It used to be accepted in the fitness world that brown rice was the healthier option and the best rice to include in your diet when body fat levels are a concern. But recently opinion has become divided as to which is the better choice, so it’s not surprising that one of the most common questions I am asked is:
“Is it better to include brown rice in my diet as opposed to white?”
But as you will see, perhaps the better question to ask would be:
“Is it better to include long grain rice in my diet as opposed to short grain?”
As I touched on with my previous article, there are many important factors to consider during a mass gaining phase that are often over-looked and a mass gaining phase is rarely given the same attention to detail that a trainee would give their pre-contest diet.
One thing in particular that is often overlooked during a mass gaining phase is the negative impact of a prolonged caloric surplus and increased amounts of carbohydrates. As you may know, during a dieting phase, metabolic and hormonal adaptations occur that negatively impact muscle mass and fat burning potential. These include a reduction in resting testosterone levels, a rise in cortisol levels and the metabolic rate begins to decrease.
We all know nutrition is the number one factor in fat loss or building muscle, yet it is still the biggest issue we have in achieving our goals. It's not that we don't want to achieve those goals, but more that we let ourselves get in our own way. So here are the tips I use to help my clients and myself achieve success.
Don't keep junk in the house: This has to be the number one rule to success. It's pretty simple, if there is not junk in the house then there is no way you can eat it.
Always wait 15 minutes after you eat before eating more:
Many cities across the country dispatch health inspectors to monitor the food safety of restaurants and eateries open to the public. In addition to providing these records online, cities like Washington, DC require restaurants to post their most recent health inspection grades prominently in the windows of their establishment. These grades serve notice to all, regarding the quality of that restaurants cleanliness.
So, what does this have to do with bodybuilding? A lot, actually...
Food prep continues to be a tedious process for me, despite the fact that it is a regular occurrence. I am sure many of you can relate to such woes and are searching for ways to cut prep time down so you can take care of more important things in life. Usually I roast sweet potatoes in the oven, but I was particularly unmotivated the other evening and decided to adopt a lazy approach while still using the delicious marinade I typically mix up. I use a heavy hand with the spices because I want that holiday flavor, so you might want to cut down the portion of spices if you want a more basic flavor.
Are you looking to slash some major fat or just wrap up a couple finishing touches? Either way, one or all of these three tips may contain the answer for which you have been looking.
1. REDUCE CALORIE CONSUMPTION. Unless you restrict calorie intake, you won't lose belly fat...
The United States of America has an obesity problem. Shocker, right? Clearly you weren’t surprised by this fact, but you might find it interesting to know that obese people may be addicted to food. That’s right, addicted to food.
Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss.
What’s the best post workout meal? Not Pop Tarts!
If you've read any of my other articles you've probably realized by now that I definitely take the "geeky" approach to training. In today’s article I want to explain the science behind post workout supplementation, its importance, and to examine some commonly practiced methods.
"Bro-Science" has come up with all sorts of crazy post workout methods. Some of the ones that I've heard of that don't make very much sense to me are chocolate milk, oats and whey, snickers bars and whey, donuts and milk, and what seems to be the most ridiculous to me is the infamous Pop Tart and whey. The Pop Tart method seems to be a mid-west thing. I've never heard of it in all my years in California, but it is routinely practiced here in the Mile High city.
So, if you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight. It’s simple isn’t it? You’ve worked out through a complex formula, a simple multiplication or perhaps even trial and error that you need to consume ‘x’ amount of calories to maintain your weight. These calories will come from protein and carbohydrates, each providing 4 calories per gram, and fats providing 9 calories per gram. So irrespective of the balance of these macronutrients, as long as the total number of calories consumed hits your maintenance level, you will maintain your weight. If it is below your maintenance level you will lose weight and if it is above it you will gain weight. Right? Well not exactly…
Want to hear a secret? Can you be trusted? No seriously, can you keep a secret? Ok, here goes. Grocery stores are a rip-off! Let me restate that. Grocery stores are a HUGE friggin’ rip-off.
Well maybe this isn’t a surprise to you but it certainly was to me after doing a little comparison shopping between my local grocer, a big box warehouse club and a “food service” store. I did my comparison shopping because I was spending money hand-over-fist to support my diet while shopping at a local grocery store. If your diet is anything like mine then you’re consuming “large” amounts of foods and can benefit from a couple of tips to save a few bucks.
Out of all the crazy diets there are these days, the “contest prep” diet is without a doubt the most restricted in terms of food selection. One thing I’ve never understood is why does it have to be so restricted? Does a smaller selection of foods equal better results or is it just plain torture given to the extremely dedicated by trainers passing down nutrition plans generation after generation?
As the 2013 season takes off in full force many competitors are focused predominantly on their pre-contest diets and show line-ups. With the focus and determination to bring the best physique to the stage many lose sight of the overall goal. I would hope, for the most part, the reason why we all compete is to live a healthier and happier lifestyle. As the season rolls on, many competitors diet for extended periods of time and hit the stage just to find themselves binge drinking and eating everything and anything in sight. In many instances, those who are done competing for the season often continue these habits throughout their “bulking stage.” Similarly, I see competitors who intend to compete in other upcoming shows participating in the same festivities. Although celebration is surely deserved, the time period following a competition is just as important as the weeks leading to the big day. This brings me to the concept of reverse dieting.
Time and time again that conversation seems to come up about how “eating healthy” cost so much and that’s why I can’t afford to “diet” or eat clean. Eating healthy does not have to break the bank if you follow a few simple rules. Yes that 99 cent burger or 4.99 value meal may sound intriguing but truth be told if done right, if you break it down dollar per dollar you could spend the exact or even less amount of money eating healthy as opposed to going out or eating fast food. Try a couple of these ideas and see for yourself.
If you haven’t already incorporated eggs into your regular meal plan, you should. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and also provide all eight essential amino acids which are necessary for optimal muscle gains. Eggs are also packed with the following nutrients:
Research consistently shows that nutritional logging is one of the best ways to take control of one’s body weight and body composition. As a personal trainer/Boot Camp instructor, I have seen first-hand that the clients who make the effort to log get the best results! I’ve personally kept a food log for many years and I have found that maintaining or cutting is much easier since the log allows me to analyze my nutritional intake and make specific adjustments accordingly.
Most of you have added cinnamon to your meal plans and know what a flavor boost it can provide to an often dull and monotonous regimen. Some of you also recognize the health benefits which cinnamon provides. This article is directed at individuals who are not aware of the powerful health benefits of this spice.
Being involved in the Fitness Industry has given me the pleasure of meeting some very educated professionals. I have used the techniques and methods they described to me over the years with great success. That being said, I wanted to share with you some of the amazing ways to minimize your Body Fat and encourage some stubborn fat to say “Good Bye!”
1-Sip Green Tea Before You Eat.
A hot cup of tea 20 minutes prior to a meal may help you eat fewer calories, as well as provide your body with ALA. ALA is an acid used to help you body produce energy with your food. Better yet, Chinese white tea actually reduces the growth of new fat in the body and breaks down fat in existing cells.
Fats: the good the bad and the down right ugly
How many times do you see people in the supermarket staring at food labels and get stuck when it come to the breakdown of fats? Help is at hand as I will explain what fats are good and bad for you.
There are four major types of fats:
- monounsaturated fats
- polyunsaturated fats
- saturated fats
- trans fats
A HEALTHY MEAL & NFL FOOTBALL
It’s a cold rainy winter day here in Hollywood. This is the time of year everyone starts seems to forget about eating clean. For whatever reason this is the time of year I tend to start clean it up and focus on getting a jump start on burning fat before the Yew Year.
Now just because I clean it up doesn’t mean it has to be bland. I like to enjoy my food so that means my healthy meal needs to taste amazing. Plus when I have a girl over they seem to appreciate a guy that can cook. (That’s a hint for all you guys serving plain chicken and brown rice to your girls)
So as I look around trying to come up with ideas of what I can make I happen to locate a crockpot hidden in the back of one of the cabinets. Sweet, that just made my life easier. All I have to do is throw everything in the crockpot and forget about it for hours.
In regards to active lifestyle nutrition, it’s important to eat not only for taste but more importantly for performance. As we condition and train to improve our bodies we should also be concerned about our overall mood and well-being. For many, working out is a “eustress” or positive response to stress and according to endocrinologist Hans Selye, “gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings.”
In today’s hectic and fast-pace society it’s easy to become overwhelmed by life events. While working out may have originated for some as a goal or path toward weight management; an added benefit comes from one’s ability to use exercise as a stress management tool. Some studies have shown exercise to reduce the amount of cortisol, a hormone that causes stress while increasing the amount of endorphins, your body’s natural mood-lifting hormone.
Furthermore, we’re familiar with the concept that food is fuel to our bodies, so why not give the body fuel that will improve our workouts and our mood, a true “win-win .“
When you are stepping on stage you will be somewhat dehydrated to show off that hard earned muscle; however, you shouldn’t live in a state of chronic dehydration. Do you know why it’s so important to be adequately hydrated at all other times? If you would like a greater understanding of the importance of hydration then read on.
Hydration is arguably the most critical factor not only for good health, but also in the development of athletic pursuits. Drinking water is particularly important for athletes because the nature of their activities lend to using up stores more quickly. For individuals participating in sports, careful monitoring of water intake to insure they are getting adequate amounts to stay hydrated is imperative...