Nutrition

Great Article on Your Metabolism and Fat Loss

Great Article on Your Metabolism and Fat Loss

Dr. Jade Teta's latest article on T-Nation, "The 5 Laws of Metabolism" offers some great info on how your metabolism really reacts to dieting and exercise.  While I generally shudder a bit when anyone talks about anything to do with the human metabolism and dieting as a "Law", the logic and information throughout the article is really sound.

While Dr. Teta does a good job of putting most of it in plain language, the article can be a bit science-y for those of you who aren't familiar with the principles of metabolism and nutrition, and you might find it a bit overwhelming.

The good news?  You don't have to figure this stuff out on your own - you can work with me (Coach JP), and I can help you navigate your way through your journey to a healthier, happier you!  For more info on how we can work together, click here.

Winter Is Coming... Is There An "Off-Season" For Fitness?

Winter Is Coming... Is There An "Off-Season" For Fitness?

We've all heard of the "off-season" for competitive athletes.  It's that time of year when they're not in competition, and are either backing off on training to recover for their next season, or amping up their training to be in better condition.  Either way, managing the off-season well is often crucial to the performance of an athlete from season to season, and in increasing career longevity.

But what about those of us who don't compete?

What if our "sport" is simply being better at our lives - being stronger, healthier and happier?  Is there an off-season for that?

What to Do When You Get Off Track

What to Do When You Get Off Track

So far on the blog, we've talked about setting goals, finding your motivation, and how preparation and small wins trump the mythical willpower when it comes to long-term success.  Hopefully you've used those lessons to get yourself started on your health and lifestyle journey - but what happens when you get off-track?  Are you one of those people who goes completely off the rails (like I used to be!), or just make a minor course correction and carry on?  Today's article gives you some tools for dealing with those inevitable times when things don't go according to plan.

Meal Frequency vs. Consistency

Meal Frequency vs. Consistency

So far, we've looked at where you want to go on this journey, and dug into some deeper motivation to keep you on track when things get tough.  Today, we're going to change gears a little, and look at something a little less emotional that you can put into practice - meal timing.

Dispelling The Myth Of
Frequent, Smaller Meals

Before we go further, I want to dispel a very commonly accepted myth when it comes to nutrition for fat loss.

For many, many years, the generally-accepted practice in the fat loss, physique and sports nutrition fields when it came to meal frequency was that people should eat multiple small meals throughout the day, rather than the traditional "3 square meals" of the olden days.  A number of seemingly plausible reasons were given for why this was the optimal way of doing things, but really it came down to two main concepts:

  • More frequent meals to keep your metabolism "revved up" all the time
  • Smaller meals to keep insulin spikes smaller, keep blood sugar more stable and reduce fat storage

Great in theory, but what was really behind all of this?

Find Your Real, Deep Down "Why"

Find Your Real, Deep Down "Why"

What's My Motivation?

In our last post, we talked about how important it is to Begin With The End In Mind.  Having a clear, strong picture of where you're going on your nutrition/lifestyle journey can be a powerful motivator in itself, and for some people, that vision is all they need to see it through to the end.  They can see the potential reward of better health, improved sports performance, or just looking better naked, and that carrot is enough to keep them going.

Most people, however, need to dig a little deeper to find something more internal and emotional to drive them forward when times get tough.  This is kind of like that "emotional breakthrough moment" you see on those weight loss shows on TV, where the contestant breaks down and shouts at/cries with their trainer over something deep inside that has been holding them back.

While we don't necessarily need you to do that (but hey - if you need to, we're here to listen!), we do need you to take things to a more emotional level so that you have something really meaningful to you to help you push through the rough times.

Free Preview of My First Book, As It's Being Written (Part 2)

Free Preview of My First Book, As It's Being Written (Part 2)

Alright, folks - here's the continuation of the story that will make up the Introduction to the book.  I'm hoping to finish off this part of the book over the coming weekend, and will post it here as well.  After that, I'm not sure how much I'll post on the blog, and how much will only be going out to my Advance Reader List.

If you're interested in getting all of the content through the process, click the button in the main post to get on my Advance Reader List.  I promise, all you'll get from the list is access to the book content - no marketing BS.  I just need some eyes on the content, and feedback while the book is being developed!

Free Preview of My First Book, As It's Being Written!

Free Preview of My First Book, As It's Being Written!

So, I've decided to write a book.  It's going to be partly a journal chronicling the training, nutrition and progress of myself and the BTG Spartan Team as we prepare for the 2017 season, partly a training and nutrition guide to preparing for your first Spartan Beast (in particular, a mountainous grinder like Sun Peaks, Montana or Lake Tahoe) or just to become a great all-rounder fitness-wise, and hopefully a little bit of an inspirational and entertaining tale along the way.

Here's the first part of the Introduction (or maybe chapter 1?) that I just finished writing, covering a bit of back-story, including our semi-disastrous 2016 preseason, breaking my ankle one week before our first Spartan Race of 2016, and the beginning of my comeback from that disaster at the end of May to completing four Spartan Races in 49 days from early September to yesterday (October 22), including a Trifecta (Sprint, Super and Beast in the same year) plus a second Beast.  It's 2166 words so far, and I've only gotten to where I got the OK from the doctor to start walking unassisted!

The continuation of the introduction (or maybe chapter 2?), which I'll also publish here on the blog, will complete the journey through to the end of our racing season, and bring things up to the current date.

If you're interested in reading the whole book online, as it is created, sign up to my advance reader list by clicking THIS LINK.  I'll also provide a link at the end of this preview chapter, for once I've hooked you with my riveting content - LOL!  Seriously, though, I'd really appreciate having a few more sets of eyes on this as I create it to help catch any typos and to give me quick feedback on whether it's interesting/useful enough reading or not!

The Truth About Ketogenic Diets

The Truth About Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets are once again back in fashion, as people take the low-carb mentality to the extreme in search of a quick fix for fat loss.  The folks over at Precision Nutrition have taken a look at the actual research behind it, and put together a great overview of ketogenic diets, what they are, who and what they DO work for, and who and what they DON'T.

Here's the link to the full article, and here's the short version (summarized by Coach JP):

  • For long-term fat loss, surprise, surprise:  starving your body of a key macronutrient doesn't work. 
  • As with all low-carb diets, the fast weight loss that most experience in the beginning is due to the loss of muscle glycogen (I.E. one of your body's key fuel sources) and the water that accompanies it, not any loss of body fat.  All of that weight will return as soon as you provide your body with the carbohydrate it needs to replenish those stores.
  • For athletic performance, a ketogenic diet doesn't help performance, and may harm it.  However, supplementing a regular diet with ketones might produce a small (2% or less) but measurable improvement in aerobic performance.  Not worth it for a weekend warrior, but for an elite endurance athlete, maybe.
  • For those with or at risk for certain neurological issues, ketogenic diets have been proven effective, and research is currently ongoing for others. 

When Disaster Strikes Part 1 - Nutrition To Support/Accelerate Injury Recovery

When Disaster Strikes Part 1 - Nutrition To Support/Accelerate Injury Recovery

So I managed to break my leg/ankle (technically a "spiral fracture of the fibula") on the inaugural Run For Water Trail Race yesterday.  I was absolutely flying (for a 205 lb., 5'7" non-runner!), on pace to finish the race somewhere between 1h30m and 1h45m, and it happened.  Just a single misstep on a very slick section of the trail (it was the wettest day of the year so far yesterday - just my luck!), my right foot trailed behind me, and I went down HARD.  Lots of snapping/popping as I went down, race over.  X-rays confirmed the break, so now I'm in a cast for 6 weeks, but on the upside, I "probably" won't need surgery according to the ER doc.

Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and...Sourdough Baker?

Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and...Sourdough Baker?

I have to admit, I have become a LITTLE bit obsessed with making sourdough bread.  In today's "wheat is the root of all evil" culture, particularly in the fitness and fat loss industry, that seems to be a bit counter-intuitive, maybe even a bit crazy, but bear with me...

See, I've never been a "X is always bad" kind of guy when it comes to food.  We've gone through a number of nutrition/diet fads and trends during my lifetime so far (low-fat/high-fibre, sugar-free, fat-free, low-carb, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and vegan among others), and the takeaway once the hype behind each of those blows over is that eating healthy really comes down to eating a wide variety of real foods in moderation.  Anything can be bad for you in too big a quantity, or when it is consumed too frequently / to the exclusion of other things.

Read the full article to journey a little way down the sourdough rabbit-hole with me!  :)

Spartan Race Trifecta Training Plan

Spartan Race Trifecta Training Plan

With only 13 weeks until the Spartan Vancouver Sprint, it's time to really buckle down and amp-up our training!  We're also 28 weeks out from the big finale - the Spartan Sun Peaks Beast!

Click this link if you want to see the overall, 28-week plan all laid out.

I'm going to be posting the actual workouts as we progress through them, so if you want to follow along (whether you're going to race with us or not), feel free!

Any questions or comments, please Contact Coach JP via our website!

Update - My Fitness Journey (Coach JP)

Update - My Fitness Journey (Coach JP)

Quick update, since I haven't done one in a few weeks!

In short - I haven't weighed myself, but I fit in my "angry pants" that started this whole thing off last fall.  They're snug, but I didn't have to squeeze myself into them. :)

I'm planning to amp up my training efforts over the next short while, as I have some pretty aggressive targets I need to hit now that I have some other events booked (Spartan Races and my MovNat Level 2 Certification).

The Gout, The (Sand)Bag and The Sweaty - My Fitness Journey (Coach JP)

The Gout, The (Sand)Bag and The Sweaty - My Fitness Journey (Coach JP)

A pretty good week overall.  Made small progress, and figured out some strategies for helping deal with office-related stress at my day job.  Fought the 60 lb. sandbag again in BAM!, made a sweaty mess of myself there and walking to work in long pants, and had to deal with a gout attack today (Sunday), but still...good overall!

Still Going! My Fitness Journey - Coach JP

Still Going!  My Fitness Journey - Coach JP

It's been a while since I last posted here about my fitness journey - just over a month, in fact.  Along the way, I've dealt with some injuries (wrist, ankle, plantar fascia) and illness (a cold/flu that I only now feel like I'm making my way out of).  The holidays also came and went, along with a major project at my day job that occupied a lot of odd hours.

Short version, from nearly hitting the milestone of having lost 10 pounds since starting my journey, my weight went back up nearly to where I started, at 212 pounds as of a week ago.  Not totally unexpected considering some forced inactivity and a general lack of discipline with regards to my eating over the holidays.

I'm in the same boat as many this time of year, thinking about how much progress I want to make in the coming months, but I'm not making any "New Year's Resolutions".  I have a plan, and I'm sticking to it!  More detailed post to follow this coming weekend...

My Fitness Journey (Week 6) - Coach JP

My Fitness Journey (Week 6) - Coach JP

This past week went pretty well overall!  Missed two planned exercise sessions, but got in two more on Saturday.  Not quite on-plan nutrition-wise, but did make progress.  Approaching a significant milestone, weight-wise...but still can't fit my "angry pants" properly.  :)  Progress, not perfection!  BIG drop in scale weight this week, and approaching a significant milestone, weight-wise...but still can't fit my "angry pants" properly.  :)  Progress, not perfection!

My Fitness Journey (Week 5) - Coach JP

My Fitness Journey (Week 5) - Coach JP

Can't seem to shake this cold/flu completely, but at least it's not constantly dragging me down like it was the previous couple of weeks!  I took a step back on the nutrition side of things so that I could have a bit of success there, and also re-focused on training this week.  Basically stayed the same on the scale, but feeling FAR better

My Fitness Journey (Week 4) - Coach JP

My Fitness Journey (Week 4) - Coach JP

Just a brief update today.  It's been a difficult couple of weeks, fighting with illness and lack of sleep.  Nutrition hasn't been terrible, but not on target either.  Workouts have been pretty poor - only two in the last two weeks, and only managed to walk to work once.

I'm taking a step back to a nutrition behaviour I know I can manage (Don't Drink Your Calories), and resetting my target for exercise behaviour to walking to work three days per week, and getting in three workouts this week - strength today (Monday), boxing Wednesday, and BAM! Friday.

Weigh-in yesterday was a small step back as well - 210.0 pounds (up 1.2 pounds the past two weeks, still down 4.0 pounds since the start).

Onward and upward!