Nutrition

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Nutritional based articles straight from cutandjacked.com's specialist writers 

Posted 08 August 2013 by Amy Jo Horvath

Recipe: Gluten Free


Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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Recipe: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Granola Bars

These bars are a much healthier alternative to any processed granola bar you will find in the grocery store! They can be cut into any size that works well with your plan. This recipe is crunchy but if you were to increase the peanut butter and honey base, it would make them slightly more chewy! Make sure to look for Gluten Free Oats and flour to make these a Gluten Free treat!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup oat flour (I just throw old fashion rolled oats into my processor and process until flour)
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional - helps hold the ingredients together)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Mix Honey and Peanut butter until well blended.  Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and blend well. Press mixture into a prepared 8x11.5" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until barely browned. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container or individually wrapped to grab on the go. I cut my pan into 18 bars, which were the exact same size as the bars I use to buy in the store.

Stats

NUTRIENTS: 1 Serving bar:

Calories: 189
Fat: 8.4g
Saturated: 2g
Polyunsaturated: 2.2g
Monounsaturated: 2.7g
Sodium: 7.8mg
Carbs: 24.9g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5g
Sugars: 11.3g
Protein: 7.3g

Recipe by: Amy Jo Horvath

Posted 07 July 2013 by Ben Noy

Foods Of A Fitness Model


By Ben Noy

Foods of a fitness model by Ben Noy

1.) Meat

Meat - Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, tuna etc.alternatively, other types that contain more essential fats or muscle building qualities like Salmon or Steak.

2.) Organic Eggs

Organic Eggs - I choose organic in most cases due to the quality and animal cruelty but it is a more expensive route to take.

3.) Essential Fats

Essential Fats - A few different options based on your personal daily nutrient in-take but I usual go for cashews/almonds/peanuts (the butter spreads also an option), Omega 3, Flaxseed and Avocado.

4.) Vegetables

Vegetables - I don't tend to hold back on variety when it comes to vegetables just make sure you meet your daily fiber requirement - Standard choices are usually Broccoli, Asparagus, Spinach, Mushrooms, Watercress, Carrots and Tomatoes.

5.) Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates - I have a very high carb content in my daily macros so variety again is the key. Brown/White Organic Rice, Yams, Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Rice Cakes, Quinoa, Cous Cous & Organic Oats.

6.) Supplements

Supplements - Reflex BCAA (branch chain amino acids), Peptide Fusion, One Stop Extreme, IntraFusion, NOS Fusion & Nexgen Multi Vitamins! Keep your vitamins topped up.

7.) Water

Water - More important than most people realise...hydration is so important for so many reasons. Just to name a few, cleanses your skin, helps flush the system and most importantly can prevent headaches and boost energy levels.

8.) Fruits

Fruits - Many fruits contain anti-oxidants, help energy levels and contain loads of other nutritional benefits to create the perfect balance - Bananas and Blueberries are my favourite choice.

9.) Dairy

Dairy - Improves bone health and may reduce osteoporosis, even more important when still growing to assist bone mass. I tend to opt for Goats/Greek Yogurt and Coconut & Almond Milk.

10.) Anti-Oxidants

Anti-Oxidants - Helps optimal health and wellness, just to name a few...Most Berries, Garlic and a variety of nuts.

The idea behind being prepared is to make your lifestyle easier to maintain and to create your own luck...Preparation + Opportunity = Luck.

Tips on training, nutrition and lifestyle and constant updates: -
FanPage: www.facebook.com/bennoyofficial
Instagram: bennoyofficial
Twitter: @bennoyofficial 

Posted 28 June 2013 by Ben Noy

Understanding The Need And


Use Of Essential Fats

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Understand The Need And Use Of Essential Fats

Essential fatty acids serve crucial functions in growth and development. They are required for the maintenance of every cell in your body. Your body cannot synthesize essential fatty acids, so you depend on the food you eat for the essential fatty acids your body requires. You need to get a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. A variety of foods can provide the essential fatty acids your body craves. Knowledge is power...Be in control of your body & witness the rewards

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesis them. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel.

The list below are a variety of options for your essential fats and some contain & increase your omega 3 acids and also omega 6 fatty acids and some enhance your essential fatty acid balance.

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Fish Options: -

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Mullet
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Pilchard
  • Cod

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Seafood Options: -

  • Shrimp
  • Alaskan king crab
  • Molluscs

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Vegetable & Fruit Options: -

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Seaweed
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Grape leaves
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Parsley
  • Spring greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Winter squash

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Oil Options: -

  • Flax oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil 

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Seed & Nut Options: -

  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts

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Legumes Options:-

  • Pinto
  • Kidney beans
  • mungo beans

Written by Ben Noy

Posted 24 June 2013 by Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT

Part 2: Your fitness Questions


Answered By Expert Becs. C

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Ivan Chamurdjiev - Can a creatine cycle be 5-6 months long? A lot of people tell me it's not good but I have never seen scientific research that it harms you if you take it in the long run?

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Firstly, you are absolutely right; based on current data, long-term creatine supplementation does not result in adverse health effects. However, the theory behind cycling is that if you keep giving your body a substance, it will eventually get lazy and stop producing it itself. Whilst there's no hard evidence for this, I say it's not worth the risk! Cycles of 12-16 weeks shouldn't be a problem, then take a break.

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Marcin Smola - What is the secret to a tiny waist,... Vacuums?

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Vacuums haven't been used much since the 70's. In those days, they were used to engage the deep core muscles called your transverse abs, which simply suck in the stomach.
Vacuums will improve your posture and your core control, and your waist may appear a little smaller. However, remember that shrinking your waistline will not make your abs more visible; you need to drop your body fat to under 10% for them to show through. You'll also need to do superficial ab work for your rectus abdominus and obliques to get some good definition.

Ian Shoulders - Creatine while in caloric deficit? Pointless or fat burning/muscle gaining powerhouse? Best way to use if so...

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Creatine can actually be quite advantageous even if you are dieting, as it can help to keep the intensity of your workout session higher. When you go on a low calorie diet, your gym sessions will need to be reduced in volume and you may find strength starting to lag as a result of the diet. Creatine will help negate some of these negative side effects.

Do note though that creatine generally needs to be taken with carbs, to get into the muscle cells more effectively. Without the carbs, creatine will take longer to be absorbed and may not be absorbed to the full extent. In this case, taking the creating straight with water (or protein) in conjunction with a meal (to reduce stomach upset) is the protocol to follow. Typically you want to load with 20g for a 5-day period, then drop to a normal dose of 10g per day.

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TC Hakan Çelik -  How do you keep your bodyfat low after you achieve it?

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Generally speaking, maintenance is much easier than the journey to get the numbers down. However, this all depends on how lean you want to stay! If you have a body fat under 10% then you can get away with a whole cheat day every week, and still maintain your physique as long as you eat clean the rest of the week. If you are preparing for a contest where it's generally expected that your body fat will be down as low as 3-5%, then it is unrealistic to think you can maintain this long term.

John Tru Bishop - What’s the truth about carbs in the afternoon when trying to lean out? If I go to bed at 10 is 5pm too late?

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Personally, from what I've seen with my clients, the time of day you have your carbs is completely irrelevant, as long as you are getting your overall consumption for that day right. What is more important is that you are not mixing a heavy carb meal with a meal that is high in fat as well. As a general rule, mix protein with fat and protein with carbs, but never all three together. One caveat - never EVER have carbs for breakfast!

Abeer Koul - Best Diet to put on muscle mass and burn fat? High Carb or low carb? How many grams of carbs  should we take before a workout?

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Lets make this simple. You can't diet down and put on muscle at the same time; these goals are contradictory in their very nature. See Part One of this article, the question asked by Jake Goldsmith www.cutandjacked.com/Your-Questions-Answered-By-An-Expert for a more detailed understanding.

Ole-Aleksander Brænna - What are the best foods for a vascular body

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Vascularity is not something you get from a few food choices. You need to eat clean, get lean and vascularity will show when you have the 'pump' that gets the blood flowing through your veins. Increasing body temperature and sugary foods can increase this; that's why's you sometimes see body builders eating handfuls of sweets before they go on stage. Note that this is an immediate effect, and not something that will work over many hours or days.

Jenny Sarafin - How many grams of carbs do you need post workout? Or is just a whey ISO enough?

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Impossible to say, since it’s so specific to your training goals and body shape. Research your protein shake carefully, and check the protein/ carb ratio; a shake designed for gaining mass will have totally different ratios to one put together for someone dieting down. If you pick the right shake then there's probably no need to supplement with additional food choices.

Monika Matesa -  What is the purpose/effect of high-volume weight training

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The purpose of high volume training is to get the maximum production of growth hormone possible for that particular session. However, there is a limit to the volume at which this takes place; anything over this may be classed as cardio training, not weight training. Stay with a rep range of under 15 for each exercise, and remember that you are looking to continually overload the muscle.

Casey David Archuleta - Is the higher priced protein really worth the cost in comparison to low priced protein. Does it really give better results?

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Yes it does. Buying good quality protein powder is equivalent to buying a high quality piece of steak. You get what you pay for. Higher priced protein generally allows for better absorption into your body and has less fillers. Protein shake manufacturers are unregulated so the cheaper brands can get away with nasty concoctions of unwanted sweeteners and additives that you shouldn't get with the better brands.

Carrie Deakin - How do you build quads and glutes when you can't squat, leg press, or deadlift because of a knee injury?

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Are you critically ill?! Seriously, these are fundamental movement patterns; movements you should be using every day of your life to sit, stand, bend over... you get the idea. No injury, if dealt with properly should prevent the progression back to these movements, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Work with a professional who knows what they are doing. Avoid isolation exercises such as the leg extension because the sheer force going through you knee here is not something you will want to experience.

Dan Montgomery - If I want to lift, then do 45 minutes of cardio directly after, is my whey protein going to be effective still or should I do cardio in the morning and lift in the evening?

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Splitting your routine into two will be far more beneficial if you can find the time. Why? You'll get twice the amount of growth hormone produced, you'll feel fresher for session number two meaning you'll be working at a better intensity and you'll maintain muscle mass. Go straight from weights to cardio and you'll run the risk of going into a catabolic state; one of muscle breakdown, not muscle building.

If you were to put the weights and cardio session together, a shake in between the two would be more beneficial than at the end. However, you want the amino acids in your shake to be available to your muscles for building and its likely that they may just go straight to fuelling your cardio session, which is not want you want.

Christy D'asto-Huggard - Fast and slow twitch muscles...What kind would a deconditioned client have?

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He will have both. However, deconditioned clients have generally been sedentary for a long time, and will have experienced a shift towards slow twitch fibres as some fibre types can change over time.

Cody DeMent - Is cardio just as important as lifting weights to build muscle and get a shredded look?

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Sort of. I know guys who do no cardio at all and stay lean all year round because they have a lot of mass and good genetics. If you are looking to compete then you absolutely cannot lose every ounce of fat you need to lose without the cardio, but a good base of weight training alone is essential before you add in the cardio. Preservation of lean mass is the number one priority.

Jorge A. Castillo - What is the right way to carb load?

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There are so many different ways of carb loading, depending on what it’s for. An example would be a period of around 24-36 hours, meals every two hours with a small amount of protein and carbohydrate at each meal, dropping the fats right down. Mostly this should be done on visuals, looking at your body and adjusting depending on how you are reacting. Some people can get away with pizza’s whilst carb loading, but you need to try different things out and find out what works best for you.

Note - I don’t recommend starting with pizzas, have a simple formula you can tweak before you start experimenting!

Questions Answered by Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT

Website: www.improvemyfitness.net

Facebook fanpage: www.facebook.com/pages/Improve-MY-Fitness

Posted 22 June 2013 by Jeremy Scott

Recipe: Gluten-Free


High Energy Granola Bar

Gluten-Free High-Energy Granola Bars

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Ingredients 

• 1 cup Certified Gluten Free Oats
• 1 cup Quinoa Flakes
• 2/3 cup Almond Flour
• 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
• 1/4 cup Ground Chia Seeds
• 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 3/4 tsp Sea Salt, fine
• ½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
• 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate pieces – Optional
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 egg white, beaten
• 1/2 cup Cold-Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil
• 1/3 cup Honey
• 1 Tbsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch glass-baking pan.
  2. Sift together in large bowl: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Flakes, Almond Flour, Protein Powder, Ground Chia (or hemp) Seeds, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Pumpkin Seeds, and Dark Chocolate.
  3. Make small well in center of dry mixture. Add: beaten eggs, egg whites, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla.
  4. Squish/mix together with hands. Press into prepared baking dish. You do not have to press all the way to edges (will not spread while baking) if you want a thicker and chewier bar.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges look slightly golden.
  6. Let sit for at least 1 hour before slicing. As it cools, it holds together better.

Makes 24 medium-sized bars.

Nutrition Information (for 2 bars):

  • Calories: 246
  • Fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Protein: 12g

Recipe by:
Jeremy Scott www.jeremyscottfitness.com & Kim Maes www.cookitallergyfree.com 

Posted 17 June 2013 by Jeremy Scott

Recipe: Gluten Free 5 Minute


Protein Power Pancake

5-minute Gluten-Free Protein Power Pancakes 

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These pancakes are so simple to throw together and are jam-packed with protein. All of the ingredients get tossed in your food processor or blender. These are not only gluten-free, but also grain-free, and taste amazing. Tip: Make extras and freeze them for easy breakfasts all week long.

Ingredients:

• 1 ripe Banana
• 3 Eggs
• 2 Egg Whites
• 1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
• 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
• 2 ¼ cup blanched Almond Flour
• 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
• 2 tsp Baking Soda
• ¼ tsp Salt

• 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil for cooking

Instructions:

  1. In your food processor or high-speed blender, blend together banana, eggs, egg whites, and Almond Milk until smooth. Add almond flour, protein powder, baking soda, and salt.
     
  2. Heat some of the Coconut Oil in large skillet, and add batter to make 3-4 inch diameter pancakes. Cook about 3 minutes until golden on bottom and pancake wants to flip easily (when bubbles start to appear and pop). Feel free to add blueberries or other fruit to pancakes before flipping, if desired. Flip and cook 2 minutes longer. Add more oil as necessary.

Makes about 20 - 24 pancakes.

Nutritional Information (for 2 pancakes):

Calories: 194

Fat: 13.1g

Carbohydrates: 10.8g

Protein: 13.6g

Recipe By
Jeremy Scott www.jeremyscottfitness.com & Kim Maes www.cookitallergyfree.com 

Posted 16 June 2013 by Salman Kassam Pn1 iTS BCT

Part 1: Your Fitness Questions


Answered By Expert Salman K.

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1. Ann Marie Levy - When taking a thermogenic,
do you take it on your off days too?

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ANSWER: Yes take them on off days as they will still boost your metabolism. They’ve also been shown to curb your appetite especially when you first start your cycle. Be aware that take the longer you take them the less effective they become so a reduction on off days may prolong their effectiveness. Beware if you are using them to allow yourself to eat sloppily, because when you come off them you won’t have developed the discipline to keep at your goal weight.

2. Anina Robb - Is there such a thing as adrenal fatigue?

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ANSWER: The medial communities are split over whether this is real or not. For anyone who’s suddenly found their strength and size gains stop for no apparent reason, it’s very real. You just can’t explain why you are so physically and mentally exhausted all of a sudden, even though you’re training to the max. Our adrenal glands influence all of the major physiological processes in our body. If they are not allowed to recover from heavy bouts in the gym, you are using stimuli like fat burners or pre-workout & you are
not dealing with stress at home or work, you will suffer AF & problems with your lifting will follow soon after. Train smart; going heavy or hard every day is not the way to go. Ensure that you have a de-load week every third or fourth week. Cut one set per exercise from that weeks training and keep the previous weeks weights. Use the extra time you have this week to get an hour or so more sleep. The next week you should find you strength gains are far greater and you can keep progressing.

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3. Jake Goldsmith - Best diet to put on size and cut fat! Low carb? No carb? Or I.F.?

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ANSWER: To put on mass while cutting fat is not possible, and you are always going to loose some conditioning when you put on size. That’s why it’s usually advised that you bulk from your leanest point. Dependent on how well you keep to your bulking plan, you can limit the fall out to an increase in body fat of less than 5%.

IF is a calorie restriction technique, and is definitely not a suitable option. How can you increase mass without the building blocks to do so? Calories need to be increased gradually to around 800-1000 calories over your personal maintenance level. Your maintenance level is the amount of calories you usually consume without putting on weight. Dependent on your somotype (genetic body shape) you’ll need to have different ratio of macronutrients (fat, protein vs carb) so seek out a Precision Nutrition Coach or Biosignature Practitioner to work these out for you.

4. Craig Yemm - Best time to take multi vit/fish oils, morning pre/post work out, before bed and why?

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ANSWER: Fish oils need to be consumed in the morning with a purely protein breakfast to shift your body from a catabolic state into an anabolic one (carbs should follow 30 minutes afterwards). Do not take them after a workout as you need nutrients to be absorbed quickly into the muscles, and the fat will simply show down the process. The timing for multivitamins is generally in the morning, but if you are taking specific vitamins such as Zinc, these are best consumed at different times throughout the day.

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5. Scott Bubba Melnyk - I have 200+ pounds to lose and was told to do just walking for a year. No weights. Is that right?

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ANSWER: I’ve trained a lot of big guys and cardio has to be twinned with weight training. I would recommend the walking to help you develop cardiovascular fitness (not running as this will destroy your knees), don’t be fooled by those idiots on Biggest Loser! Use machine weights until your have developed the appropriate coordination and muscular recruitment patterns. Don’t be impatient, as a loss of 1-2lbs per weeks should mean you are losing fat and not lean mass. Generally those who lose weight purely from cardio, do so too quickly end up looking like deflated balloons when they remove their shirt. Add in the weights as well and it’ll shape everything up nicely.

6. Danielle Amodeo - I'm looking into taking supplements. BCAA, but not sure how much
should I take?

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ANSWER: For the guys - shoot for around 10g 45 minutes before your session, and another 10g during. Women - half this should suffice. Anyone on a calorie-restricted diet can benefit from interspersing his or her meals with similar dosages of BCAA’s an additional 3 -4 times per day.

7. Gloria Saenz - Alot of people don’t do cardio on legs day Why is this?

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ANSWER: If you’ve just hammered your legs they need to recover - rest is the most underrated tool when it comes to muscle growth. If you’ve trained your legs hard enough, you should struggle to walk, let alone run!

8. Courtney Holmes - Should I take my BCAAs, etc on off days?

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ANSWER: A key benefit of BCAA’s is that it helps prevent muscle loss when away from the gym, so sipping a mixture in your water bottle throughout the day is highly beneficial. In fact I recommend that my clients take daily doses when away on holiday to limit muscle wastage as well.

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9. William Jacob Nehrig - I work out first thing in the morning and add another workout 3x a week at night. Is eating a healthy meal or a protein shake before bed a good thing to do?

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ANSWER: All your body cares about is if it is getting the right fuel to sustain or accelerate what you are asking it to do.
What you do just before bed depends on whether you’ve hit your macros for the day; if you are short on calories then have the shake or meal. There are two main benefits of a shake; the speed of consumption (there’s nothing to prevent quick uptake of nutrients). and convenience. Other than that, unless you are struggling to consume the quantity of food you need, whole food is always better than a shake.

10. Praveen Babu - Right side trap is bigger than left, what can I do, the difference is too much that u can clearly notice that even wearing a shirt.

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ANSWER: If one trap is larger than the other this may be a result of its overactivity. I’d recommend seeing a good sports masseuse to calm down the signals it’s receiving when training. This may in itself reduce some of its mass. If the difference is still obvious when performing unilateral shoulder exercises add an extra two sets on the side that’s lacking. This shall add the symmetry you’ve lost.

11. Felix Shavers - General training question about front squat, deep squat, half squat. Which muscles are the most concerned, which is the best for quads, for glutes?

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ANSWER: Half squats or sissy squats as I like to call them will work your VMO (the tear drop quad muscle the most). On their own I think they look stupid but performing a half squat followed by a full squat can nicely shape your legs. Full squats performed correctly will hit both quads and hamstrings hard but most people struggle with the technique and when it gets hard they cheat by folding forward, taking the emphasis off the quads. Front squats are the winners (hamstring to calf depth) as they have been shown to hammer both quads and hammies, plus you can’t cheat without dropping the bar. It’s important to note that if your front squat isn’t 85% of your back squat, then your form on your back squat is falling short.

12. Oancea Cosmin - Is crossfit training better than normal training if your goal is to lose fat gain muscle?

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ANSWER: Crossfit philosophy is to allow you to achieve overall fitness, it’s not a specialized program for weight loss or muscle gain. Weight-loss and muscle gain maybe an outcome of their workouts but not the goal. Crossfit is thrashing yourself without a nutrition plan, and you can’t out-train bad nutrition. Due to the lack of a periodized program, you may end up a little more cut, but definitely not jacked.

13. Richard Stone - What is normal percent of caloric intake from fat, protein and carbs? How does that change when cutting and what is the total % adjustment to total caloric intake?

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ANSWER: Whoa! There is no such thing as a normal macronutrient split, that’s why you don’t see ripped people subscribing to the latest celebrity diet. If you are serious about getting cut, you need to be serious about your diet and invest in a proper bespoke plan. Whether we like it or not, we are all dictated by our genetics. Some of us do better with carbs, others without, high fat, low fat blah, blah, blah. Getting this wrong will have drastic effect on your body shape. Save up.

14. Patrick Skinner - What’s the benefit of actually weighing your food rather than prepping your meal without weighing it and making sure that you have a decent balance of calories, carbs, and protein? Are the results groundbreaking or minimal?

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ANSWER: Groundbreaking. When you weigh your food, you know what’s going into your body and you get immediate feedback based on how you react / look. You can then tweak this if you are unhappy with the result, or if you are changing your phase of training. If you are looking to get sub 10% then you need to be weighting out your food. How do you know what to change if you are not measuring it? Sub 10% the smallest of changes matter. You have to measure.

15. Nathan Wilson - Currently experiencing problems developing my lower abs. I have been told that it’s possible to fuse your lower abs together? Is there a way to undo this once this has happened?

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ANSWER: I’ve never heard of this happening; generally this happens when two different muscles sit on top or overlap each other, as with your quads. The only way to separate out muscles is to see a good sport masseuse. Poor tissue quality and tight fascia can effect muscle size and development. Tissue quality should never be overlooked if you are training a muscle. Make sure you haven’t fallen into the trap of training your abs more than 3 times a week, it’s a fallacy that they don’t need as much time to recover as other muscle groups.
Also, remember for most people, lower abs only show through at your very leanest point, so it all depends if you have dieted down far enough.

Answers by Fitnesss Expert Salman Kassam Pn1 iTS BCT

Website: www.improvemyfitness.net

Facebook fanpage: www.facebook.com/pages/Improve-MY-Fitness

Posted 05 June 2013 by Georgia Simmon UKBFF

8 Steps To A Healthier


Competitive Diet

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8 steps to a healthier competitive diet

The recommended daily intake of calories for a man in the UK is 2,500 calories per day and for a woman it’s 2,000. These figures are of course wholly unreliable when dealing with athletes or fitness competitors as the calorie deficit created by extreme exercise activities means that bodybuilders should be consuming more than our relatively sedentary office-dwelling counterparts.

Why then is it that so many competitors are paying trainers to put them on diets that are sub-800 calories per day, are made up of white fish and rabbit food, and that give absolutely no consideration for the athletes long-term physical, mental or emotional well-being?
Essentially, WHY ARE WE PAYING TO STARVE?

The answer is simple: we are told that bodybuilding is meant to be hard, which it is, but we are also often told (incorrectly) that our food should be bland, boring, dry, and served in hamster sized portions out of a Tupperware, and that in order to be a bodybuilder you must also be starving hungry…
Not only is this premise wrong but it is also fundamentally unhealthy and can lead to metabolic shut down, brittle bones / osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, tooth and gum problems, skin disorders and anemia to name but a few.

The below is not a bible and it is not a fail safe, catch all guide, but it is aimed at raising awareness amongst competitors and those new to the sport.

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1) Calorie Cutting

You should not be cutting your calories below around 1,400calories a day – diets of under 1,500calories per day are considered “low calorie diets” by the medical council and anything under 800 calories per day is medically termed a ‘VLCD’ or very low calorie diet, and medical guidance is issued that only people with a BMI of 30 or more should ever engage in a VLCD diet.
Side effects of low calorie diets include fatigue, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea, as well as dizziness, forgetfulness, mood-swings, cravings and irritability.
The lower you cut your calories the less responsive your body becomes as your metabolism grinds to a halt. This is because your body is smart enough to react quickly to the knowledge that it is getting less food for the foreseeable future and thus must hold on to and store what little fat reserves it has left.

2) Create a deficit through what you’re doing

Wherever possible create a deficit through additional exercise and training as opposed to withholding food.
It is easier to cut food out than it is to force yourself to sit on a bike for an extra 15 minutes or to push through an additional 30 minutes of HIIT training first thing in the morning, but the effect on your body is incredible. If you have the energy in the first place it is easier to burn it off and the positive effect of more calories and micro-nutrients on the body is unparalleled.

3) Learn your diets

There are a vast number of diets out there and people often follow a diet because other people are doing it or because they read 1 article about it in the newspapers healthy lifestyle section on the way to work, or because their mothers-cousins-best-friends-niece tried it once and they heard it was good…
The problem with this sort of diet application is that it is often poorly researched, based on hear-say or “bro-science” and only loosely follows the original scientific or medical parameters set out for the purposes of the diet.

For example: ketogenic diets. Very simply a ketogenic diet is the principle of cutting out all carbohydrates (from which we gain energy via the breakdown of carbohydrate via insulin), and replacing these carbs with HIGH amounts of fats. From these fats (and our own body fat) we utilize energy via the use of enzymes. This process of fat / energy breakdown is known as: ketosis, hence ketogenic diet.

Now, a ketogenic diet utilizes GOOD fats such as avocado, oily fish, nut oils, virgin olive oils etc. However, many people just hear the words “fat for energy” and start using any old fat, heighten their risk of cholesterol, fill themselves up with saturated fats and become very unwell.

Likewise other people grossly underestimate the AMOUNT of fat you need to run a body and end up massively depriving themselves of calories.
Side-effects of ketogenic diets include halitosis, kidneys problems and a dry mouth.

In summary, learn your diets, don’t pick and choose parts of a diet to suit you, and if you cannot understand a diet, do not try to utilize it as it can do more harm than good.

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4) Carbs are not the enemy!

The number of fitness people who say the words “I’m on a low carb or a zero carb diet” is slowly making it an industry-wide, accepted phenomena. The question that no-one is asking these people is: so where DO you plan to get your energy from if you’re not eating carbs?
Carbohydrates are not the enemy: they are utilized by the body for fuel and to allow it to use it’s protein sources to repair itself. It is the type of carbohydrates that need to be monitored and reduced, not ALL carbohydrates.

5) Check your micros

Many competitors put themselves on restrictive diets either imposed by themselves or by the trainers that they are paying for advice and follow them blindly without questioning what they are being told to eat.
Many “competition” diets are so restrictive that the athletes taking them often find themselves with iron deficiencies, vitamin B deficiencies or other micro-nutrient problems.
Many micro-nutrient vitamins and minerals can be sourced easily from vegetable or other protein sources which will barely effect your calorie, protein or carbohydrate intake but which will hugely effect your overall health and wellbeing.

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6) Supplements should be just that: Supplement!

If you rattle when you walk and if someone shook you upside down you’d spit tablets all over the place like a pez dispenser then you are probably taking too many supplements. Supplements should be just that: supplements. They should not be used in place of real food or to fix a poor diet.
Many synthetic supplements can’t even be utilized by the body effectively!
For example: has anyone ever noticed having fluorescent green urine after drinking berroca supplements? This is because your body cannot synthesize the synthetic riboflavin (vitamin b) that Berroca is packed with and so it is filtered out in your urine by your kidneys and you don’t utilize it at all.

7) Is your trainer starving you?

Are you blindly following the instructions of somebody else even when you know deep down that it’s wrong, you feel unwell and have no energy? Then stop! Although there are many good trainers out there there are also many who don’t know what they’re doing and who can really cause you long-term damage.

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8) Are you setting yourself unrealistic diet goals?

If you are unable to get in to condition HEALTHILY within the parameters you have set yourself then you are not ready to be in that condition full stop. Look at yourself objectively, set healthy achievable goals and work towards them by using a balanced, healthy diet that allows you to come in to condition slowly and with maximum health and vitality.

Written by: Georgia Simmon UKBFF

Posted 16 April 2013 by Amy Jo Horvath - NPC Figure Competitor

Recipe: Healthy


Blueberry Muffins

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Recipe: Healthy Blueberry Muffins

I love muffins but do not love what they do to my waistline, so what could be better then a delicious blueberry muffin without added refined sugar, flour or loaded in butter. These are naturally sweetened by the blueberries, a cup of mashed banana and a touch of raw honey. The coconut oil keeps these moist and adds a healthy fat to the muffin. These healthy muffins will be sure to please yet save you from the dreaded muffin top!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Whole Grain Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp of Pure raw Honey
  • 4 Tbsp of Coconut Oil (measure the Tbsp when liquid)
  • 1 Cup of mashed banana
  • Juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries

Instructions

Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the whole eggs and egg whites. Mix in the mashed banana, vanilla, honey, oil and lemon juice. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the blueberries. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter evenly into 12 prepared muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 14 - 18 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

Nutrient stats: 1 Muffin

  • Calories: 127
  • Fat: 6.1g
  • Saturated: 4.7g (Healthy fats from the coconut oil)
  • Cholesterol: 53.8mg
  • Sodium: 184 mg
  • Potassium: 92.4 mg
  • Carbs: 13.3g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 4g

Amy Jo Horvath: 
facebook.com/AmyJoHorvathNpcFigureCompetitor

Posted 09 July 2013 by Adam Bisek

Cheating to Leanness: Make


Cheat Days Work In Your Diet

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Cheating to Leanness:
How to make cheat days work in your diet

If you are wondering how the occasional deviation from your plate of chicken and broccoli benefit you, you're in the right place. Cheat days, or what I call "refeed" days, shouldn't be a green light for an all out sloth, but rather a strategically planned aspect of a well implemented fat loss diet. Both from a physical and a psychological standpoint I have had many clients who cheating to leanness q1.pngreap the benefits of enjoying their favorite foods. When it comes down to it, our basic physiology and psychology backs the notion of refeed days, and my clients do as well.
A sneak peak at the hormone Leptin will shed a little light on how cheating helps us lose fat. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells, and to an extent the cells lining the stomach. Leptin essentially gives a real-time play-by-play to a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus for all intents and purposes controls metabolism and hunger. There is an inverse relationship between our body fat and our fed state in regards to leptin's signals and subsequently the hypothalamus's actions. Theoretically, the fatter we are and the more fed we are, the higher our metabolism will be and the lower our hunger hormones should be (see figure below). There are of course exceptions as seen in leptin resistance, which is a whole separate article.

   ↓ Fat = ↓ Leptin = ↑ Hunger Hormones + ↓ Metabolism

   ↑ Fat = ↑ Leptin = ↓ Hunger Hormones + ↑ Metabolism

So that leaves us with the questions, "What does cheating on your diet and leptin have to do with each other, and how can their relationship help my six-pack?" Really it's pretty simple once you know the mechanisms. When you partake in modern day famine, or what we would cheating to leanness q2.pngcall dieting, your body's natural defense mechanisms try to preserve you. This manifests itself when you chronically restrict calories and consequently leptin's signals to the brain decrease, making the hypothalamus turn the dial down on your metabolism. It seems pretty intuitive doesn't it? Much like our ancestors, if you haven't stumbled upon a water buffalo or a bushel of berries (bear with me, think chicken breasts and sweet potatoes) in quite some time, your body will want to keep enough insulation on you for the winter to come. Thus the body will decrease what it can control, your metabolism.

Don't fret however, the fate of your metabolism plummeting can be blunted by an occasional dietary sidetrack. Leptin is sensitive to acute, or short-term, increases in carbohydrate consumption. That is to say if you have been dieting on both a calorically restricted diet and carbohydrate restricted diet, occasional periods of high carbohydrate consumption will increase leptin levels. Thus the higher carbohydrate "refeed," is born. Carbohydrate cycling ring a bell? By increasing leptin during caloric restriction through higher carbohydrate days, and keeping insulin in check on lower carbohydrate days, carbohydrate cycling sheds fat and keeps the metabolism humming. Of course the organization and implementation of a carbohydrate cycling diet is individual, and dynamic.

With this all in mind I would be remised to leave you without a plan to implement all this information into your nutritional regimen. After all, your reading this with the aspirations of an Adonis-like physique, and the luster of a cheat day to help you do so. As promised, below is a basic protocol to implement a higher carbohydrate cheat, or "refeed," day into your diet:

Day 1: 0.5grams of carbohydrates per lb bodyweight
Day 2: 0.5 grams/lb bw
Day 3: 1.5g/lb bw
Day 4: 0.5g/lb bw
Day 5: 0.5g/lb bw
Day 6: 0.5g/lb bw
Day 7 (Cheat Day): 2.5-3g/lb bw

Bear in mind while the above may not be a typical carbohydrate cycling protocol, it certainly enables fat loss results. On the lowest carbohydrate days (0.5g/lb bw), the source of carbohydrates should come from non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and green beans. Proteins and healthier fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and almonds should make up the lion share of your calories. On the medium day (1.5g/lb bw) starchy carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potatoes can be incorporated in your post-workout meal. And finally, what you have been waiting for, on your cheat day (2.5-3g/lb bw) it's your choice! However, I would recommend an abundance of healthy starchy carbs, like the ones mentioned above, if your intensions are to get lean and mean.

Remember though, you are aiming to increase carbohydrate consumption not fat consumption. Personally, my cheat day involves a trip to my favorite Mexican restaurant for corn chips and salsa, as well as fajitas with corn tortillas, as I am gluten intolerant.
There you have it! The how and why to cheat on your diet. So break out your calculator and figure out just how much you can liberate yourself from the rigors of dieting one day a week. You'll not only be looking forward to that cheat meal, but also looking at a more chiseled physique in the mirror.

Written By Adam Bisek

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