Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Bod Pod is Coming to FormWell


Points of Contact:

Formwell: Rami Odeh

BodyMetrics: Shane Upchurch

Date and Time(s):

Tuesday September 22nd: 5:30AM - 9:30AM / 4:00PM - 7:00PM


1 Test...$39

2 Test...$65 (Recommended)

ATTENTION!!! Please notice that there are two sign-up sheets. The first is for the AM session and the second is for the PM session.

Eat Real Food!

Jack Lalanne said, “If man made it, don’t eat it.” Michael Pollan broke it down to “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” It really is that simple. So many nutritionists want to make it difficult; confusion keeps them employed. Look at the Food Pyramid, which was at least an attempt to get people eating right. Too many rules, too many gray areas.

A Few Guidelines
Let’s keep it simple: Eat real foods, preferably in their natural state. I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what is “food” and what isn’t. A few things to remember:
Food grows and dies. It isn’t created.
Food rots, wilts, and becomes generally unappetizing, typically rather quickly.
Food doesn’t need an ingredient label (and probably isn’t in a package either).
Food doesn’t have celebrity endorsements.
Food doesn’t make health claims.
Let’s give some foods this simple test and see if we should eat them:
Broccoli - Most certainly a real food
Steak - Deliciously real food, straight off the cow
Oreo cookies - Hold while I read the ingredients. Are you serious?
Eggs - Bingo
Walnuts - Check
Spaghetti - I don’t recall seeing a spaghetti tree on my last hike
Pop-Tarts - Just seeing if you’re paying attention
Pasteurized/Homogenized Milk - Nope, not in its natural state
Raw Milk - Yep, real food, naturally
Sure, there are still a few gray areas. That’s the life of an omnivore. For instance, what about oatmeal and other whole grains? Those are things you will have to decide for yourself. My guidance is to keep grains to a minimum, if included at all. Cheddar cheese from raw milk? Probably okay. Velveeta? Not so much. Lard? For sure. Olive oil? I say yes, though it could be argued both ways. Crisco and margarine? Not a chance.

Forget The Latest Nutrition Fad And Just Eat Real Food
What you notice is that few of these foods, with the exception of cooking oils, come from a factory. They just exist. There’s no secret formula to create them. Even olive, coconut, and palm oils, while requiring extraction, require no special knowledge. Just press really hard and you get oil. Nobody has a patent on the flavor of an apple. The ingredients in zucchini can’t be tweaked to ride the current nutrition wave.

Eating real foods virtually eliminates one of the hardest parts of maintaining your weight: counting calories (or carbs or fat). Real foods have a built-in feedback mechanism to keep you from overeating. Protein and fat stimulate appetite-suppressing hormones. Fruits and vegetables tend to be bulky for their caloric content. Some may want to argue about Glycemic Indexes and other fun things, but no one gets fat by eating carrots. People get fat by eating fake foods. Just eat real ones and I guarantee that you’ll shed fat and feel better.
That’s not to say that there’s no place for managing your carb, fat, and protein intake. But before embarking on any road that gives you a set number of carbs or fat to eat, you must decide to eat real food. Until you start with real food, you will struggle. Once you start down the path, you may need to tweak if you’re going to try to build muscle or compete in marathons, but for health, just eat real food! Your body, which is significantly smarter than your mind, knows what it needs and if you feed it real food and then pay attention, it will give you feedback.

Need Help Learning To Cook Real Food?
If you’ve been eating the standard low-fat, grain-heavy diet for any length of time, making the switch to a lifestyle based around real health-supporting foods can be hard. Luckily, there are some great cookbooks out there by people that have been living the life.

I found a cookbook called Healthy Urban Kitchen by Antonio Valladares that is really top-notch stuff. From eggs to vegetables, beef to chicken to pork, lamb to salmon…Antonio has it all covered.

So if you’re just adopting a new lifestyle and looking for help in making the change or if you’ve been eating this way for awhile and are looking for some new ideas, pick up Antonio’s cookbook.
What do you think? Is eating real food enough to achieve top health or is there more to it than that?


Monday, September 7, 2009

The 5 Things You MUST Do to Get Super Shredded

My friend Brad Pilon put up this blog post today and I thought I’d carry it over here as well.

Most people can lose weight, and many of them can get lean…but most people have a hard time getting really, really lean.

If you want to get really lean, I mean SUPER shredded then I have 5 tips to help you get there:*

(*As always, my recommendations are for people whom are not on steroids. If you are using, I have no clue what does and doesn’t work for you)


1. Give yourself permission to get “light”.

This one is mostly for the guys…

NEWSFLASH! ==> If you want to lose body fat then chances are you are going to have to lose some body weight too.

Unless you are 23, or just started weight training, your days of packing on 20 pounds of muscle while losing 20 pounds of fat are long past. I’m not saying you can’t gain muscle, but more than likely you will gain 1 or 2 pounds of muscle while dropping 10-20 pounds of fat..meaning..to get leaner you are going to have to weigh less..probably less than you think is ideal.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Take the weight you think you are going to weigh when you eventually get shredded, then look yourself in the mirror and give yourself permission to get below that number…typically you will be lean at 90-95% of what you THINK will be the weight you should hit.

If you are positive that you will be lean at 195 pounds, plan to hit at least 185.

Doing this will remove a HUGE mental block that is preventing you from getting truly shredded. After all, do you want to be shredded or do you want to weigh some predetermined number?

2. Give your diet the opportunity to do the work for you.

Let’s face it, if you are going to get super lean, it’s going to come from caloric restriction. In other words, you absolutely must take in less calories then you are burning in a day.

And, whether you are following Eat Stop Eat or some other diet program, it is very easy to let “protein guilt” or “muscle anxiety” roadblock your diet, thus hindering it’s ability to get you lean.

For instance, let’s say you feel guilty about not eating enough calories or protein after your workouts while you are dieting so you start taking in an extra nutrition shake with 50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs after your workout…well BAM! You have pretty much just erased the calorie deficit you spent all day creating.

To get really lean, you need to put your trust in your diet program. Do your absolute best to block out ‘protein guilt’ and ‘muscle anxiety’.

If you are weight training properly you are NOT losing muscle, not even if you are eating 1000 calories and under a 100 grams of protein. let me repeat that you are most likely NOT LOSING MUSCLE. Let your diet do what it does…help you get lean.

3. Avoid using Cardio to Compensate.

I see this way to often – people don’t want to diet TOO hard, so they only cut calories a little bit, and then try to use cardio to create the rest of their calorie deficit. This just doesn’t seem to work. Most of us VASTLY over-estimate how many calories we truly burn during a workout session. I have yet to meet someone who has gotten themselves competition shredded by only doing cardio.

Use your diet to lose fat and use your workouts to maintain your muscle mass. You can do things like intervals and circuits to help speed up the process, but the effects are small compared to diet, and without a proper diet, I think many of these techniques are useless for weight loss.

4. Don’t let the Sine Wave get you.

OH NO! Brad’s doing advanced math again!

Don’t worry, its not that complicated. If you are not familiar with a sine wave, it looks something like this:

sine wave

The one of the secrets to getting shredded

So If you can imagine the dotted line is your normal activity level…If you do a hard core, intense workout, full of intervals and crazy things like that, then you have obviously increased your activity level and thus have burned some extra calories…so the top of the red line would be your activity level during your workout.

Now (this is the kicker) imagine you are so beat from your workout that you come home and crash on the couch for the evening, and ‘recover’ while watching American Idol…This is the bottom of the red line…you are actually LESS active than you would be normally. Guess what? You are now starting to eat into the effectiveness of your workout.

To make your workouts TRULY effective, you have to act like they NEVER HAPPENED and just keep on moving like you normally would. NO COMPENSATING!

5. MEASURE, Measure and measure some more.

If you want to get shredded then MEASUREMENTS are your best friend. They let you know if you are progressing. They save you from the LIES that your mirror and your scale tell you. Measure your arms, your legs, your waist, your hips, your shoulders everything and anything.

If you keep track of your measurements, then the days when you look in the mirror and think you’ve lost muscle, or the days you step on the scale and think you’ve gained weight, you can refer to your measurements.

After all, if you are losing in your waist, and keeping the areas you want to keep, does the rest of it really matter?


There you have it, these are my top 5 tips for anyone who wants to get truly shredded.

Surprisingly, when most people decide they want to get lean they go looking for secret nutrition programs or underground training programs, but the truth is, if you follow these five tips, you will see results.

Brad Pilon