Nutritional based articles straight from cutandjacked.com's specialist writers
If you aren't tracking your calorie input somehow, then how do you know if you're eating a surplus of calories each day? You need bricks to build a house. Think yourself lucky you're able to eat lots!
Yeah - you read this in fitness/bodybuiding magazines but rep range is the loading parameter that should be varied most often! To fully stimulate fast and slow twitch fibres, 10 reps won't cut it after a few weeks sorry.
Yes it hurts. Yes it's a major stimulus to muscle building. No you can't just bash out your reps. Consider using sets of at least 40s length to really create a hypertrophic response!
Time your rest periods and stick to a predetermined time. You'll never know if that extra couple of reps was genuinely increased strength or just because you had a bit more time chatting. Measure and manage!
Did you know you build and repair muscle when you're resting? Most of us simply won't get enough recovery time if we train 7 days a week (especially with the reduced sleeping hours so many of us suffer from!)
Written By James Alexander Ellis
80% of all my clients have a fat loss related goal!
Here are some appetite control tips you may have not considered before:
1: Eat the Protein part of your meals FIRST, especially if you are eating a less controlled / measured meal. This is likely to fill you up and stabilise blood sugar response from any sugars/carbs you eat.
2: Adopting an intermittent fasting approach where you have a 16hr break between last and first meal can make it much easier to maintain a calorie deficit Less meals / food to track.
3: Many food cravings or hunger pangs are temporary and can be easily controlled with simple DISTRACTION. Make yourself busy for 20mins with your email or social media and your urges may well pass!
*A food processor can be used to ground whole almonds
Makes about 15 pieces (5 servings).
1/4 cup raw coconut oil, melted (56g)
2 teaspoons confectioners style erythritol (10g)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (24g)
Chocolate raspberry filling:
1/2 cup natural chocolate whey protein powder (45g)
1/2 cup raspberries, mashed (62g)
1/2 teaspoon confectioners style erythritol (3g)
A note about substitutions: you might try replacing the whey with casein, but I don’t think vegan powders would work well in the filling.
Personally I remain lean all year round. Mainly because I think it should be a lifestyle and not some seasonal venture that people adopt when the summer time comes round. Now I know some people will take the argument, “but I’m bulking” which I accept. Of course intelligent periodization should form part of every person’s routine. But I typically draw people’s attention to the science around these crazy, 10,000 calorie a day ‘dirty bulks’….
So it’s widely known to induce muscular hypertrophy (and increase in the size of your muscles) you will need to create a ‘calorie surplus’. Put simply you eat more calories than you use/burn. But a mistake most strength and power athletes make is they reach for the burger, chips, cheese and ice cream. All the time telling themselves it’s ok since the extra calories will also add extra quality muscle. The problem is it doesn’t. Yes, sure your body meets its daily calorie needs but it will also be lacking in certain other vitamins and minerals that are needed for muscle growth. It’s basically a very narrow minded way of looking at nutrition and the human body.
Let’s take soft drinks and ice cream as a prime example. Not exactly known for being a great source of minerals and what’s worse is that a lot of them contain phosphates that have been shown to deplete the body’s iron stores. Iron is obviously hugely important to athletes since it’s vital for the transportation of oxygen by haemoglobin and muscles using oxygen by myoglobin. Having less iron in the body means less oxygen can be delivered to the working muscles. Again, is it any wonder you see these massive guys who are on a bulk yet struggle for breath walking up the stairs. Yes, they’re carrying more weight than their frame is used to (basic physics) but equally their body’s nutritionally handicapped by the lack of iron and oxygen circulating the body.
Talking more generally, junk food such as doughnuts or pastries lack various muscle building micronutrients such as zinc which serves as a cofactor in more than 100 enzyme processes within the body, the most important being to help build DNA, protein, insulin and testosterone production. Obviously insulin is needed by the body to shuttle key nutrients such as amino acids to the muscles and testosterone is a hugely important anabolic hormone and without sufficient zinc in the diet both are affected.
Whilst there are too many nutrients to name specifically, it’s important to note that high calorie diets can lead to nutrient deficiency or a new form of malnutrition as described by scientists Orit Kaidar-Person et al (2008) which will ultimately leave your muscles underfed and will stunt their growth. Therefore concerning nutrients, it’s much wiser to attempt a clean bulk and ensure you create a calorie surplus through more nutrient dense foods since this will ensure your body also receives the often overlooked micronutrients it needs for muscular hypertrophy. The next issue regarding a dirty bulk is related to your insulin sensitivity. Firstly insulin is a hormone responsible for shuttling nutrients to the muscles and insulin sensitivity relates to how much of the hormone insulin your body needs to shuttle these nutrients to muscles.
Put simply ‘good insulin sensitivity’ means your body only needs a small amount to transport nutrients to the muscles whereas ‘bad insulin sensitivity’ means your body isn’t very good at shuttling nutrients to the muscles and requires a lot of insulin, plus even worse than that you’re also on track to diabetes. Now whilst insulin sensitivity varies from person to person research shows that a dirty bulk won’t help matters. Specifically this relates to fast food and its content of trans fatty acids (trans fats) which is an artificially made fat that’s used when making pastries, cookies, doughnuts and French fries. It’s responsible for that ‘melt in your mouth’ type feeling you get from a really nice doughnut or cookie and although it tastes amazing, researchers Mark. A Pereira et al (2005) state it negatively affects insulin sensitivity. This means although certain French fries taste amazing and they will help you create a calorie surplus, they will detrimentally affect insulin sensitivity and therefore how effectively nutrients are transported to the muscles. This exact principle also applies with foods that are high in fructose such as certain pre-packaged cereals, junk food deserts, potato chips, soft drinks and shockingly certain snack bars that are advertised as healthy since researchers Heather Basciano et al (2005) found that diets containing a high amount of fructose again negatively affected insulin sensitivity. So again, whilst washing your ‘dirty bulking’ meal down with a litre of orange fizzy drinks may help you get the calories in, your muscles won’t thank you for the reduced insulin sensitivity (Bray G.A, 2010).
Finally (and very closely linked to insulin sensitivity) is how effectively you will be able to keep your body fat low and only build quality, functional mass for sport rather. Whilst insulin helps to transport nutrients to the muscles, it’s also the most lipolytic (fat storing) hormone in the body, shuttling fatty acids and glucose to fat cells to be stored as body fat. For this reason no strength athlete will want bad insulin sensitivity since this means their body will release more insulin which in turn reduces lipolysis (the burning of fat) and increases lipogensis (the storing of body fat.) The final point to consider is that whilst dirty bulking may produce short-term gains and also look very impressive as you stand on the scales and gain 5 lbs. a week, it may not be very good in the long-term and actually be counterproductive when you’re trying to build a stronger physique with more functional mass.
Written By Ross Edgley
Yield: 2 servings
Makes 9 brownies, one square 7" pan
Notes: A note about substitutions: Because each type of protein powder has a distinct flavor and texture when baked, I would not try substituting different types of protein powders in this recipe. If you'd like to use stevia in place of the coconut sugar, you'd save yourself a couple of grams of carbs per brownie. And remember not to over-bake these brownies!
Recipe created by Andréa's Protein Cakery: www.proteincakery.com