Not All Calories Are Created Equal

You want to get lean?

That’s great!  You are a part of a great club of people who all want to better themselves, and making the decision to start trying is the biggest step to take in your fitness journey.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, then you know that I’ve been writing up a series on health, wellness, and nutrition this week.

In my first post, I talked about how I wanted to find a Subjective Diet Format (SDF), a diet tailored for me specifically.  I factored in my weight, my current eating habits, the amount of ambition I have along with my goals, and my Crohn’s Disease(to read that post, click here).

In my second post, I talked about finding the amount of calories you should be eating by using your Basal Metabolic Rate.  I left a link to a Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, but you could also find one with a quick Google search.  To read that post, click here.

In the last post, I talked about the obvious but oftentimes overlooked..

Eating clean!  The best first step you can make is not cutting your calories or upping the cardio, although those things are both important.  The best first step is cleaning up your eating choices so that you know, despite any extra pounds, that you have a healthier body.  To read that post, click here.

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image courtesy of SimpleReminders.com

..and today’s post naturally picks up where yesterday’s post left off.

I want to drive home a point!  Not all calories are created equal.  Let’s compare Carl to Jimmy:

Carl eats two pounds of macaroni and cheese, and a pound of boneless chicken chunks from Walmart’s deli.  This adds up to about 3,000 calories!  For an active male who works out, this is probably within his basal metabolic rate.  For the sake of this post, let’s say Carl DOES in fact work out.  Carl is possibly eating under his active Basal Metabolic Rate and will lose weight….but is he as healthy as Jimmy?

Jimmy eats five meals.  These five meals are each an eight ounce chicken breast with a serving of broccoli, a serving of green beans, a serving of carrots, and a serving of fruit.  Jimmy MAY indulge once in a while with a starchy white potato.  Overall, Jimmy may be consuming close to the same amount of calories as Carl but I would bet his left arm his diet is going to make him a LOT healthier.  Before you ask…NO, I would not bet my own left arm even if I’m guaranteed a win!  Screw that!

..but my point is this!  Carl’s meal had literally no vegetables and was full of fat and carbs.  He easily got his protein requirement but he didn’t get crap for heart health.

It is important to track protein, carbs, and fat!  However, there’s also factors that most people overlook like sodium and cholesterol.  According to the National Institute of Health, cholesterol plays a MAJOR role in heart disease.  In layman’s terms, lower your bad LDL cholestrol and increase your good HDL cholestrol.  You can do this by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat through walnuts and almonds.

In conclusion to this week’s discussion on diet, I say “BE LIKE JIMMY!  AND DON’T LISTEN TO CARL’S NUTRITIONAL ADVICE!”  I would yell that on every rooftop in town if I thought….you know…people wouldn’t think I’m crazy.

While we know that Carl and Jimmy will both lose weight by eating less calories, we should all agree that Jimmy has the better strategy.  So be like Jimmy, or vegan-paleo-pescatarian Jimmy, and eat healthy.  Not only will you look great, but your body will thank you!

Know Your Body And Know What Works

This is part 3 of this weeks series on diet and nutrition.  As I’ve been writing these posts, I’ve been researching the content therein on websites such as the National Institute of Health.  Not all articles will post a source but if I dive deeper into the nutritional aspect of things, then I will also leave some source material.

As I said earlier, diet is more subjective than objective.  There are certain rules that apply to everyone such as dropping calories to lose fat.  Yet, there are also things that are very dependent upon genetics.

Genetics and illness play a huge role in how we should shape our lifestyle and our choices in food.  If you have Crohn’s Disease, like me, then you should cut out the processed garbage and learn to eat more naturally.

I noticed that I went into complete remission when I went on the Paleo Diet.  That is in huge part due to a switch from fast food over to foods that I cook at home.  Anyone can do the same thing and will notice an overall improvement in their physical well being.  I think a step further than that would be cutting out the meat and dairy entirely and eating my protein from plant based foods.

So when I break this down, at least in my own mind, it seems that eating more naturally would be better for anyone and not just someone with a serious illness.  Not to make this completely objective and say that everyone should eat the same way, but this particular point is fairly obvious:

Cut out the processed junk food!

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In general, eating cleaner and eating around your Basal Metabolic Rate will help you achieve whatever goal you are hoping to achieve.  Also, remember to eat 500 calories under your BMR for cutting fat and 500 calories over your BMR for bulking season.

But you also DO have to keep in mind your medical conditions.  When I found the paleolithic diet for my Crohn’s disease, it was after weeks of research and having finally said “Enough is enough!”  You have to really dig deep into studying the possibilities of what may be causing illnesses for you and also keep in mind any medical advice you have received.  So in finding a proper way to handle your medical conditions with an effective diet, I’d list the steps like this:

  1. See a doctor.  Although no one likes a doctors office visit, it is better safe than sorry.  If you can be diagnosed and know what your bill of health is like, then you have made positive steps in knowing your body and can begin treatment.
  2. Study nutrition so that you can prevent any illnesses from becoming worse and to prevent others from cropping up.  For example, a study on The National Institute of Health had some evidence showing a link between certain cancers and sugar intake.  If you were to know this in advance, then you’d be able to eat less sugar and processed junk thus lowering your cancer risk.
  3. Set your heart to seeing out the diet you choose, and stick to it!  There are plenty of diets out there that all claim to do the same thing, which is helping you become the healthiest version of yourself.  Your best bet is to go with a diet that reduces inflammation so that you can live your life with less pain and more activity.  Going vegan(added bonus of preventing animal cruelty) or paleo is a great idea, but make sure that what you do is something you can maintain.

In conclusion it is always going to be your choice what you do for your diet.  However, I hope I helped in giving you testimony and information today.  Stay tuned the rest of this week for more information on diet and health/wellness!

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To read part 1, click here.

To read part 2, click here.

Lastly, here is the link to the National Institute of Health study that I found:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21328345

How Stress Can Make You Fat

Yesterday I was working a DJ shift at the radio station where I work part time.  I wanted to read some interesting health news articles and I stumbled upon two that were really relevant to what I talk about on here.

So, I decided to share them with you:

Clearing The Clutter Could Help You Lose Weight

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To read the story, click here.  According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, making a lot of messes and being overweight are linked.  This would be on account of you having the mess due to a stressful life, and the stress affecting your metabolism and causing eating disorders.  She says “Clutter usually represents chaos and confusion.”

In response to this information, I’d say it’s a great idea to clean up your messy desk and your car.  Clean up those messes and relax!  Maybe then you can avoid unnecessary stress and live a happy, healthy life.

Studies Probe Whether Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Weight

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To read the story, click here.  According to a study shared by ABC News, sleep deprivation and weight gain may have a definite link.  They noticed that overnight shift workers had worse metabolisms and tended to burn more muscle than fat.  The people who slept less than 5 hours a night and were sleep deprived burned more muscle than fat.  Those who were not sleep deprived burned twice as much fat.  Those who sleep less tend to be more stressed, and have less control over their weight.

The article says a lot about the weight gain and how working over night and doing shift work is the problem.  The article suggests that these things are “all in a night’s work.”

In conclusion,

I read these and determined that there is one huge underlying factor:  STRESS!  Keep the stress low and be mindful of your body’s well being, and you can be more fit!  Other than just mental and emotional stress, there is physical stress which you are bound to have if you aren’t getting enough sleep.  Limit all of these forms of stress and pursue a lifetime of health and wellness.

I would like to add that maybe it’s sometimes necessary to work long hours, eat unhealthy because you don’t have time to cook, and sleep less….

but is it worth your health?  Is it worth dying at a younger age?  Count the costs and value yourself!

Three Day Quote Challenge

I was nominated by “The Nerdy Author” user, The Other Girl, to do a three day quote challenge.  Basically, how this works is, I need to post a quote every day for three days and challenge three users to do the same each time.

That being said, here is today’s quote:

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough,” -unknown.  I believe this is true almost 100% of the time.  Make sure there is some doubt and that you are really passionate about your dreams, and then have persistence and dedication to prove your own doubts wrong.

No matter what your circumstances or who you are, at the end of the day, if you try doing something you love and you fail then at least you tried.  At the same time, nothing is stopping you from trying again with newly found wisdom and ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Here are three people I am tagging today:

Spartan Daddy

Finn West

Endless Possibilities

Again, thanks for reading, and to those of you who I tagged…..I sincerely hope you’re up for the challenge! 😉dreams

Let’s Take Advangage Of The Rest Of 2015

This year is past halfway over and there’s a couple things a blogger, entrepreneur or online socialite can do to dominate the internet these next few months.

Primarily, we should all be social networking and behaving like a team. That doesn’t mean you have to, but I personally believe that by sharing ideas and becoming a community we have a much larger influence than we do by ourselves. Here are three things we can do to make a bigger impact:

  1. Support Each Other – this is easily the EASIEST and simplest advice I can give to you. By liking each other’s post, reading each other’s content, sharing with others, and supporting each other we are spreading ourselves across the larger online communities of WordPress and Twitter, and Facebook and so on and so forth.
  2. Spreading Out – I don’t just blog. I share motivational content on Twitter. Also, I have started doing live video chats on periscope today. The more communities you reach out to, the more people there will be who have the opportunity to notice you.
  3. Being Humble and Respectful of Others – not everyone is going to love your content, so no big deal. Everyone’s different and they might not be interested. That’s no reason for you to give up on entertaining other people; just make sure you respect the person who chooses not to take part in your social networking and move on happily. Also, as far as respect goes, if you’re respectful to other people you could learn a lot of things from them that could even make a nice new post.

I kept this short because I know there are a lot of you who also like to share ideas. Feel free to comment your own ideas for making a big impact on social media, or your ideas on choosing not to spread out past your current community.

No matter what is on your mind, I’d love to know what your opinion is. This post is for you to add on to, if you’d like to do so. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Attempting IF – Intermittent Fasting

I was watching a video done by the Hodge twins on YouTube and they mentioned a diet or meal timing plan that worked for them; they called it intermittent fasting. I am not saying listen to YouTube brofessors or look for get lean quick schemes.

However, this meal timing or diet had me curious. Basically, the idea of IF is to have a set window each day where you can eat your daily calories and macronutrients. The rest of the hours in a day you are not supposed to eat anything, which is why it’s called intermittently fasting.

I don’t think of it as a starvation diet, since all you are doing is timing your meals differently. I also don’t think they had any reason to lie since they weren’t selling anything related to it.

In my mind, the only way I can know for sure if it works is to give it a try. I’ll actually do it and save you the trouble. If it works for me, then it might work for you. Keep in mind that all of our bodies our different.

Part of the theme of this website is for me to try different diets and exercise plans and review them to you.

So here goes everyone. I’m about to start. I’ll show you how plump I’ve gotten over the past couple of months and I’ll give you new photos often to monitor results along with a description of my body fat % and how this makes my body feel.

  

Small Steps EQUAL Giant Leaps

“Thats one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” is what astronaut Neil Armstrong was quoted saying after landing on the moon. It may have been a small step he had taken as a person, but he was taking into account all the steps, processes and calculations NASA had taken to get him there. 

Metaphorically, what he said can be equated to your fitness endeavor, trials and successes in your everyday life. Let’s think about this in two parts.

  1. One small step – that’s all you need to take. To achieve your goals, simply change one thing every week or every two weeks. If you’re trying to lose weight, just drop soda one week and once you get that down you can choose to drop cake and ice cream. Then you can choose to drop fast food, and then you can work on lowering your saturated fats and carbohydrates.
  2. One giant leap – who knew that all them little steps were necessary for eventually making that giant leap? For my metaphor’s sake, I’ll stick to weight loss in this example:  You were trying to lose weight and you eventually succeeded. You lost 60 lbs, most of which was fat, and you are now really lean. A transformation photo would show the giant leap in body composition. The photo wouldn’t show, however, the collective small steps and commitment necessary to achieve that leap.

I realize Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon has nothing to do with fitness or our personal journeys unless we want to really go to the moon, but metaphorically I am assured that this was pretty sound. 

If you wish to achieve many small battles and succeed in a giant leap at some point in your life, keep in mind the end goal and the giant leap you will be taking. Also, keep in mind that there will be many small steps to take along the way. That seems to be the way to do things right, by making small steps and eventually getting big results.

Thanks for reading and if you liked my post please submit your email and/or follow via WordPress and you can receive free updates when I post new content.

Never Give Up! Be Strong.

Never give up at things you are passionate about. If you want something badly, don’t ever count yourself out and always be pushing yourself further into the direction of success.

For more posts on motivation where I go more in depth, take a look at these: What I learned from seniors at the gymHow successful people thinkAppreciate Your Low Points, and To be the best you have to sacrifice.

There are probably more posts I have made on maxedoutmuscles that would be equally helpful to you as the ones linked above. It is my main goal to give you motivation, advice, help, and comeradery(we can accomplish a lot more if we work together). Happy Motivational Monday everyone!

What I Learned From Seniors At The Gym

There’s a lot of old guys at the gym and I honestly respect the hell out of them for still making the effort to come up to the gym and have their personal fitness as their hobby. Furthermore, they all actually seem to know what they’re doing. I personally believe in respecting my elders, as I was raised by my great-grandparents, and I feel that this has helped me learn a lot. Mainly so, because I will ask them questions and listen to their answers.

A lot of these older guys at the gym lived healthy lifestyles and I learned a lot about them and fitness that I did not know before. Here is what I learned:

  1. I am far from knowing it all. How humbling it is to talk to someone who has spent their whole life working out! You think you’re doing a great job by being consistent for four months and studying as much as you can, but these guys have a lifetime of knowledge and training under their belt.
  2. Everyone deserves respect until they prove they don’t, and everyone should be heard out. If I didn’t have this respect for people I wouldn’t learn a thing. Would I ever see the need to read books, articles, and would I ever ask questions? Probably not.
  3. I learned about their specific journeys and lives. I talked to these guys and they had a lot to share. A couple of them used to be personal trainers and it was great to hear their perspective on weight lifting and what they had learned about training and exercise.
  4. I learned of some useful exercises and techniques. Sure, I knew about lunges and the smith machine. However, before talking to a guy at the gym who was 55 and still had stronger legs than me, I wasn’t incorporating these into my workouts. Now, I do lunges and despite some of the bad rep towards the smith machine, I do use it to correct some of my squat form. The things I have learned from him have made me a lot stronger in my squat and I’m thankful I listened to an old man’s advice.

The things people will tell you should always be taken with a grain of salt, as not everyone is the best coach or has the best advice. However, having respectful and being open minded can do wonders for your relationships with other people and your own personal development.

To conclude this post, I have a challenge for you. The challenge is this: Find someone at the gym that you admire and you think knows a lot about weight lifting or whatever your fitness endeavor may be, and also find someone who you think may not know a whole lot about that. Strike up a conversation with both of those people at some point. Have an open mind and be respectful, and see what you get from the experience. 

If anything, you may at least make a new friend.

Appreciate Your Low-Points

Have you been pursuing your passion and venturing to achieve your dreams? If you said yes, great, and if you have hit some potholes along the road to success then don’t worry. It’s completely normal.

Everyone has low points, days when they feel like giving up, and mistakes they’ve made. It’s how you handle these situations and grow that leads you one step closer to success, in some way, shape, or form. 

The best thing to do is to look at whatever poor situation, or you could say negative situation, that you are experiencing as a learning experience or a stepping stone. You can gain wisdom and experience from each of these experiences that will ultimately shape who you are someday.

Thanks for reading. I hope this was positive and encouraging. Just remember to keep your chin up and channel that negative energy into something positive for yourself. That’s how you get over these stepping stones I am talking about.