Nutrition

You: The Only Thing That Works


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There are great articles out there promising people major fat loss by making minor changes, but no real results ever happen. Why? No one is addressing the actual cause of fat gain/loss: poor hormone management. Adopting a training and nutritional program that works synergistically to reeducate your hormones will improve everything about your performance, physique, and emotional/mental state — for the better, and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

Seeing real results isn’t about eliminating Coke, taking fat burners, or the next wonder herb, it’s about being committed to consistency. People decide to push dessert away for a week, they see minimal results compared to the changes some company promised, and they give up. If you actually want to achieve the things I mentioned in the first paragraph you’re going to have to realize that YOU, and you’re work are the things that work, not some potion. Would you prefer honesty or another empty promise?

Every ripped, greased up guru out there wants to convince you that they have found the secret to fat loss through some powder or pill that they’re pushing — and maybe they have. But regardless of what supplement, exercise routine, or diet you want to get involved in, reaching your goals ultimately depends on how much you to commit to them. Fat gain is gradual and caused by a behavioral pattern that creates a hormonal environment conducive to adipose cell storage/synthesis (existing fat cells get bigger or new ones are created).

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Don’t be fooled, these models did not get their physiques simply by taking a pill. The fact that anyone would find an ad like this appealing is another discussion entirely.

The Theory

Through research and experimentation on the human body, I began to theorize a unique method of reeducating an individual’s endocrine system through diet and exercise. I realized that the body is trained on a system of diminishing returns to any given stimulus— today you need more alcohol to get intoxicated to the same extent you did three days ago, 135 pounds used to be your max, now it’s your warm up, and you used to be fine going outside with no sunglasses, but now you’re blind without them.

Hormones are no different, our bodies release a certain amount of insulin in response to carbohydrates to aid in absorption of nutrients, and over time if nothing changes, will require a greater amount of it in order to elicit the same response. The issue becomes when, due to inactivity and poor nutritional habits, insulin is released too frequently, at too high of levels into the blood stream, and is not recognized by muscles cells.

Many times, poor insulin maintenance is the catalyst for a number of other negative responses that work against achieving a lean, great performing, emotionally stable body. Insulin isn’t the only hormone that must be considered, but it’s where many other imbalances begin —so that’s where I started.

The endocrine system controls everything in the body, but you can control it simply by your behavior.
The endocrine system controls everything in the body by dictating these organs, but you can control it simply by your behavior.

The Psychology of Physical Failures

Every ounce of fat gain begins with behavior, a decision. When a combination of decisions are being made that pull the individual away from exercise and push them toward poor food choices, more insulin is going to be released than absorbed, muscle cell sensitivity is going to be diminished, energy is reduced, stress increases, and fat gain occurs every step along the way. When insulin is acting on the body, the fat burning hormones are not, it’s that simple.

Humans are not as ‘productive’ when insulin is in the blood stream. When you eat foods (mainly carbohydrates) that elicit an insulin response the body moves blood away from the skeletal muscles and brain into the digestive organs (for obvious reasons). You’ve probably noticed this when you eat a large lunch and try to return to your desk for the afternoon to focus on work — you just can’t do it.

So we should just remove all foods that cause insulin release form the diet, right? I wish it was that simple, and I’ve tried it, but the results are ugly. The objective isn’t to eliminate insulin from the body altogether, but to eat and exercise in such a way that trains insulin and all the hormones to maximize performance, fat burn, and the emotional/mental states.

The Logic

It’s simple really, how do you make the body more sensitive to anything — remove that stimulus from the body for a period of time. It doesn’t have to be for long, just long enough. How do your eyes feel the first time you see light each morning after only eight hours? By spacing out insulin releases your body will get more sensitive to the body’s most anabolic hormone. As you get more sensitive to the hormone, you need less of it to accomplish the same job (think reverse addiction). This means that as time moves forward, not only is there less insulin in the blood stream, but when it’s there it gets removed more quickly and efficiently places nutrients into muscle cells rather than fat cells.

What’s the end result, well better insulin maintenance is only the tip of the ice berg. Better metabolism (proper nutrition + physical training induced adaptations) and quicker digestion — which imply less parasympathetic (rest and digest) time intervals during your day, allowing you to think clearer, work harder, and leverage the wonderful powers of proper growth hormone, testosterone, dopamine, adrenaline, and thyroid function.

Will making this switch be difficult at first — definitely. But fiber will allow you to maintain blood sugar/hunger stability during the first few days. Fiber, which is found most in vegetables, increases satiety, which will help curve the carb cravings early on.

I also realized that carbs are not the devil, that they are actually extremely vital to being mentally and physically powerful. Carbs help regenerate the central nervous system, they just need to be eaten at the right times. The best news is that as the weeks go on, more and more carbohydrates can be consumed with no real negative impact because the insulin sensitivity and nutrient timing is there.

Really, it’s that basic. All the researching, experimenting, and theorizing came down to a few applications — space carb servings out in order to regain insulin maintenance, consume carbs at the right times, exercise regularly, and let the other hormones that insulin suppresses run their course in the body.

Owning Your Hormones in 18 Weeks

In my experimentation I also noticed that the body takes 6-8 weeks to adapt and express new gains of any kind. Because of this The Program is broken into 3, 6 week segments. I’ve discussed previously the reasoning, but carbohydrate servings should be based on your training/exercise schedule. Consuming carbs when training intensity is high is advisable, but when you are doing aerobic/low intensity work, do not eat anything.

Physical exercise/heavy lifting is necessary if you are going to reeducate and train your hormones. Exercise creates an environment that proper nutrition can be applied to in order to take command of your hormones 24 hours/day. Aerobic exercise type needs to coincide with your strength goals and your preexisting level of GPP (general physical preparedness aka ‘how ready you are to train’).

If you are a power lifter/strength athlete (high GPP) and want to maintain strength levels while losing fat, you need to engage in alactic aerobic work, where you are doing interval training at a 3:1 rest to work ratio (ex: 45 seconds rest, 15 seconds tempo run/sledgehammer). High GPP group, never go below the 3:1 ratio, your heart rate should be high, but there should be no lactic acid present in the muscles.

If you have been away from exercise for a while (low GPP), your aerobic work can still be interval based, but must be lower intensity, starting at a 1:1 rest to work ratio (ex: 90 seconds rest, 90 seconds treadmill). If you don’t know where you’re at, start off easy and see how you feel the next day, then adjust accordingly. Aerobic work should help you recover and burn fat, not induce muscle soreness.

Intensity is all relative, do what’s appropriate for you on aerobic day and when lifting weights — again the purpose of exercise is to create an internal environment that proper nutrition can be applied to. Once you’re exercising regularly, then training your hormones becomes every simple. The themes of the 3 phases are introduced below and divided based on beginning GPP level.

Phase I: Weeks 1-6

High GPP (ready to work)

Day 1 – Heavy Lifting, 30-75g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Heavy Lifting, 30-75g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 6 – High Rep Lifting, 15-50g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 7 – Off Day

Low GPP (have not exercised consistently)

Day 1 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Interval Training, 0-30g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – High Rep body weight exercises, 30g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 6 – Off Day

Day 7 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

 

NOTES: One carbohydrate serving each day, outside of training, and should not exceed 1/4 carb per pound of body weight, or 50g total (ex: 100lbs = 25g carbs, 200lbs = 50g carbs, 300lbs=50g carbs). For those who train in the evening, carb servings need to occur 4-6 hours before exercise and no carbs are to be consumed after training or in the evening on any off day. For those who train in the morning, carb serving needs to occur at dinner only. Vegetables should be consumed at every meal other than breakfast. Fat caloric intake (almonds, peanut butter, oils, animal fats, avocados, etc.) should increase so that overall caloric intake remains high as to avoid lean tissue wasting. Protein should be consumed at every meal.

Phase II: Weeks 7-12

High GPP (ready to work)

Day 1 – Heavy Lifting, 50-100g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Heavy Lifting, 50-100g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 6 – High Rep Lifting, 15-50g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 7 – Off Day

Low GPP (have not exercised consistently)

Day 1 – High Rep body weight exercises, 50g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Interval Training, 0-30g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – High Rep body weight exercises, 50g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 6 – Off Day

Day 7 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

 

NOTES: One carbohydrate serving each day, outside of training, and should not exceed 1/4 carb per pound of body weight, or 50g total (ex: 100lbs = 25g carbs, 200lbs = 50g carbs, 300lbs=50g carbs) on training days, and should not exceed 30g total on off days. For those who train in the evening, carb servings need to occur 4-6 hours before exercise and no carbs are to be consumed after training or in the evening on any off day. For those who train in the morning, carb serving needs to occur at dinner only. Vegetables should be consumed at every meal other than breakfast. Fat caloric intake (almonds, peanut butter, oils, animal fats, avocados, etc.) should increase so that overall caloric intake remains high as to avoid lean tissue wasting. Protein should be consumed at every meal.

Phase III: Weeks 13-18

High GPP (ready to work)

Day 1 – Heavy Lifting, 50-150g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Heavy Lifting, 50-150g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – Aerobic Work, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 6 – High Rep Lifting, 30-75g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 7 – Off Day

Low GPP (have not exercised consistently)

Day 1 – High Rep body weight exercises, 50g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 2 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 3 – Off Day

Day 4 – Interval Training, 0-30g of carbohydrates consumed during training

Day 5 – Interval Training with weights, 50g of carbohydrates consumed during

Day 6 – Off Day

Day 7 – Steady State aerobic work 30 min, 0g of carbohydrates consumed during training

NOTES: Carbohydrate serving(s) can occur when desired each day, and should not exceed 1/3 carb per pound of body weight, or 65g total (ex: 100lbs = 33g carbs, 200lbs = 65g carbs, 300lbs=65g carbs) on training days. Carbs should not be consumed on off days. For those who train in the evening, carb servings need to occur 4-6 hours before exercise and no carbs are to be consumed after training or in the evening on any off day. For those who train in the morning, carb serving needs to occur at dinner only. Vegetables should be consumed at every meal other than breakfast. Fat caloric intake (almonds, peanut butter, oils, animal fats, avocados, etc.) should stay constant so that overall caloric intake remains constant as to avoid lean tissue wasting. Protein should be consumed at every meal.

Getting Started

I always liken the body to cars — you don’t put regular fuel in a race car, so why would you put poor quality food in your body and expect good results? You’ve got to start cooking your own meals, you’ll get more nutrients, save time and money, and most of all your hormones/fat burn will improve more quickly. With the information given above, you have all you need to make your goals — realities.

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