We Catch What We Watch – Food tracking that isn’t insane

We catch what we watch… plain and simple.

There are about a bazillion food tracking apps for that very reason… because in THEORY monitoring your meals makes food management easier.

If done correctly food tracking brings self awareness, knowledge, accountability, and reduces analysis paralysis about what to eat later in the day.

Those are all HUGE wins in weight loss…

However, more often than not…

food tracking drives people absolutely NUTS!!!!

In coaching hundreds of men and women through weight loss, the biggest mistake I observe is people treating tracking as an “all or nothing” endeavor.

  •  If they don’t have the time to track every single morsel of food, in the exact brand, in exact quantities consumed then they feel defeated or torment themselves with their data’s “inaccuracy.”

 

In essence, their good intentions make food awareness an UNSUSTAINABLE behavior so it never becomes habit and they can’t reap the benefits of learning about our food habits.

So, what I want to do today is show you a few tricks on how to track, not obsesses… how to monitor… not micromanage.

I want to show you how the “every day active person” should track so that you stop thinking you have to track w/ the meticulous nature of a food competitor.  There is a middle ground!!

Continue reading “We Catch What We Watch – Food tracking that isn’t insane”

How to make a protein bomb sandwich

I’m a huge fan of making a protein bomb sandwich several times a week cause cooking isn’t my thing.  I go through phases where I can enjoy the kitchen but more often than not, I’m looking for ways to stay the hell out of it.

#ProteinBomb Sandwiches are one of the ways I survive a busy week or weekend, cause it’s easy, portable, and protein packed which means it’s going to keep my physique goals consistent.

I’ll be sending out my favorite 4 recipes to my newsletter (SweatUnfiltered) tomorrow so if you want them make sure to click here:  

With that said, the whole idea behind this post is to make you less dependent on a set recipe and more in tune with the framework or formula so you are better able to satisfy the particular flavors you are wanting on any given day.

I can constantly come up with new protein bomb sandwiches because I never limit myself to a recipe… I’m working w/ a formula…

 here’s the #proteinbomb formula:

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Continue reading “How to make a protein bomb sandwich”

I feel fat

I think it’s fairly safe to say that no one would gasp in offense if they heard you or me say in public, “I feel fat.”

We’ve sort of conditioned ourselves to let that phrase be or go even if it, at worst, is a bit awkward to hear in real conversation.

Once upon a time phrases like, “that’s gay” and “you’re retarded” didn’t carry any importance either until someone spoke up and asked,

“What the hell does that mean any way?”

And then when you try to explain it you realize, OMG using the term “that’s gay” to mean that doesn’t make any sense or that’s stupid is brutally repulsive.

The same goes for “you’re retarded.”

Go ahead.

Explain it.

Find a synonymous phrase and then it hits you… that’s not okay to say.

My daughter is almost 6 and has no concept that there’s a “feeling” called fat.  She could eat a bag of chips and NOT FEEL A DAMN THING… except full or lethargic… but fat?… no… she’s not going to feel fat because FAT ISN’T A FEELING!

Continue reading “I feel fat”

Canned green beans and french fries…the advice fit pros forget about

Can we just go back to making reality Instagram-able, Snap Chat-able, and Facebook-able again???

Honestly, I believe the fitness industry has hit a point where it’s got to become much more transparent to actually be of any help to people.

There is POWER IN THE ORDINARY and we’ve got to get back to those basics!!!!

Simplicity creates focus.

Focus creates consistency.

And

Consistency is king of results!!!!!

Continue reading “Canned green beans and french fries…the advice fit pros forget about”

No… maybe you shouldn’t drink a post workout shake!!!!

Very interesting to me when isolated and random conversations amongst people who don’t really know each other have one common theme.

This week it was PROTEIN POWDERS.

What do I buy, where do I buy it, when do I use it etc.

I spoke with women who honestly were using protein powder post workout b/c they felt OBLIGATED and this feeling of “have to” was actually leading to some bigger problems later in the day.

Continue reading “No… maybe you shouldn’t drink a post workout shake!!!!”

Prohibition starts on MONDAY!!! You in?

So I’m not a fan of anything that is elimination centered… EXCEPT UNDER ONE CIRCUMSTANCE…ENDING A HABIT LOOP that is hurting rather than helping your goals.

Yesterday I had two closely related conversations post class w/ two different friends… (I love our conversations post class!!!!)

  •  The first, in the morning, from someone asking for help to stop a habit that was causing weight gain.  She knew what she had to do but, we know, goals are met with action.  She was looking for something in particular to catapult her into #GSD mode.
  • The second, in the evening, with someone simply mentioning how much less she had been eating since she got their dog two weeks ago.  She acknowledged she were busier but she was perplexed by her sudden reduction in hunger.  She was eating less without trying and without deprivation.

Had she found The Holy Grail of Fat Loss?

Must we all purchase a puppy in order to get our hands on it?

Of course not!  What we have here is a real life classic case of BROKEN HABIT loops!!

The dog had literally JOLTED her out of cues and routines which revolved around food rewards.  Her daily routines have been completely turned around.  She’s waking up earlier, she’s coming home for lunch, she’s taking a walk before dinner.  Her focus when she arrives and leaves is no longer the “perceived” hunger/cravings of habit loops.  Her dog is now what CUES her behavior patterns!

Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, is THE RESOURCE for this btw.  His book is not food centered but very applicable here none the less.  Awesome read!!

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So…what is one to do if we are caught up in habit loops and buying a puppy is not in our future?

We band together and bring back our Prohibition Challenge!

Here’s how it works:

  1.  Pick one habit that seems to have you “in chains.”  You do it almost mindlessly.  You know it’s not great for you.  You know it goes contrary to what you should be doing?  You know you would be better off either without it or greatly reduced.  This habit may have started out with great intentions…

Like that small glass of wine you used to have that now has turned into 2 giant glasses before bed 

or

Like that tablespoon of peanut butter you ate to hit the spot that has somehow turned to 4 because cue, routine, reward to the max ???

or 

Like that Thursday night pizza slice that has turned into an evening of binge eating and drinking?  (Not naming any names here, totally random example, promise.)

2.  Commit to eliminating it from Feb. 22nd- Thursday March 18th.

3. If you are a member of Sweat, you are required to put yourself on the line and:

  1.  Put your name on the board
  2. Write down what you are giving up

4.  On Sundays blog, I’ll talk to you guys about REPLACING your “drug” your habit to keep you consistent and successful and so you are using will power in good ways vs. bad.  For now, all you need to do is dig deep, commit, and get your friends and family on board so you can all break out of those habit loops that are holding your progress back.

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The Misuse of Will Power: A Case for Fruit Loops

I have a problem with the belief that we must eat perfectly to get results quickly.

It’s 100% erroneous.

The amount of attempts at “perfect dieting” in someone’s lifetime justifies the huge frustration people undergo every January with resolutions and every March with what I call “Spring Break Fear!”

These are traditionally times of the year where people condone the use of extreme and metabolically damaging fat loss techniques in the name of results.

We learn and become very astute at MISUSING OUR WILL POWER.

I don’t have an issue with SOME will power being used with food.  There are actually some real healthy techniques we’ll be digging deep into with the Spring Break Fear group in March, but the idea that when you raid your pantry for goodies that the problem lies in your lack of will power is hugely misinformed.

For many men and women, when they gorge, when they have that “cookie monster” binge, it’s oftentimes because they have misused their will power earlier in the day or week and have entered a more “primal” state of mind where will power doesn’t even exist.  Only self preservation lies.

  • We work on learning from binges… not shaming ourselves in them.

In others words, once you understand you gorged because of deprivation, not because of a character flaw, you become much less of a self bully and more of a detective.  You are less likely to live in that miserable food guilt, and empower yourself with the knowledge to reduce and even eliminate that behavior.  That’s FOREVER fat loss!

  • We work in REVERSE from the binge to explore things like…

a.  when the urge for sugar or fat initially began.

b.  if the urge is a result of too few calories all together or too little sugar, protein, or fat earlier in the day.

c.  if the urge is a result of too much exercise or simply added intensity.

  • Based on what we find, then we come up with SOLUTIONS.

First evidence, then protocol…NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

The long lost step in getting your food problems taken care of…

You don’t decide on your next step until you’ve gathered your facts!

So, if we come to learn that your “perfect” diet results in a binge 3 times a week, we need to step away from that “all or nothing” mental block and be open to adding STRATEGIC IMPERFECTIONS throughout the week so that 3,500 calories off binges in a week stop effecting your kick ass workouts.

There lies my case for the damn FRUIT LOOPS!

Sometimes you just shouldn’t have the Instragram #foodporn braggable post-workout meal with organic blueberries and farm raised eggs and gluten free bread.

Sometimes you gotta quiet the beast.

You gotta kill the craving BEFORE it turns into a caloric monster!!!

Eat the 300 calorie bowl of fruit loops if it means you won’t binge tonight!  Eat the 300 calorie bag of skittles if it means you won’t eat the entire row of Oreos tonight.

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STOP MISUSING WILL POWER!

Last I checked 300 calories is still way less than 1200.  When you realize that your pursuit of perfect is actually earning you an extra 900 calories that night… you’ll stop feeling validated by perfect, cut yourself a little slack,  and make the RIGHT decisions for yourself guilt free.   Sometimes that bowl of Fruit Loops is a real WIN… not a nutritional failure!

So, if this sounds like exactly the type of tools you need to get personally coached through then I want you to click to join the wait list now.  (There is no obligation to invest but if you want the early deets and discounted rate it’s really the only way).  I’ve listed a few details on Sweat’s Private Training page on our website too.

I cannot wait to completely transform your March and your journey into a productive, results driven, mind altering month!!!

Spring Break Fear (2)

See you in March for some amazing coaching and transformation

How to eat out and not blow your goals!

The idea that in order to eat well, you have to stay at home and cook everything is not only ridiculous but unrealistic.   And while you can certainly have your favorite restaurants to frequent, we aren’t always in full control of what restaurants are picked.

So instead of another “fear the food” or “top 10 blah-blah-blah” list, let’s work through the process of how to THINK through a menu so you can make the BEST choices for yourself and your goals.

Thinking Through the Menu:

  • Step 1:  Where’s the protein?

Totally cool paying $15 for a green salad, BUT ONLY if you pack it with 4-6 oz of meat.

When you look at a menu, I want you to scan it first for the dishes that come packed with tons of protein that is not fried.

Question, how much they are serving you if it’s not already on the menu.

Protein is a no-brainer in terms of filling you up, keeping you lean, and fueling your body.

  • Step 2:  Balance SATISFACTION AND NUTRITION

Enjoying your food and being nourished are NOT mutually exclusive concepts.

You should be cheating, a little bit, EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY!  Remember:  Expectations of perfection create binge behavior.  Therefore, you are to purposefully and mindfully allow for fun cheats that bring SATISFACTION to your meals DAILY.

Once, you scan the menu and know which items come packed with that protein punch, narrow things down by their level of satisfaction.  Don’t automatically order a salad simply because it’s a salad and some fitness magazine told you it has magical super powers.

Look for fats or carbs that will hit the spot.  Look for your ability to customize and have things on the side or added or taken away depending on what your palette might be needing that day.

For example, I’m never wowed by dried fruit and croutons on a salad.  I’d much rather a small slice of bread or half of a potato for my carbs.  Therefore, my best choice may be a grilled chicken sandwich where I can eat as much or as little of the bread as I want or a small steak and a potato.

This is NOT a statement that MY CHOICE is YOUR BEST CHOICE.   What satisfies you may NOT satisfy me and that’s totally cool.  You eat those croutons and dried fruit proudly if that’s what’s going to keep you loving your salads!!  #LOVEYOURFOOD

  • Step 3:  Acknowledge what your body uses for fuel too!!

I do not metabolize fat well.  I store it.  Therefore, a strict “paleo” mindset is to my detriment.  However, other’s work completely the opposite from me.  While I burn carbs off with no problem, others will store them easily.

I have to worry more than some other people how lean a meat is or how much butter or oil the restaurant uses to cook their food.  Gravies and heavy sauces are usually out of the questions for me, unless it’s a re-feed day and you can read about that in Step 4.  Luckily, I don’t like those things anyway…satisfaction zero.

Other’s can bypass worrying about fats but need to decide if wine or a small potato will be their carb for the meal.  Sugar in their dressings or sauces may be something that help further eliminate things off a menu.

Know, respect, and work with your metabolic formula!!!  It makes a huge difference in results.

  • Step 4:  Is it a re-feed meal?

If the answer is yes...forget everything...ENJOY whatever!

To understand that statement you have to know the difference between a binge, a cheat, and a re-feed.

Here’s are the definitions I gave my Sweat Unfiltered group earlier this year.  (If you love this sort of help click the link and join to get more high quality education on mindset, food, and exercise.)

“A binge is an all out non-stop continuous meal of either healthy or unhealthy foods.  It’s oftentimes provoked by stress or consuming too few calories prior to the binge.  While one is on a binge, there is very little care as to what one is eating and how much but is then followed by tremendous amounts of guilt.  Think cookie monster behavior.

Binges are bad.

Cheats are good!

Cheats are a FAT LOSS TOOL!  They prevent binges by taking the edge off of cravings so that you don’t ever feel deprived and lose control….a glass of wine at night, 1-2 square of dark chocolate, some extra bacon on your salad etc.  Cheats may veer you off slightly in terms of macros or calories but you are looking at the big picture here- not bingeing.

ReFeeds are amazing…

…mentally and physically!  Once every 7-10 days, you need to step away from your macros, your calories, your goals and just enjoy whatever…. but to get the most muscle building gains from them you need to adhere to the following…

1.  from first bite to end bite your refeed is no more than 2 hours long (and can be less, obviously!)

2.  have one hell of a workout/lifting session planned the next day.   Kill that workout and move ‘dem doughnuts and pizza slices to those biceps and glutes!!!  LOL!!

Because of that you can see why ReFeeds work best when they are fairly well planned out.  Your refeeds keep you mentally and physically “juiced” up!!”

So if you are wondering what you are going to do for special ocassions like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary… you already know the answer.  You plan a damn re-feed and have an appetizer and a bottle of wine and whatever delicious thing you want out of the menu AND eat the most decadent dessert your feel like.  Then get a killer workout the next morning!!

Deadlift day baby!!
Deadlift day baby!!

No brainer!!!  No guilt!!!

Four simple concepts that make restaurant eating much less stressful for anyone trying to maintain or gain physique changes.  It’s not about a “good or bad” list, it’s not about a super foods or processed foods, it’s about narrowing choices based on your goals, your personal tastes, and your metabolism.

Most of all guys I want you to start QUESTIONING all of those Best and Worst top 10 lists and FEAR THE FOOD posts out there!

If you read them, ask yourself…  Is that true for everyone?  Could this be different for me?  Does this make sense for me today, right now?  Can I tweak this a little bit to make it worthwhile?

BE A THINKER.  NOT A MINDLESS FOLLOWER OF INFORMATION.

SWEAT FITNESS STUDIO

THINK.  TRAIN.  LIVE.  DIFFERENTLY.

Portable, Practical, Higher Protein Mix and Match Snacks

I’ve been getting tons of questions about snacks lately so I wanted to start off your week with a simple way to automate your snack time decision making.  Yes… I said “automate”… in other words let’s IMPLEMENT a process that will require virtually NO THINKING from you.

You are busy enough as it is and work out too hard to go long hours without nourishment!

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Before we go into things though, you have to recognize that, possibly, snack time is a particularly hard time for you to manage because those in between meal hours carry some real social baggage.

For example, it is totally normal to sit down, break out a plate, fork, and maybe even a knife at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that alone makes our protein choices (critical in fat loss) much greater.  Snack time…is a whole different ball game!!!

  •  We are usually multi-tasking like crazy at snack hours! Finishing emails, projects, picking up the kids etc.  Time never seems to be on our side here.
  • Snack hours are also prime time meeting and appointment hours!!  Who wants to break out a tuna packet then?  Time for boiled eggs?? Nope!

Being unprepared and fasting for too many hours is the #1 reason many folks binge at night.  For lasting fat loss, we have to eliminate that!

So here’s is my Snack Time Mix and Match Process.

  1.  Take into serious consideration your work and life schedule between the hours of 10-2 and 3-5?  Based on that…
  2. Pick/Buy at least one item from each of the 3 categories below that would allow you to eat freely based on the social guidelines that surround you.

Carb:         Rice cake                 Apple, berries, 1/2 banana                     3oz Sweet Potato                   Nut thins                            Wasa Crackers

Protein:   Protein Powder      4-5oz meat or deli meat                         Cottage Cheese                      Fage Greek Yogurt             Turkey Jerky          Smoked Salmon

Fat:             TB Nut butter         Avocado                                                   Cheese                                    Coconut Oil                          Nuts mix

When buying snack foods, I always opt for convenience rather than deals.  Remember, you are paying slightly more for convenience, portability, and automation!!!!  That’s huge in terms of helping you stay consistent.  Totally worth the pennies guys!!

That means yogurts, nut butters, nuts, cottage cheese, and avocado all get bought in individual packets whenever possible.


 

I’ve got a  10a.m. or 3 pm meeting every Tuesday?  How do I prepare for that?  

Carb:  apple     Protein:  Powder     Fat:  nut mix

Saturday errands around town?  Starving in car line? Pack a spoon and…

Carb:  1/2 banana      Protein:  Cottage Cheese     Fat:  Nuts

Over scheduled on Thursdays so what can I prep and eat in 5 minutes!  

Carb:  Rice cake     Protein:  Deli Meat/smoked salmon       Fat:  Avocado


 

I hope this helps!  Please remember that through your super hectic life it is more important for you to nourish yourself than for you to dismiss a meal.  It matters in terms of fat loss, but it’s just as important for your moods, productivity, and efficiency in your work and family life!

Be good to your body!

Remember, that although I give a ton of FREE content away on this blog, I actually get even deeper with my inner circle, Sweat Unfiltered.  Join FREE.  I email, once a week.

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