The 10 BEST Fat-Loss Tips (That Work!)

1) Liquid Calories

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Liquid calories are THE SNEAKIEST calories that we consume daily.... and the worst part is they don't even make you full!  Sodas, Juices, Energy Drinks, Coffee... all often have nearly 5 DAYS worth of sugar.  That sugar spikes your insulin levels, which increases blood sugar, which decreases insulin sensitivity, and makes you gain weight... fast.  Aside from protein shakes, liquid calories are the kryptonite of fat loss.  Pay attention to the calories you drink, read labels before you buy... and hydrate yourself the right way, with lots and lots of water.

2)  NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

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One of the most effective ways to increase your caloric expenditure is through NEAT... or the calories you burn OUTSIDE of your workouts.  Fat-loss is won or lost on NEAT.  Someone who has a strenuous job but only finds the time to work out 1-2 times/week is going to have a much easier time maintaining a healthy weight than the person who works out 5 days per week, yet sits at a desk job for 10 hours each day.  If that sounds like you, find ways to increase your NEAT daily.  Get a stand-up desk, take breaks every 30 minutes, take the long way walking to your car... it all adds up!

3)  Sleep

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This one I can't stress enough.  We are consistently overworked and under-rested, and it directly impacts your waistline.  A lack of sleep (either 1 night or cumulative) wreaks havoc on your immune system, hormones (the ones that store fat and build muscle), and cravings.  Study after study show that a lack of sleep directly influences the calories you eat the next day... for the worse.  Of course this is easier said than done, but try to set yourself a consistent bedtime.  Make sure your bed is ONLY for sleeping in (no TV, or eating dinner), and please, spend the extra dough on a nice mattress and pillows... you spend roughly a third of your life there!

4) Plan Ahead

You've all heard the saying... "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  This couldn't be more true in fat-loss.  I'm going to break it to you nicely... losing fat takes effort.  I know it isn't ground-breaking information, but most people fail because they didn't give an ounce of thought to what they were going to eat.  The SIMPLEST way to do this is take a look at your week.  Circle any dinners and/or travel plans.  These are by far the things that sabotage your fat-loss.  If you are eating out for dinner, and you want to enjoy it, all you have to do is dial your portions back a little during the day, and make sure you get a little workout/activity in.  Scope out the menu beforehand and make your healthy meal choice (and stick to it!)... and voila!  You've now earned a few extra calories at dinner.  If you are travelling, bring some protein-rich snacks with you, and avoid temptation at the airport.

5)  Hydrate

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The single most effective thing you can do today to feel better tomorrow, is hydrate yourself!  Virtually all of our body's functions, directly or indirectly, relies on water.  Carry a large water bottle with you wherever you go.  Drink it first thing in the morning.  Drink it with meals.  Drink it with protein shakes....Drink it even when you're NOT thirsty!  Drink water, lose weight - guaranteed.  It IS that simple.

6)  Shop Smart

We are lucky enough to live in an era where almost every food has a "healthier" version of it... but it can be tricky finding it.  If you identify something that you know is "bad" for you, make a little effort to look at the items around it on the shelf at the store... odds are it's there.  From low-calorie sauces/dressings, to low-carb tortillas.. all can be used to save calories.  There are tons of food swaps out there, you just have to look!  Also, make it a point to shop around the PERIMETER of the grocery store.  That is where you'll find the freshest, low-preservative foods.  And never shop hungry - don't rely on "willpower" to not eat the Oreo's in your cupboard... rely on not having them in the cupboard to begin with!

7)  Eat Your Veggies

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No matter what "diet" you choose, virtually ALL of them are rich with veggies.  Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and fiber, will keep you full, and also improve gut health.  A little amount of veggies carries a lot of volume, indirectly helping you eat less of other, more calorically-dense foods.  Try to get in as much green leafy veggies as you can each day.  If you don't eat any, start small.  Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Spinach or any mixed salad are all great places to start.  Experiment with them, find the way that YOU like to eat them, and do it!

8)  BLT's (Bites, Licks, and Tastes)

Most of us don't realize how much we snack throughout the day.  At the office, at home, our kid's food... a bite here and a bite there REALLY adds up.  Be aware of your BLT's... they can add a lot of calories but don't impact your hunger enough to influence the rest of your day.  Reduce your BLT's, and watch your waistline shrink!

9)  Alcohol

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I love a great martini here and there, and you can too!  It's not so much the alcohol that makes you gain weight, it's everything that goes WITH drinking the alcohol.  Remember the BLT's?  Yeah, those go here.  Alcohol lowers your blood sugar, making you crave foods... these food cravings lead to poor and often late-night food binges, which leads to a lack of sleep, which leads to hungover... and finally you miss your workout the NEXT day because of it.  It's one giant snowball that's wrecking your progress.  If alcohol DOESN'T have any of those effects on you, great!  Just be aware of the calories in having multiple drinks.  Just 1 bottle of wine each week is worth about 10lbs of weight gain in a year, cocktails can contain loads of sugar, and there are a lot of beers that are certainly going to give you the extra poundage you don't want!

10)  Weight-Training

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There are many forms of exercise out there, and I will rarely steer someone away from what they like to do, because, at least it's exercise.  But if you really want results... I mean REALLY want to improve your health, longevity, and remain pain-free throughout your life, you NEED resistance training.  And no, you don't have to become a "bodybuilder" to gain the benefits of resistance training.  You don't have to get fancy with it either - A simple program of 3 days/week can be very effective at improving your health.  Resistance training builds strong bones, increases muscle mass (which we lose as we age), improves hormone profiles and strengthens our immune system.  It reduces pain from overuse and wear-and-tear, released "feel-good" endorphins, and hey, you even start to look better naked, how 'bout that?!

What's Next?

Are you a beginner who is nervous about the "big gyms?"  Have you hit a plateau in your results that you just can't break?  Or are you an elite athlete looking to step it up to the next level?  Whatever your current situation is, I can help. 

Will YOU be my next success story?  Just tap the link below to schedule a 100% completely FREE health consultation and training session at my private gym in Newport Beach.  In this transformation session I'll give you my 10 pt. Health Checklist, My Advanced Fat-Loss material, a full training session designed specifically for your goals, as well as my professional recommendation for your plan moving forward, no strings attached!

TAP HERE TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE TRANSFORMATION SESSION!

Which Rep Range Is Best For Bodybuilding?

One of the most researched subjects since the inception of exercise science, is which rep ranges promote optimal muscle growth.  Now depending on the rep range that you choose, or rather, become fatigued/fail in, will in turn elicit a corresponding muscular adaptation.  Traditionally, lower reps and higher weight, produce more Power and Strength.  Higher reps and lower weight, produce more hypertrophy (size) and muscular endurance.  

To take it one step further, much of the research points to Total Volume (reps X sets) or Tonnage (reps X sets X weight) in being a key factor in muscle growth.  Beginners, however, due to the lack of neural development, need slightly more repetition (practice) to become proficient before these principles become “the rule.”  An illustration of the optimal training rep ranges for a particular adaptation is here:

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As whole body movements/exercises are concerned, mainly in the realm of athletic performance, this formula still holds very true…. but of course, sometimes you must reach outside the box to see what’s out there…

As a whole body, average people are made up of about 50% Fast Twitch and 50% Slow Twitch muscle fibers (a small percentage are interchangable with training, but is negligible in this discussion).  Fast Twitch muscle fibers are big, strong, and fast (duh) – and likewise, respond best to exercises that are heavy and/or fast.  Slow Twitch fibers are smaller, weaker, and are much more fatigue-resistant – and likewise, respond best to exercises that are lighter and longer in duration.  All muscles contain both, however some muscle groups are built for speed and power, and others for posture, support, and stabilization over long periods.

Recent research, however, has began to examine the fiber type distribution of individual muscle groups, in effort to give better insight as to how to train individual muscle groups for maximal engagement as it pertains to bodybuilding.  The theory is that certain muscle groups that are “more fast twitch” should be trained heavy and/or fast, and muscle groups that are “more slow twitch” should be trained with higher reps.  Essentially, you’re training a muscle group according to it’s fiber type predominance, or simply, what it’s best at.

A Review article published by Strength and Conditioning Research, aimed to categorize particular muscle groups and identify the predominant fibers in such muscles.  A summary of their findings is illustrated below, and highlight the rep ranges which may serve an individual muscle best:

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As hypertrophy of any muscle isn’t significant until > 5 reps, anything lower is omitted from this table. What you may notice is that a few, large muscle groups, tend to be very versatile and can grow and build strength from a wide variety of rep ranges (quads, glutes, chest, back).  Smaller muscle groups, however, tend to serve a much more specific purpose, be it strength, or endurance.  It does not mean that you never venture out of these rep ranges for a particular muscle group, however this is where you should tend to spend the most time during training.  Likewise, many core exercises (squats, bench press, etc.) utilize multiple muscle groups, which makes the application of this information less valid, and the first table should always be referenced first.  However for accessory work, it may be worth stepping into these rep ranges on a more consistent basis for optimal performance,

The Diet That Works For ANYONE (Including You)

Nutrition has come a very long way since the classic “food pyramid.”  We have learned more about how our bodies (and minds) can process, react, and partition foods and in what ratios are considered “optimal” for any goal.  But in doing so we have created diets that cover every end of the spectrum but yet somehow "dieting" has turned into a psychological anomaly of willpower that only few possess.  We exclude “bad” foods only to grow to love them more.  The more we try to eat less the more we crave to eat more.  We compare ourselves to people we cannot relate to and assume they must know the “secrets” only known by the elite.  We force ourselves to be strict for short periods of time only to self-destruct down the road.  Why is it so hard?!

Simple.

 You gotta find the sweet spot...

You gotta find the sweet spot...

Reason #1 – When you’re “on” a diet, eventually you will be “off” a diet.  Sure, I could get more specific than this, but we have to crawl before we can walk, ok?  We continue to refer to eating healthy as “diets” rather than just plain simple, nutrition.  In fact, the best diet has no name.  So stop telling yourself you are on a diet.  You are on a nutrition plan.  Nutrition plans are positive, diets are negative… already sounds better, doesn’t it?

Reason #2 – Your diet is too specific, and impossible to stick to for an extended period of time.  This causes yo-yo-ing , starvation, bingeing, guilt, depression…then you “start a new diet” and the cycle continues.  Never satisfied, always looking for the “perfect” diet (what exactly to eat and how much)…I’m here to tell you there is no such thing. The “perfect” diet is a diet that you can adhere to for your ENTIRE LIFE that combines moderation of food groups combined in a way that is efficient for your body as well as your mind.

 Pretty much how it goes...

Pretty much how it goes...

Reason #3 – You waste too much energy researching/debating/arguing over magic cave beans, “toxins and “chemicals” that we forget where 99% of the results are –portion control and nutrient dense foods.  Yes it is that simple, but until you get these basics down it doesn’t matter if you’re alkaline, wheatless, caveman, or whatever.  Nothing matters without the foundation.

So What's The Answer?

I created this cheat sheet to let you know what the “pros” are doing.  You will never be “on” this plan or “off” this plan.  You will probably never complete every single one of these every day, but a nutrition plan is not binary, you don’t get either an “A” or an “F” at the end of the day. These tips are designed for EVERYONE regardless of your goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in weight-loss, weight-gain, athlete, non-athlete, male, female, whatever…

· NEVER EXCLUDE BUT ALWAYS ACCOUNT -  There are no “good” and “bad” foods, only foods that should be earned more than others. At the end of the day, calories matter.  Nothing is "off-limits," but everything comes at a price.

· EAT BREAKFAST - Protein and Fats are ideal, you will be satiated longer and won’t crash at noon.  So unless you are trying Intermittent Fasting, eat breakfast.

· PREPARE your meals at home.

· WATER is the number 1 thing you can drink today, to feel better tomorrow.

· CARBS must be earned.  Earn them by resistance training at least 3x/week.

· CARB TIMING - Majority of carb intake is best around your workout, and the remainder later in the day/dinner.

· # OF MEALS doesn’t matter, however regular meals will avoid extreme hunger, which controls insulin, which controls binge eating.  

· Post-Workout/Dinner/Night carbs – quinoa, long grain rice, potatoes, oats, or black beans

· PROTEIN with every meal (.8-1g/lb of body weight/day)

· LEARN TO LOVE colorful/green veggies (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, bell peppers, carrots, kale, brussel sprouts) (1lb/day men, .5lb/day women)

· FAT is essential and should be rich in Omega 3’s – Grass-fed beef, Fish, Avocado, Flax/Chia Seeds, nuts/seeds (5-10g of Fish Oil /day)

· NO FRUIT JUICE OR SODA - (fresh squeezed or not, diet or regular)

· DAIRY is limited to Greek yogurt (plain), cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese

· FRUITS – dark berries, bananas and apples. Awesome workout foods.

That’s IT.  Nothing fancy about it.  Just some loose guidelines on what and when.  If you cannot perform the tasks outlined on this list, there’s no reason to worry about the finite details.  Portion control and Nutrient-dense foods will take you as far as you need to go.

 

Dear Fitness Industry, Stop Scamming People

I want all of you to know that this is not to meant to de-value any one training style, or to ruffle the feathers of such fitness professionals, for some it’s not you’re fault….as the saying goes “if you can’t beat em, join em,” and if there is a demand there will always be someone to fill it (especially if it sells).  But just when I think we’ve exhausted the stupidity of training modalities, the internet proves me wrong and the cycle of bullshit workouts grows larger and larger.  I’m not coming from a position of “hating,” “jealousy,” or “envy.”  It’s not that they’re “successful” and i’m “not”…. It’s that thousands and thousands of people are getting misled and taken advantage of in the process.  I just truly believe I have the education, experience, and I give a damn enough about you to expose a major flaw in the industry.  A flow chart below will illustrate my thoughts:

 The "muscle confusion" continuum

The "muscle confusion" continuum

The longer I’ve been in the fitness industry, the more I hate the fitness industry.  The “top” influencers right now are not good trainers nor coaches, they’re just good marketers, that’s it.

Let me explain.  I love FITNESS, but I hate the INDUSTRY.  The fakes, facades, the fads, the gurus, the marketing, the scams, the novelties, the buzzwords, the cliche’s, the pornification, the god damn skinny tea…. All try to make the consumer believe that working out is everything it’s not (great results that are easy AND fun!)  So, in a sense, bad good marketing has created a demand that simply does not exist.  The GOOD side of the industry feels forced to adapt or they lose clients to Funzo Spin or “the so-and-so method“, and the DARK side can use it as a low bar to enter the industry (you don’t have to be smart to make a workout fun).  Both cases promise “insert exaggerated number of calories in an unusually low amount of time to reach unrealistic goal here.  The end result usually being poorly structured, poorly coached, unsafe, laser-light-rave-circus-shitshow of sweaty bodies flopping around doing random “stuff” designed to distract them with just enough bells and whistles that they don’t realize how much the workout is an uneducated grab bag of garbage set to loud music…or in other words, a totally fun workout that’s getting them nowhere.  “Innovation,” is a word they use to describe “bullshit they just made up.”

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But Kurt, at least they’re doing something.

OK, i get that…If it’s fun then they will want to come back/buy again/follow, like & share, etc.  Well no shit.  After all, even if they don’t get results, at least they had fun doing it, or you got a couple new shares/likes.  Who cares if it’s not quality training if it’s a really fun way to workout, right?  Then once the novelty finally does wear off, they just go searching for something “more fun, more novelty.”  It’s a vicious cycle.

For example, I came across a program recently that shall remain nameless. The creator has over a million followers and the workout is probably popular. The “novelty” is combining two popular training modalities, Pilates & High Intensity Interval Training. Let me put this as nicely as possible – Fuck this program and the person who is making money off of the poor souls who buy it. Why? Because you’re scamming people. You may not even know you’re scamming people because you’re too stupid to realize those two modalities should never be used in the same sentence, but you’re scamming people.  Not to mention the “before-and-afters” are altered… but “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION HER HARD WORK IN MY PROGRAM.”

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But listen to this… i’m about to blow your mind here.  You know what’s more fun than a fun workout? A workout that WORKS.  Trust me, the people you probably consider fit, don’t always love, or have fun during the workout… but they are addicted to the results, and THAT is what is FUN.  The ULTIMATE HIGH is located in the feeling you have when you get into your short-shorts at the beach, or do your first pull-up, or get a compliment from your gym-crush.  Do you think Michael Jordan will remember the thousands of hours practicing free-throws, or the 6 championships, 6 Finals MVP’s, and 5 League MVP’s?  Seeing results, even from a “not-so-fun” workout program, is INCREDIBLY FUN.  It is more fun than any fun you will ever have from a fun workout, I promise you that.

Now this is not to say that a workout CAN’T be fun, it certainly can.  And a workout doesn’t have to be miserable either, but there’s a give and take.  There’s no shame in trying to make an effective workout fun, but I see too many fitness fads banking on “fun” at the expense of “effectiveness.”  They create a gauntlet of complex/random/fancy movements that have no rhyme or reason other than to be “fun and sweaty.”   It’s great to have a fun workout, but the second you prioritize “fun” over physiological principles such as specificity, overload, progression, and energy systems, you are missing the trolley.

My point is that in the effort to “Make Exercise Fun Again” we’ve sacrificed the very thing that the consumer (should) want/s – to get results, whatever that may be.

Essentially, the industry wants your MONEY more than they want your RESULTS.  It’s sad, and I don’t want to be a part of it.

So here are my suggestions, for the consumers who may feel lost, the trainer who feels obligated to “innovate.” and the Industry.

Consumers:

If you can filter out the noise of colorful leggings, empty promises, and novelty workouts, there’s a lot of great coaches/programs out there that can really help you if you just drop the notion that every workout has to be “a magical journey from beginning to end.”  And if you NEED rainbows/lasers/unicorns to get you off the couch, you need to change your mindset.

Trainers:

Stop trying to learn ways to make a workout fun.  Learn ways to make it more effective (while keeping it fun).

And as for you, Fitness Industry:

Stop misleading people.

Stop scamming people.

It's not that hard.