Start Here – Fat Loss
Most people end up at our blog looking for a way to reshape their bodies forever without going on a “diet” that just takes all of their favorite foods away, makes their lives more complicated and – worst of all – doesn’t offer sustainable results. They want to lose fat for good – not just for next month, or next year, but for life – and they know that that’s exactly what we accomplish with our clients.
First things first, there are a few basics you need to understand that a lot of other folks may have mislead you on or flat out ignored. I’ll keep this as simple as possible so you don’t get too much info right out of the gate.
- Energy balance controls weight loss/gain. No matter what, every successful fat loss diet follows the same principles – they all manipulate energy intake and output to create a mild Calorie deficit.
- You can’t diet all the time. Spending too much time dieting – avoiding certain foods, certain macronutrients, and constantly undereating – will ruin your relationship with food and make it impossible for you to keep off the fat you lose. There has to be a maintenance strategy.
- You MUST take a gradual approach and be conservative. To lose fat you need to create a Calorie deficit but going to extremes is never the answer. You should start off with a smaller reduction in Calories and experiment with cycling Calories over the course of days and weeks.
- Exercise to get better – NOT to burn Calories. Performance has to be a driver. While increasing your activity levels will burn more energy, using exercise as a way to burn Calories is kind of missing the point. You should exercise to improve your athleticism and health, NOT for the Calorie burn.
Keep those rules in mind and you’ll be on your way to a leaner version of yourself in no time.
Start Here – Paleo
Paleo has become one the most popular ways to eat over the past few years, and it’s garnered its fair share of criticism as a fad diet of sorts. We don’t believe the Paleo movement is a fad at all – we look at it as one of the best approaches you can take. Eating real food is a no brainer!
That said, the Paleo diet has evolved over the years – especially in regards to athletes – but not everyone has caught up. The framework remains the same, but some important modifications need to be made for active people.
These changes include:
- Eating more starches.
- Paying more attention to Calories.
- Identifying potentially useful “non-Paleo” foods.
We believe you can continue to eat Paleo, improve your performance, and improve your body composition if you keep an open mind and do what’s right for you, even if it goes against the standard list of foods. Hopefully you’ll agree and you’ll find the information we’ve put together useful!
Start Here – Exercise/Training
Most people aren’t contemplating become athletes when they start getting into fitness – they’re trying to improve their health and look better – but many of us become addicted to the progress and wind up quite intensely devoted to our new lifestyle!
As we develop into athletes and make performance a priority, “working out” becomes training and things get pretty complicated. There are skills to develop, energy systems to train, and PRs to conquer. There’s so much to learn, and it’s easy to fall into a rut but we’ve been there and we’ve worked with a wide array of talented people who know a thing or two about organizing training, improving technique, and getting the most out of a dedication to getting leaner, stronger, and faster.
A few key points to remember:
- Work within your abilities and focus on incremental improvements.
- Expand your training.
- Make rest a priority.
To the right you’ll find articles on various training subjects, along with some tutorials, and some insight into styles of exercise you might be neglecting. Have fun reading!
Start Here – Basic Nutrition
This ever-expanding section includes links to articles about topics that come up in almost 100% of our conversations with new members. Along the way, these are a few of the key points we want to drive home:
- Nutrition requirements are largely individual. We each live different lives, different activity levels, different goals, different preferences in food, and some of us simply cannot eat certain foods because we’re allergic to them…How could there possibly be a single best diet or plan? Truthfully, while there are some basic tenets that you want to abide by, there’s a tremendous amount of trial and error involved when coming up with an approach and that’s OK. It’s all part of the journey.
- Moderation is key – don’t go to extremes. Part of figuring out what works best for you means starting from a baseline and making modifications. You don’t need to drop all your carbs, you don’t need to start avoiding all the food you’ve been eating your entire life. Most of the time you’ll find that the middle path is the most manageable, and thus the most successful way to go. Small modifications to your diet can make huge differences in the long run – huge modifications can put you in a hole and set you back.
- There are no big mistakes. Eating healthy, losing fat, improving your performance…These are not goals you accomplish in a week. The sum is more important than the parts. In other words, that cookie you want to eat that isn’t part of your diet is perfectly fine to have as long as you don’t go overboard. In fact, denying yourself foods you want to eat puts you in a predicament where you’re probably going to eat that particular food anyway, feel guilty, and give up on your goal. Don’t do that to yourself – eat food, don’t let food eat you!
- Supplements are OK! That is, IF you use them correctly. Obviously you should get most of your nutrition from foods, and the same rules that apply to food food choices apply to supplements. If you don’t like it, if it makes you sick, or it doesn’t fit into your goals, then it’s not for you. Most people find that a multivitamin, a protein powder and some fish oil, along with creatine monohydrate, are all they need. Food takes care of the rest.
Use the links on the right to get more information on nutrition basics that everybody needs to know.
Start Here – Mindset
The psychological aspect of becoming the best version of yourself is oftentimes ignored, but having the right mindset is vital to achieving success.
- Embrace the journey. The cold hard truth is that in the beginning, progress happens literally over night but as you get deeper into the fitness lifestyle, that progress slows down considerably. This is where the folks who’re just interested fall off the wagon. You have to commit to continual, gradual progress even when it seems like things have come to a standstill.
- Set realistic goals. We’ve all seen the unbelievable ads that say you can lose 30 lbs. of fat in 10 days. Most of us know that the reason this stuff is unbelievable is because it’s not true, but it still messes with our heads. When it comes to losing fat and building lean mass, things happen slowly. Although you should set your standards high, you should be realistic – try to lose 1 lb. of fat a week, not 10 lbs.
- Take the good with the bad. Don’t let minor setbacks like plateaus and nagging injuries distract you from your accomplishments. Progress is progress; be proud of what you accomplish and speak positively about yourself, your gains, and the goals that you’ve achieved.
On the right, we’ve compiled our best content to help you keep a positive mindset through the ups and downs you’ll face while transforming your body. Enjoy!