exact almonds are typically advertised as a “heart healthy snack”!
With all these false marketing tricks and all the confusion around dieting and foods, how do we possibly eat right to optimize our training and actually burn fat?
I’m going to try to keep it simple and list out a few things that I do and specific foods I eat that help with fat loss!
1. EAT! Don’t drastically cut calories and think that will work. First, its not sustainable. Yes, you’ll get some pounds down quick, but it will back fire. Eventually, your body will freak out because its not getting enough food and it will store anything you eat instead of burn it efficiently. So, if you go crazy with cutting calories out just know you’ll have a really hard time ever adding them back in! Your metabolism will slow way down and speeding it back up is a up hill battle. Don't starve yourself, unless you have a plan of intermittent fasting!
2. PLAN! Have a plan for what you’re going to eat and when each day! If you get hungry outside of that plan drink a full glass of water, at least 8 oz. Then wait 10-15 minutes. If you're still hungry, then find a healthy snack. Chances are you're thirsty and don’t realize it. Meal planning is crucial in fat loss. If you don't have a plan, you will fail!
3. HYDRATE! With that in mind, drink a lot of water. 64oz really isn’t enough. I try to drink 100 to 120 ounces daily.
Next, I want to list out some of the top foods that help promote fat loss and how I incorporate them into my diet.
1. Eggs. Obviously a great source of protein. They will help you feel fuller longer and also get your metabolism going in the morning. I typically have 5 eggs each morning (after my fast is over). 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs. Each body type will respond to macros a little different. My body is best with a lower fat higher carb diet. So, I do egg whites to help keep my fat intake down. Also, eggs themselves aren’t necessarily some type of magic. It is when they replace a bowl of cereal, pancakes, buttery toast or eating nothing at all, that they become very beneficial.
2. Berries. My go to are blueberries. They are a great carbohydrate to take in, plus a great source of energy. They are also jam packed with fiber, which helps you feel more full. Blueberries are also said to fight cortisol levels. When cortisol (stress hormone) levels are high our body’s tend to hold onto more fat. So, not only do blueberries provide a great source of nutrients and energy, they’ll help fight that hormone that promotes fat storing.
3. Green veggies. Anything from leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, chard, broccoli, to green beans, etc. Not only are all of these really high in fiber, but they are high in vitamins and minerals. This will help keep energy levels up and keep you functioning at an optimal level. If you find it difficult to eat a ton of greens, then look into green drink mixes. I use amazing grass at the moment. However, there are others out there, like 1st Phorm's Opti Greens, which Brad has used and really liked (Click Here for Opti Greens). You have to be intentional about adding greens to your meals, even if you add a drink to your diet like the above. I throw a handful of spinach in my eggs every morning and have green beans or broccoli with dinner every night.
4. Nuts, nut butters and avocados. Keep fat in your diet. You need it! Just make sure it’s good fat. Most of my fat comes from nuts and avocados. Just pay attention to what you're buying. If there is anything other than the actual nut listed in the ingredients of your nut butter, then find a different one. If you’re buying trail mix or packaged whole nuts, check the ingredient label again. If they list oils they’ve probably been fried in that oil. Look for raw or dry roasted.
5. Spice it up! If you like spicy food, you're in luck! Cayenne pepper is great for speeding up the metabolism and helping your body torch unwanted fat. I love spice, so I put it on anything from my eggs, to chicken and even my sweet potatoes (trust me its delicious!). Black pepper is also known to help and if added to greens it will help your body better absorb the nutrients in those greens. Turmeric is another great spice. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and also known for helping boost your metabolism. Turmeric is easy to find and quickly becoming a more common ingredient. I cook with it frequently, but also love turmeric ginger or turmeric chai tea. Add some cayenne to the turmeric ginger tea and you have a spicy, fat burning beverage!
6. Lean protein. In order to rebuild muscle after a workout you have to get protein in your body. Building muscle is the best way to work on fat loss. Muscle requires more energy to function, so the more you have on your body the more you're constantly burning. However, you can't build more muscle without eating, specifically protein. So, get it in! But, again be educated. You don’t need a high calorie post workout shake (one that is over 250 calories and a ton of added sugar). Some times a post workout protein shake is good, depending on the time of day and what your plan is for eating that day. However, typically eating a meal within the next 1 to 2 hours that includes 20-30 grams of lean protein is completely okay.
To make it all even easier here are some links to my favorite products and recipes:
2. Turmeric Chai (I buy caffeine free): https://jahmu.com
3. FitAid/LifeAid. When I am in need, post workout, I usually have a FitAid. If I feel like I will be extremely sore the next day, I will have a LifeAid from the gym (has Turmeric/Cayenne Pepper). Both help aid in recovery and are very clean!
4. Muscle Recovery Tea by Yogi. Found in most grocery stores or click here for another option.
5. How to roast your own almonds (avoid the nasty vegetable oil fried ones!!) Spread on layer of almonds on a cookie sheet (I put parchment paper under mine), place in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Mix around a bit and add sea salt if desired, place back for 5 to 10 minutes depending on desired texture (5 minutes was right for me!).
6. Fresh ground nut butters: These can be found at Horrocks and Fresh Thyme here in Grand Rapids. However, its sometimes cheaper to buy the nuts and just grind them up yourself in a food processor. Don’t add any oil, the nuts all have enough already. Just keep grinding until it turns to nut butter
7. Protein powders. We currently sell Thorne's Whey at the gym and I’m impressed by the product. It is also pretty clean. At home I use Vega vanilla for baking. I don’t love the flavor when just mixed with water for a shake, but it works when I bake.
Please remember every person has a different body type. Every body type responds to diet in a completely different way. So, if you’re having a difficult time sorting out what is best for you, please reach out to me here. I don’t have ALL the answers, but I have resources and steps you can take that will assist you in figuring out what is right for your body!