How to EAT for BEST results

The foods that you eat make a huge impact on your fat loss results. But it’s not just about what you are eating, it’s also about how much and how frequently you eat.

All of these factors make the topic of how to eat for best results a hot one with my clients! So let’s dive into the most popular eating strategies…

A quick online search produces two popular eat-for-fat-loss strategies: Intermittent Fasting versus Six Small Meals.

Which strategy works best? And, more importantly, which strategy would work best for YOU? Let’s find out…

Intermittent Fasting

This eating strategy cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. The content of your meals during eating periods is not a factor. Some cycle between eating and fasting each day, creating a small window for eating and fasting for at least 16 hours, while others cycle eating and fasting across several days, taking as much as 48 hours at a time to fast.

Pros: Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Our bodies are well equipped to handle periods of fasting. Research shows that fasting produces benefits for disease prevention, metabolic health, weight loss and even life extension. Some find it less work to fast rather than to plan for several small meals. During eating periods you get to eat whatever you want.

Cons: Abstaining from nourishment for long periods of time can be challenging, especially when food is all around you. Socially it can be awkward to skip meals while your friends and family break bread together. Some find themselves overeating during eating cycles, and some find the ongoing absence of food to aggravate food obsession and to produce an unbalanced focus on food.

Six Small Meals

This eating strategy, of breaking the traditional 3 square meals into 6 smaller meals that are spaced 2-3 hours apart, has been used by body builders and fitness competitors for years. The content and size of each meal is an important factor of this eating plan. Meals early in the day contain lean protein, fiber-filled veggies and a small portion of complex carbs, while meals later in the day are smaller and do not contain any complex carbs. All meals are low in fat.

Pros: You never feel hungry. By fueling up every 2-3 hours you never get the feeling of deprivation that comes with fasting. Energy levels are steady and high due to the constant supply of wholesome calories. Fat loss results are steady, and, when done with an exercise plan, muscle is maintained.

Cons: You have to plan ahead. Every. Single. Day. Get used to carrying around a small cooler filled with containers of chicken, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Each meal is small, so restraint is required. Unless you are including the occasional cheat meal, or cheat day, there is no room in this diet for empty calories or comfort foods.

Conclusion

The facts are out there to prove that both of these eat-for-fat-loss strategies work. There are photos of real, actual people who have subscribed to each of these methods and have gone from flabby to lean. Both methods irrefutably work.

But why? How can two methods that utilize opposing strategies both produce fat loss results? And which one is better? Let’s dive deeper into what makes these eating strategies work…

1. Meal Timing

When you eat is a factor with both of these eating plans. This means that subscribers to both plans are required to wait until the appointed time to eat. So mindless snacking, or grabbing a muffin just because it’s there, is out of the question. This reduces overall calories, which is key to weight loss, and explains why both plans produce results.

2. Meal Content

The Six-Small-Meals plan focuses on the content of each of your small meals in great detail. Your meals contain lean proteins, fiber-filled veggies, and limited complex carbs. This detailed control of calorie content is largely why this plan is a sure bet for fat loss, not just weight loss.

Intermittent Fasting Doesn’t worry about food content, but to us it will. We will focus on content!

3. Meal Size

The Six-Small-Meals plan also focuses on the exact size of your meals, which makes sense since you are eating six times each day, and excess calories would quickly add up. Typically this is done by weight, so as you pack your meals for the day you’ll be using a food scale to ensure that you have exactly the right amount of lean protein and complex carbs. Veggies are often measured rather than weighed.

Intermittent Fasting does not consider the size of your meals during eating periods.

So What’s the BEST Eating Strategy for FAST Results? As we’ve discussed, both of the eating strategies above are capable of producing results. This is due to the fact that both plans result in a lowered caloric intake.

When it’s all said and done, weight loss comes from caloric balance.

Remember the junk food diet where the professor lost weight eating restricted calories of only vending machine food? As long as you are taking in fewer calories that you are burning, you will end up losing weight.

While both of the strategies above end up curbing your calories, only the Six-Small-Meals plan encourages wholesome calories that are ideal for burning fat and building muscle, which is why this is the plan most used by body builders and fitness competitors.

When it comes down to you choosing your own eating strategy it’s important to determine what will work best with your lifestyle. If carrying a cooler with you and making time to stop every 3 hours to eat a meal is simply not something you can see yourself doing, then Intermittent Fasting may produce better results for you. The key is to figure out a plan for restricting calories that you would realistically be motivated to stick with. And the more wholesome the content of those restricted calories, the better and quicker your results will come!

Want more guidance? We’d love to help you! Our 28 Day FAST Challenge starts April 8th!  Give us a call or shoot us an email and let’s get you on track to shed some major fat before summer!

Let’s do this together. CONTACT US HERE!

28 Day FASTING Challenge

One of the worst ways of dieting is one that burns both muscle and fat. If you really want to transform your body then the goal should be to sustain/build muscle and burn fat. Starving yourself doesn’t cut it. There is no reason to put in all this work to look like a smaller version of your fatter self! That’s where Critical Mass’ 28 Day FAST comes in. In the past we have followed a well balanced diet, but this time around we are working with INTERMITTENT FASTING. Don’t know what INTERMITTENT FASTING is?  It’s restricting your food consumption to a certain time frame within the day.  It’s been found to have some interesting results.

  • Human growth hormone (HGH): Increased levels of Growth Hormone will increase during a fast. Growth hormone is a hormone that can aid fat loss and muscle gain. Basically, HGH was responsible for your growth as a baby to an adult. Source
  • Insulin: Insulin increases when we eat. When we fast, insulin decreases dramatically. Lower levels of insulin facilitate fat burning. Source
  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline): Norepinephrine is sent into the fat cells, making them break down body fat into usable free fatty acids that can be burned for energy. Source

fatmuscle

There are a few ways to apply the INTERMITTENT FASTING in order to become successful. I myself FAST once every three days and I’m down around 45lbs. My partner Adam almost lives a full FASTING life! I don’t think you can pinch any fat on his body! There are many ways to approach this and be successful. Decide now to be part of a small group of individuals with a common goal.  If you would like to hear more then come by our FASTING Challenge meeting on April 8th. To sign up or learn more CLICK HERE

 

Your Tired Ass!

Do you need coffee to start off your day? Have you recently gained weight, especially around the mid section?

If Yes, then you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue!

Adrenal glands are responsible for a boat load of hormones that are essential for life as you know it! Some include DHEA, Progesterone, Testosterone and cortisol. Since the adrenals are responsible for these hormones, they are directly related to energy production, fat storage, fluid and electrolyte balance.

The main culprite of adrenal fatigue is stress.  Our daily routines lack the ability to relax. Our workdays have become longer, poor eating has become a habit and a good nights sleep has become far too distant. These overtime will cause a dysfunction of the adrenals that will lead to some or all of the symptoms below:

•Mild depression or anxiety
•Multiple food and or inhalant allergies
•Lethargy and lack of energy. Desire for “cat naps”
•Difficulty in performing daily tasks
•Decreased stress coping skills
•Dry and thin skin
•Heart Palpitation
•Hair thinning or lose

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may have adrenal fatigue.

Now the question that needs an answer is “what do you do?”

1) Reduce or completely stop the intake of caffeine!

2) Sleep! Get it! 7-8 hours every night. If you are one of those people that can only sleep 4-5 hours, stop shitting yourself and get to bed! You may think you can function off those hours but there is no way you’re at your potential!

3) Reduce the strenuous workouts to easy workouts that don’t exhaust the body. If you continue to push you will dig a bigger hole for yourself.

4) Stop eating packaged foods and eat nutrient dense foods; Foods that do not have an ingredients list!

5) Learn to meditate or something that allows the mind to calm (read a book, go for a walk get a massage, walk out into a field and scream your lungs off!). This will also bring the heart rate down.

6) Adrenal Support supplements. Though it’s best to get nutrition from food, its recommended to supplement with an adrenal Support to ensure you are receiving adaquate micronutrients. Some take an adrenal Support as a daily supplement even if they don’t suffer from adrenal fatigue.

There are many ways to get your body functioning properly. Take one of these tips above and make it happen. One small step will result in a huge jump in your adrenal function.

Talk to one of the trainers at Critical Mass for further information. We also provide an adrenal support cocktail but if you need anything else book a nutrition counseling session with Julia!

Diet Soda’s

Lets get your brain churning!

Avoiding sugar is a smart move on your part.  Replacing it with an artificial sweetener is a bad move!  Artificial sweeteners still keep the body craving sugar. Therefore, you are in a constant battle to stay away from the deserts! Artificial sweeteners are a bad choice because of the damage they will do to your body.  I am referring to aspartame, which is in so many of our beverages and bodybuilding supplements.  Aspartame, when ingested, is converted to formaldehyde.  What is formaldehyde? If you can remember your high school biology class, then you will remember the preservative that the cats, pigs and organs floated in- that is formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is listed as an environmental toxin by the EPA , and when ingested in the human body, it causes widespread nerve damage: damage to the optic nerve, brain cells, and the nerve cells that control body movement.   Any human being valuing their mind and bodies can easily see how this sweetener can cause cancer and ruin your life.   Obvious side effects of ingesting aspartame are migraine headaches, muscle tremors, vision problems, and mental confusion.  Now I am beginning to figure out why diet coke is so bad.

Why does the FDA allow the use of aspartame?  Well, in 1985 Donald Rumsfeld, The CEO of Searle Laboratories (manufacturer of Aspartame) at the time, was appointed to Ronald Regan’s staff.   Once on board he promoted Arthur Hull Hayes as the FDA commissioner.   Since aspartame was developed no FDA commissioner in the 16 year life of aspartame approved of it until Rumsfeld and Hayes had power.   Are we seeing the pattern here?   CEO of company gets power to hire someone that can approve his product resulting in huge profits! Aspartame is a neurotoxin and that is why it’s ILLEGAL in Europe… Welcome to America! Where money is man’s only desire!

We all know how important it is for you to reach our optimal genetic potential.  Ingesting aspartame will not allow you to reach your peak performance.  When a component within the body does not perform properly, in this case your nervous system, there will be a domino effect causing the whole body to be stressed and to under perform.  So why do we keep eating or drinking this stuff?  I mean I love Diet Coke but now after researching and speaking to some nutritionists, I am going to stop drinking it… or maybe indulge less frequently.  Further reading:  How aspartame became legal timeline

Want to be LEAN?!

Sure, you do your best to eat healthy and live a fit and active lifestyle, but you’re still not satisfied with your body. Day after day of eating salads and hitting the gym and your body isn’t changing.

It’s frustrating!

And yet there are people, whom you know personally, with phenomenal bodies and very little body fat. What are they doing differently than you? You work out and eat healthy too! Why doesn’t your body look like theirs?

What’s the big secret that they know about losing fat, getting lean, and looking amazing?

The answer is as simple as it is difficult: AVOID SUGAR

While you do your best to eat healthy, do you know how much sugar you are actually consuming everyday? The answer will surprise you.

The average American consumes over 80 grams of sugar everyday, an amount that’s easily three times more than is safe and healthful. How much sugar do you eat? Write down the sugar count on everything you eat for the next few days and then find your average sugar gram intake. Now work on slashing this number.

Part of the problem is that food items are often sneaky about how much sugar is really hiding within. Deceiving messages on the packaging imply that the contents are beneficial, causing us to ignore the high sugar content. In the end whatever supposed benefits being advertised are overshadowed by the negative effect of the sugar.

What’s the big deal about taking in a lot of sugar? Well, you won’t achieve a lean body while consuming a lot of sugar. So if you choose to indulge in sugar then forget about strutting your stuff on the beach this year.

Aesthetics aside, a high sugar intake is detrimental to your health as it causes your cells and organs to become acidic and a breeding ground for disease.

Going back to that guy or gal that you know who is perpetually lean…you can bet that their diet is extremely low in sugar. A low sugar diet is the key to keeping lean and it’s not had by simply avoiding the high sugar items, like candy and cake, it’s had by avoiding items with even low amounts of added sugars.

Take the next week to cut out all added sugars from your diet. Check in with your weight and your energy levels at the end of seven days and note any difference. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you’ll see results in both your weight and energy levels by making this simple, conscious move to avoid sugar.

Diet is only half of the equation when it comes to having a sexy, fit body. Exercise is the other half of the coin, and that’s where I come in.

Contact us for more information: https://criticalmassnj.com/contact/

Cortisol, the FLIGHT or FIGHT Hormone

 

Cortisol, the fight or flight super hormone that is essential in surviving a life and death situations might just kill you! Now I am not going to go into detail on this process, because I am not a doctor and it would just confuse the both of us. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the Adrenal Glands. When you find your self in a stressful situation your brain will send a signal to your adrenal glands to release cortisol which brings about adrenaline. In a nut shell this hormone saves your ass. Cortisol’s causes:

•A quick burst of energy
•Heightened memory functions
•A burst of increased immunity
•A greater tolerance to pain
•Super hero strength

Your probably saying to yourself, “This all sounds great but where does the ‘kill you’ situation come in?” After a stressful situation where your body perceives harm, the body gradually retreats back to a normal state of relaxation. However, due to our life styles being stressful, we never experience relaxation and if we do, it’s NOT ENOUGH! Therefore, the body is always in a state of excitement and this can be potentially deadly. Prolonged presence of cortisol can cause:

•Decreased thyroid function
•Decreased muscle tissue
•Decreased Bone density
•High blood pressure
•Slow healing and increased inflammation
•Increased abdominal fat
•Loss of attention skills

Long lasting cortisol levels in the blood will increase your chances of experiencing the above symptoms. In the long run you can suffer from greater occurrence of sicknesses, increased weight gain, heart attacks and or strokes. Fun stuff right?

The best thing that you can do to lower cortisol levels after a fight or flight response is to take deep breaths, meditate, hum, self reflect or build up your body’s tolerance to stress. Some exercises you can do that are very beneficial are isometric holds for time. This means hold a position (with proper form) for an extended amount of time. Examples would be:

•Planking
•Wall Sits
•Lunge holds
•Even just regular exercise has benefits on lowering stress levels.

Basically anything that challenges your will power! These exercises will allow you to push yourself to greater relaxation. You are forcing your own body and mind to experience a pain. Once you reach a moment in the hold where your inner voice says “this hurts, I have to stop” you push through and don’t stop. Experiencing a self inflicted pain (in a healthy manner) and pushing your mind and body to a new limit will allow you to interpret a once very stressful situation to a not so stressful situation. Now, I am not saying your are going to be skipping through a gum fight like your on the yellow brick road, but you will be able to greater handle the situation as it unfolds around you.

Our everyday lives are stressful but they don’t need to be. Isometric holds are a great exercise to incorporate into your workouts. It’s a self help exercise that will keep your cortisol levels down when your wife is yelling at you to take out the trash or if your trying to meet a deadline. There is no reason to be stressed with mundane life events.