Carbohydrates are always a hot topic. There are a lot of misconceptions but there is a lot of truth behind what you hear. Before I start this topic, I want to share my standpoint. As with all of my content, carbs need to be individualized. With that being said, I personally believe in a moderate approach for most people. I don’t believe people with average energy expenditures (fast paced, normal lifestyles) need an extremely high carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, I don’t believe in completely removing or demonizing this particular macronutrient. With most controversial topics (religion, politics) you only hear one side. I want to pose both sides of the carb battle and talk about why individualization is the answer.
This is something that a lot of people (including myself from time to time) misunderstand. Just because you know what to do doesn’t mean you will inherently do it. There clearly is a gap between knowledge and action. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you can’t apply it then it is useless. During this blog, I want to discuss the gap between education and action. In my humble opinion, there needs to be a transformation of the heart and mind before you can manipulate behavior.
I think this is why so many of us are inconsistent. We tend to hyper focus on changing the behavior instead of changing our perspective. I was listening to one of my favorite financial advisers the other day (a la Dave Ramsey) and he said something that struck me. He was talking about his experience in dealing with people trying to create financial peace in their lives. He’s been helping people for a long long time and has had 5 million people go through his program. First off, when you have a sample size of 5 million that should indicate some validity. He began talking about patterns that he has seen in people over the last ten years, which in hindsight indicated they were to be successful in the area of money. In addition to creating a handwritten budget each month, the common pattern was the anger/passion they seemed to have in their voice when they would call Dave for money advice. Dave says he can almost sense if this particular person would be successful or not. The common pattern was a mindset transformation! As Dave says, they were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I don’t know about you but for me one of the most frustrating things is lack of progress. There is no worse feeling than expending effort and not being able to see the full fruit of your labor. Plateaus come in all shapes and sizes. Weight loss, strength levels, physique, and/or other various forms of measurements can be extremely frustrating when you feel stagnant. Consistent progress is the key to creating a sustainable habit. If you are see progress you will be able to push through the adversity of behavior modification. If you aren’t seeing progress, it can be extremely frustrating and diminish will power. Today, I want to share with you a couple of my favorite plateau breakers to use when results slow down. These are simple and practical things you can implement to help move the needle without creating restrictive and stressful situations.
Back at it again with the calories! I know I talk a lot about calories in my content and sometimes I get backlash from it. I’ve gotten both positive and negative remarks regarding caloric intake content. I’ve gotten “ hey, counting calories is a small snapshot into a complex issue”. Before diving into the tips, I want to address my perspective on the calorie issue.
First off, I understand that losing weight is a complex issue. There are many factors involved and many considerations that need to be taken into account. Individualization is extremely important when you are looking at embarking on a fitness journey. However, I’ve found that usually the Spark System (simple, sustainable, and enjoyable) when approaching a fitness goal helps in many ways.
Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. Often times the best behavior modification advice is actually very very simple. However, for most people behavior modification is very difficult. Why is that? I’m sure there is a very scientific psychological response to that question. Instead of taking the scientific approach, I want to get really practical with this blog. During today’s blog, I want to attack fat loss from both sides. I want to provide you with some tools to overcome the difficulty of a fat loss transformation as well as provide you with some ways to simplify the process. Education is only half the battle (arguably the easier half). Once you know what to do, you still need to overcome the difficulties of behavior modification (which is why most people fail).
The topic of health is so incredibly dense. There are so many factors and angles involved when tackling a seemly simple issue. In regards to fat loss, there are a ton of processes that happen inside the body. Furthermore, just because you are losing fat doesn’t necessarily mean you are optimizing internal bodily systems (there is so much more to health than physical appearance). For the sake of simplicity and quite frankly rabbit hole material, I want to propose a fat loss “cheat sheet”. This sheet is science and experience based. The simplicity of this 'sheet' isn’t meant to demean or downgrade the difficulty of fat loss. Simplifying fat loss will actually help you focus on controllable variables and ultimately see better results. It can be extremely easy to lose focus and motivation when the process becomes extremely complex or overwhelming. Without further ado let's jump into it!
“I just don’t have the time to exercise.” How many times have you said that to yourself or heard someone else say that? “I just don’t have to the time to eat healthy. I just don’t have the time to cook. I just don’t have the time to stretch.” These sayings are extremely common and sometimes I find myself blaming time. To be perfectly transparent, I've always set my life up to make room for my wellness lifestyle. However, this year (2020) I've struggled to find time and motivation for my wellness goals. I can completely emphasize with busy, stressful, and fast paced lifestyles. Nonetheless, here are 4 steps that will help you overcome the time barrier and help you reach your goals!
This blog is going to revolve around how to make dieting easier. For the record, I hate the word diet. I prefer ‘nutritional lifestyle change’ just because it sets our mindset up for success right off the bat. However, diet is a term that everyone can identify with. Just know that when I use the term diet, I really mean nutrition that you can adhere to for the rest of your life.
Oh boy. I’m about to open a can of worms with this one. First off, before I begin I need to preface with some baseline information. I am not a doctor or a registered dietitian. I have not read had extensive reasearch and training in the area of sugar intake. I am certified through Precision Nutrition and I have spent the last 10 years in the wellness space. This blog’s information comes from several PubMed studies as well as my own personal and professional perspective. My whole goal with Spark is to provide simple, result based information to you in hopes of creating a sustainable and enjoyable approach to reaching wellness goals.
We don’t grow in the gym, we grow outside of the gym. The first time I heard this concept I was extremely confused. I had a huge misconception when I was growing up in the fitness atmosphere. I had no idea what I was doing nutritionally and thought the reason I wasn’t seeing results was because I wasn’t working hard enough in the gym. For the most part, I believe that people understand the concept of recovery. Workout hard and gets lots of protein in your diet right? While this perspective is correct to a certain extent, it is still missing the larger picture. My goal with this blog is to create the proper perspective when it comes to recovery. I want to provide you with the proper mindset and tools to see effective sustainable results. I’m convinced that if we look at the larger picture, we will be more effective in our nutrition, training, and mindset when it comes our fitness lifestyle.
Today’s blog is going to be centered on individualizing the subjects of nutrition and exercise. We miss out on effect results if we do not have a component of individualization in our exercise and/or nutrition plan. I believe the fitness community has lots of positive and inspiring qualities. However, I also believe that there are detrimental aspects that need to be addressed. Cookie cutter programs being one of these. The truth is what works for me might not work for you exactly. The most effective coaches and trainers understand this truth. I believe in structuring nutrition/exercise plans around principles and science. With science there still needs to be components of individualization if we are to reap the most effective and sustainable results. Here are some practical ways to individualize nutrition and exercise to help best fit your lifestyle.