F.A.Q.

What is your maintenance level? (Energy Balance)

Your energy balance is the relationship between calories in from food and liquid and calories out by way of thermodynamics and exercise that results in energy homeostasis. When you are at energy homeostasis it will result in no weight change. This is a very typical process for many new clients who have not learned what their metabolisms are capable of calorically. Most people drastically under-eat in comparison to their metabolic capabilities, we strive to optimize health and this is part of the process. If energy balance is not achieved, this will result in weight fluctuations. Our first plan of action as a coaching staff is to standardize energy coming in and energy going out to gain a better understanding of your energy balance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401553/

What is total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)?

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the total amount of calories that you burn in a 24 hour day, this is comprised of four different processes:
-Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
-Non-Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis (NEAT)
-Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)
-Exercise Activity (EA).
BMR accounts for ~60% of the TDEE and is the number of calories it takes for your body to carry out regular biological functions such as maintaining body temperature and organ function during rest. NEAT can be defined as all the smaller movements you make throughout the day that aren’t necessarily conscious exercises such as fidgeting or any small bodily movement. TEF comprises 10-15% of TDEE and is the amount of energy required to breakdown a specific macronutrient (fats, carbs, and proteins). Protein has the highest TEF meaning to get your full caloric return, you have to invest a bit more energy to metabolize 1g of protein than 1g of carbs. Wrapping it up, EA is the number of calories burned through exercise.

Why does my weight go up and down? Should it be the same every day?

Your body/physiology is made up of thousands of very intricate functions that strive to keep you healthy and alive, one of which is your fluid balance. Your body is made up of over 60% water and these fluids and substrates will shift in and around your cells 24 hours per day on a minute to minute basis. These shifts in fluid dynamics can often lead to weight fluctuations as well. Solutes such as glucose and sodium can drastically change your body weight in just minutes based on cell size and level of available substrates in the muscle already. In most cases, you will remain within just a few pounds daily so long as you’re consistent with your water, macros, electrolytes, and calories.
Most of our clients will check their weight daily at the beginning of coaching with us as a means to ensure they understand and can learn that your body weight will not always be the same due to these shifts and you can accept that and move past it.

When should I weigh in?

Due to the above relationship with fluid dynamics, we strongly advise that you make checking your weight as repeatable and reliable as possible. With that being said, we feel the most opportune time to check your weight is first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything that would affect your weight. The use of the bathroom is fine before checking your weight. Again, we just want this process to work out the best for you and this method over time has been the most reliable for our clients.

Why do we track macros? Instead of just eating healthy?

Many health-seeking people will workout and eat healthy the majority of their adult lives and never actually reach their fitness goals, why is this? It’s a commonplace to think that eating healthy and exercises is enough. However, when it comes to your metabolism and the rate in which you burn calories, how much you eat truly does matter. You see, your body is tracking even when you are not. It is very important that you learn how to finally master your metabolism with our tracking macro nutrition system so that you can find your maintenance level, make that your set point and from there we can start to make dietary adjustments with your macros to ensure that you are actually taking action towards your goals instead of spinning your wheels as you have been throughout your adult life.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5568610/

Is “calories in and calories out” really that important? I’ve lost weight before, without tracking anything!

Yes, it’s the pinnacle of finding your energy balance (calories in and calories out) which is the most important starting step so you can learn what caloric amount allows you to preserve your weight. We need to gain adherence in your maintenance level first and become very consistent there before we attempt to make any changes as your habits begin to shift towards tracking and being accurate we can start to make the necessary changes in your nutrition.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28765272

What is a caloric deficit?

Once we have locked in your maintenance level and you understand that maintenance is required to maintain body weight we can then adjust your calories into a caloric deficit which is just a moderate reduction in calories that will force an adaptation for weight loss. How this create fat oxidation (fat loss)? your body will continue to operate for a short period at that higher metabolic level before it in time will adapt and stop losing weight due to the adaptation of reduced energy expenditure (common in all caloric deficits). In this period is when you can and will lose body fat until you adapt. Metabolic adaptation will happen, I know many of you may be fearful of this however when your working with an intelligent professional who understands adaptation, we are one step ahead and will do our best to preserve your metabolic health with the modalities of calorie cycling we have available to us.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025815

What is a caloric surplus?

Once we have your maintenance level locked in and you want to start the muscle building or recovery process we can do so by choosing a desired amount of calories to increase by and add those calories into your daily totals by way of either fats, carbs, or proteins. For you to have enough energy to support cellular growth it is ideal to ensure that your calories for muscle building are elevated over your maintenance level by anywhere from 200-500 depending on how fast you want to gain weight. Keep in mind that the faster you gain weight does not mean you will build muscle any faster. The ideal range for weight gain in most cases would be .5-1.5 lb per month until it’s time to apply a mini cut or you reach a place where you’re nearing insulin resistance. Feeling that your body isn’t as receptive of the calories that your feeding it often leading to the feel of lethargy throughout the day regardless of the high caloric level.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710320/

Why am I heavier after a high carb day?

Like we talked about in the above question regarding fluid dynamics, glucose is a solute that can drastically affect your body weight depending on how many carbohydrates you ate on a specific day. When you eat carbohydrates, those carbs are broken down into glucose or eaten as another form of carb and are shuttled into your bloodstream and find their way into your muscle cells or fat cells to be used as fuel. When you are in a dieting state or insulin-sensitive state, this transfer of fluids and glucose will create a muscle full effect and provide you more energy. This process can also cause increases in weight of 1-5 pounds depending on the amount of carbs ingested and the size of the individual because glucose will pull water into the muscle cell.

Why are we learning my metabolism?

Learning your energy balance is the foundation of all we will do in our work together. If you can learn to master your metabolism with the way you track your macros and be consistent with your numbers you’re going to set yourself up for a lifetime of nutritional awareness and education about yourself that you would not get with any other routine or method.

Should our macros be the same on-off days compared to training days?

That’s a great question and has many factors that play into it. In most cases, the only time we would use a different set of macros on training and non-training days would be if we were trying to focus on body recomposition (building muscle and losing body at the same time) in a newly trained client. The reason we would do this would be to ensure that you can remain insulin sensitive or improve insulin sensitivity which is an environment where your cells are more receptive of the nutrients that you’re providing it. Typically coming by way of carbs or glucose. If you were to build up an excess accumulation of glucose your receptor sites of muscle and fat would become resistant and the majority of your nutrients would then be stored as fat.

What is metabolic adaptation? Is this why I'm not losing weight?

“Metabolic adaptation” or “Metabolic Damage”, likely one of the most feared sets of words in nutritional coaching that we have heard in the last decade. What is the problem? and why has this happened to you? Or has it?

Let’s start at the beginning of our time on earth “The blessing that became a curse” imagine, You and I are both cave people… in that time our metabolism’s ability to be adaptive saved our lives. No one was walking around worrying about how amazing they looked in their bikini or board shorts. Through evolution that changes and more and more ladies and men have become infatuated with how they look and how lean they can be. With this pressure, humans began to try and manipulate their body composition (fat: muscle) with various methods (diet and exercise). 

Here are the main 3 actions of metabolic adaptation. “Mitochondrial Efficiency” which is where all of this adaption occurs, at the cellular level. Let’s discuss why the mitochondria are known as the powerhouse of the cell and ATP is the energy source used. Heat is a byproduct of metabolic efficiency (quality)… through the aerobic glycolysis and Krebs cycle. With energy restriction (food or exercise) your cells become inefficient (failure to reach your best) ability to metabolize calories. (Ex. Taking the efficiency of a V8 engine, unplugging 4 spark plugs and leaving yourself with an engine that is capable of V8 performance but is operating as a 4- cylinder) With that metaphor in mind, think about how much gas a V-8 uses in comparison to a 4 Cylinder… It’s dramatic and it’s not uncommon for us as a coaching staff to have the ability to double our client’s calories in time.

“Hormonal responses to caloric restrictions” You hear me talk about it all the time! Leptin & thyroid hormone, In most cases your thyroid levels are directly correlated to the rate of your metabolism. If you have low T3 = inefficient metabolism and high T3= efficient metabolism. It’s no surprise why so many women are prescribed T3, as it’s influenced by your caloric restriction. However, the thyroid doesn’t regulate itself.. its influenced by leptin and strong signals are only sent to the thyroid when your leptin serum is satisfied. Which I can assure you is not when you’re on a chronic caloric deficit or marching on the step mill.

“Negative effects on energy availability” All that was discussed above comes down to this. “You reduce calories, your body reduces your available energy” leading you to eat less and less and doing more and more overtime to no avail. At this point, if this sounds like you please see our question on reverse dieting.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3943438/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2838532/

https://www.ptdirect.com/training-design/anatomy-and-physiology/chronic-metabolic-adaptations-to-exercise

What is Insulin Sensitivity?

Insulin sensitivity is an environment where your muscle and fat cell receptor sites are more receptive to the nutrients that you’re providing it. Typically coming by way of carbs which convert into glucose/ATP. If you were to build up an excess accumulation of glucose your cells receptor sites of muscle and fat would become resistant and the majority of nutrients your intaking would then be stored as fat.

To remain insulin sensitive we can be more conservative with increases in carbohydrate and use mini cuts or re-sensitization phases to ensure you can absorb the nutrients we are providing. Typical healthy fasted blood sugar ranges are 75- 119 mg/dl checked with a glucometer fasted in the morning. The longer you fast typically the lower the reading will be. You can also check your blood sugar in a postprandial (PPG) time frame, typically 2 hours after feeding however we start with a baseline reading fasted.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is the exact opposite of insulin sensitivity. Imagine you have calorie-loaded for months during a reverse dieting or building phase to point where your starting to feel tired and sluggish. During this time you have likely increased your blood sugar so high that your receptor sites of muscle and fat are no longer able to absorb the calories to be used as fuel. This overage is now stored as energy (fat) to be used at a later time. Pre-diabetic ranges start at a fasting blood sugar of 120 and venture up to 199 mg/dl.

If you are someone who has chronically high blood sugar you can alleviate a lot of the accumulated sugar by simply lowering your carbohydrate intake by 50% for a week or two, removing the stress from your life, and exercise or even walk more. All of the above have been shown in the research to have incredible benefits in pre-diabetics and type 2 diabetics.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1204764/

How can I improve my fasted blood sugar?

In most cases, the fasted way to reduce your fasted blood sugar is simply to reduce your sugar/ carbohydrate intake and improve your daily caloric expenditure by way of walking or light cardiovascular training. Resistance training can also be extremely helpful in the overall calorie burn that would take place due to thermodynamics. By reducing your total daily calories and or reducing your total daily carbohydrate intake your body will begin to use any stored glucose that you have available over time and this will in most cases result in an improved fast blood sugar reading by way of your glucometer.

As an example: We have seen a reduction of 50% of carbohydrate over just a few weeks can improve fasted blood sugar by as much as 20-30 mg/dl or more, this would be massively beneficial for most type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781916/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510106/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465988/

Do we recommend meditation for a reduction in stress?

In short, yes we do recommend any form of meditation that allows you the ability to relax and breathe to allow your state to transition from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic nervous system response. This alone will help you improve your cortisol levels which will have a positive impact on fasted blood sugar.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934947/

What is the best nutrition approach for type 1 and type 2 diabetics?

We at Metabolic Evolution Inc. do not claim to be specialists in this field. We are not registered dietitians and our advice should not be taken as medical information or used to treat or cure an illness. However, we would strongly advise anyone seeking holistic nutrition advice for type 1 or type 2 diabetes to help you improve your blood sugar to take the time and watch this life-changing presentation by our friend Andrew Paul Kounik of The University of South Florida. In our experience having worked with clients in this space we have seen similar findings and tremendous results with the application of a low carbohydrate diet coupled with exercise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzPcLI17FzI

What is a reverse diet? Why do I need it?

By definition, a reverse diet is exactly how it sounds. You are reversing the diet, if you think about how you dieted down in a systematic fashion reducing calories or adding in cardio to battle plateaus, you will do the same thing but in reverse. Yes! You have to increase your calories and take cardio/exercise away over time. In this process, you can drastically improve the efficiency of your mitochondria, reconnecting those lost spark plugs we talked about and in the metabolic adaptation question and get your metabolic health back! This is a service that we can help you with our 1 on 1 coaching service if you need any assistance.

Other ways I can fix my adapted metabolism?

“Improve your sleep and lower your stress” I can’t tell you how many of our clients come in with terrible sleep patterns and as a side effect of that they live a stressful life or make poor eating choices simply because they don’t sleep enough. Insufficient sleep on a physiological level will impair glucose tolerance and create insulin resistance while also raising cortisol and ghrelin levels.. research shows that those who don’t sleep enough can lose more muscle and gain more fat than those in comparison who sleep adequate amounts. (5 HOURS VS 8 HOURS)

“Stop dieting, and start thriving” While this may not be what you want to hear..” it’s not my job to tell you what you want to hear, it’s my job to tell you what you need to hear… “ OTHERWISE IM NOT HELPING… hear me out. The low calories and habitual cardio sessions are the problems.. connecting the dots you have learned about leptin and thyroid.. what if I told you that by adding more calories you could improve leptin and your thyroid while building muscle, eating more calories, and feeling amazing! Which will set you up for a successful fat loss phase in the future? sound inviting? I sure hope so because this tool alone has helped countless women finally learn what it feels like to thrive and be alive!

“Realistically standardize your caloric expenditure” many of you wear a badge of honor that’s correlated to how hard you work and how dedicated you are! For that I salute you.. however, your efforts aren’t providing you any reward.. and still, you continue. The problem is that you’re not in control of your caloric metrics and you rather chose to control what you can.. your work ethic. To gain a better understanding of your energy balance we need to standardize cardio, often reducing it to a realistic example that provides the benefits of health and wellness but doesn’t burn you out. (Ex. 2-3 sessions per week 20-30 minutes, not every day for 45-60 minutes)

“Have patience in this process” Most of you have spent years creating this problem.. an unrealistic expectation is to fix it in 3 months. Use the time to learn, improve your health, build your body, and learn to love yourself in every phase you’re in.

How much cardio should I be doing?

Only as much as you need to be doing to accomplish your goal and no more than that. Most people come to us doing more cardio than they need to because they think that by working out more or running more will help them lose weight. In theory, the process of doing more cardio will result in weight loss as you are burning more calories and only a caloric deficit of sorts can cause fat loss. The problem in doing so is that your body will respond and adapt very fast to increases in cardiovascular exercise over time and doing too much can hinder your weight loss.

How long is it safe to diet for fat loss?

As long as you in control and understand that every push for fat loss is a stress on your body and it will require a recovery time then you can diet for fat loss with intermittent recovery periods until the determined goal set by both you and your coach is accomplished. To provide you a real-life example, please see Lorena Jenkins’s testimonial on our site. We activity dieted for fat loss with intermittent diet breaks for the better side of over 18 months and the result was spectacular.

In most cases, the fat loss phase will last about 1 week for every lb of fat the client has to lose. Variables to this are, the body size of the client? How much lean body mass they have? And other variables but we typically recommend about 1% of weight loss per week.

(Ex. 250 lb. person with high levels of body fat could lose over 2.5 lb. per week and be fine)

How aggressive is common to cut calories when you start a fat loss phase?

A 25-30% caloric deficit under the perceived maintenance level is the norm. (example: 2000 calories per day maintenance level would reduce to 1,400-1,500 calories) to create the energy gap that creates fat loss.

Why do we have a single day re-feed?

All re-feeding modalities serve a purpose psychologically as it provides the client something to look forward to within the diet. The ability to increase calories will create an (intermittent calorie cycling) modality that can attempt fat loss less tedious and more sustainable for a longer period. We at Metabolic Evolution Inc. are all about long term sustainability and helping you sustainably reach your weight loss goals.

Physiologically single day re-feeds seem to have short term effects on leptin (6 hours) which can for the short term increase thermic ability and create a greater ability for energy expenditure but that increase as mentioned is short-lived. Single-day re-feeds can help with muscle endurance and performance, muscle cell fullness, and visual appearance shift.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11126336\

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6359485/\

Why do we have multiple day re-feeds?

Multiple day re-feeds (48 hours) as of late seem to stem from research from Dr. Bill Campbell at The University of South Florida. Multiple day re-feeds are also a commonly used modality and one of the most common diet cycles currently is a 2 high day / 5 low day carbohydrate cycle. Re-feeding for multiple days seems to aid not only in the ability to increase performance, endurance, muscle fullness, and adherence but it can also serve as cortisol reduction aid and a helpful adherence tool.

48-hour re-feeds also seem to jumpstart a potential elevation in sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) as well as hormones that regulate the female menstruation cycle ( luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone) which can be drastically impaired with chronic low-calorie dieting which over time produces low energy availability.

Why do we have diet breaks?

We categorize a diet break as being any duration of eating at caloric maintenance level for 3-7 days or longer. These breaks as they sound break up the diet and allow for recovery of diet fatigue (accumulation of stress from the diet). Since 2014 we have been implementing said breaks with miraculous results. During any weight loss phase, metabolic adaptation will occur as a side effect of the deficit. We believe that diet breaks are the ultimate tool to help with hormonal recovery. The increase in calories to maintenance level has been shown to improve a plethora of co-factors relating to stress on your body from the diet. Benefits of the following are seen often; increased energy, increased stamina, increased training performance, reduction of stress, reduction of potential inflammation, improvements in energy availability to help females with menstruation, and improvements in psychological well being.

Why can’t I just cut out all of my carbs to lose weight?

You actually can, however, we wouldn’t advise that you do that as your lack of planning will likely result in a negative outcome. You have all known the crash diet person who gains all their weight back plus some, this in most cases is because the approach is far too extreme and not sustainable for the long term. Another consideration is that rapid fat loss approaches that eliminate whole food groups often don’t teach you any educational about your own body. From a physiological perspective rapid weight loss approaches will force metabolic adaptations faster since the caloric deficit is so extreme, this, in turn, will lead to reductions in energy and performance in the gym. Once your performance in the gym suffers you can guarantee that you will start to create a more catabolic environment and all the hard-earned muscle you have gained will not stick around for long.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3943438/

What's the difference between weight loss and fat loss?

To build on the above question about cutting carbs, weight loss can be seen as using a drastic approach to impact the metric that is being tracked in the fasted manor possible. Typically eliminating whole macronutrient food groups (fats, carbs, or proteins) in an attempt to lose all weight possible in the shortest time, your results and progress are only looked at as being successful based on the numbers on the scale or other various metrics of measurement. During these types of aggressive diets, you will lose bone mineral density, lose muscle mass, lose performance, feel overly fatigued, and force faster metabolic adaptation, which all will lead you to burn out faster than a more sustainable approach to weight loss.

How many calories should I eat to build muscle?

For you to have enough energy to support cellular growth it is ideal to ensure that your calories for muscle building are elevated over your maintenance level by anywhere from 200-500 depending on how fast you want to gain weight. Keep in mind that the faster you gain weight does not mean you will build muscle any faster. The ideal range for weight gain in most cases would be .5-1.5 lb per month until it’s time to apply a mini cut. We would also recommend a high protein diet consisting of .8 to 1.2 g of protein per pound of LBM to be sufficient.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPm6IvBTQq8&t=701s

Why do we need fat? How much?

Dietary fat is an essential macronutrient, meaning that we need it for survival and overall health. Dietary fats serve as energy to support our endocrine system and hormonal health. Your endocrine system consists of the health of your brain, skin, hair, nails, thyroid, etc. and fat derivatives such as cholesterol are known to improve sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.

Lack of this essential macronutrient will disrupt the signaling through the myelin sheath that works on a feedback loop with your endocrine system and other various hormones. Side effects of low-fat diets are; low testosterone, estradiol irregularities, dry skin, dry or losing hair, reduction in cognition, reduction in t3-t4 conversion in the thyroid, etc.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcci_0yXM9Y&t=375s

Why do we need protein? How much?

Proteins are an essential macronutrient, we do need this powerhouse macronutrient as a means to provide us the necessary full spectrum of amino acids that we need to repair any damaged tissues in the body. Every gram of protein will provide you 4 kcal and protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient of all. For athletes, protein should be viewed as essential and should not be overlooked at any age. We would highly recommend 1g of protein per pound of LBM per day for most athletes or resistance-trained people.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjEJ_BOaAoc&t=13s

Protein and Females: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3040062

Why do we need carbs? How much?

Carbohydrates are known as a non-essential macronutrient, however, we would argue that for any resistance-trained person carbohydrates should be viewed as non-essential.. “essential” macronutrients. Carbohydrates are the preferred energy system and all anaerobic exercise is fueled by glucose. A well balanced nutritional approach is also ideal for long term sustainability.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykOO3PKvYuA&t=614s

Why do you recommend fiber? How much?

With the various types of fiber and fiber supplements available we can narrow down our recommendations to the following. 2 servings of vegetables per 1000 calories ingested, 1 serving of fruit per 1000 calories ingested, and 10-15g of fiber per 1000 calories is recommended as a means to allow a healthy and functioning GI. Fiber serves as an extremely low-calorie nutrient that aids in the process of digestion by pulling water in to your bowels and expanding the fiber, this results in an expansion of the broken down food in your gut and as the food works it way to the colon it detoxes your intestines so other various nutrients can be absorbed into your large intestine to fuel your physiology.

What should I eat pre-workout?

What should I supplement intra-workout?

What should I eat post-workout?

How many hours a day should I be sleeping per day?

Sleep is our main variable and tool for controlling our stress throughout the day. Your hormones and circadian rhythms reset while you sleep and cutting sleep short will in time lead to a sleep-deprived state which can lead to a whole slew of side effects including lethargy, the feeling that you need caffeine, irritability, increased stress, etc.

As a means to ensure you are getting quality sleep, we recommend at least 7-8 hours per day.

To do so we recommend a bedtime routine in the evening consisting of avoiding caffeine and other stimulants after 3-5 pm as well as a practice that allows you to unwind and destress to improve quality of sleep as well as use blue light blocking glasses in the pm when using electronic devices.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/

How much caffeine can I have per day?

Excessive caffeine creates circadian rhythm interruptions and over time reduces your sensitivity within your ability to metabolize the caffeine and provide a boost in energy. Typically caffeine intakes from 300-400 mg per day won’t have many negative side effects so long as that is used in the am unless your very caffeine sensitive. This amount of caffeine has also been shown in sports performance to be ideal in allowing increases in performance with strength, explosiveness, and endurance. Caffeine intakes that can lead to disruptions are anything 400mg + per day or over, once you have a reduced sensitivity it will make you feel like you constantly have to either eat more food to gather more energy or drink more caffeine to acquire more energy. Your body will in time stop producing your natural energy if caffeine intake is too high for you throughout the day.

For most reducing caffeine intake to 0-100mg per day is enough to re-sensitize your adrenal glands so that your body can start to create its energy. This process can take about 5-10 days but be aware that there will be side effects of cutting caffeine by 50-75% or more.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5752738/

How much water should you drink per day?

Individual water needs can be based on numerous factors such as; your activity level, your lifestyle, the climate in which you live, and your body size. While this may seem like a simple question that should have a simple answer you have a lot to consider before choosing an amount. In most cases, people drastically under consume water and live in a dehydrated state. Your body is made up of over 60% water and requires adequate hydration to function properly.

Benefits of hydration include: cleansing the body, maintain body temperature, lubricates joints, increases the performance of the body and mind, etc. Water is essential for life! Drink more!

As a general guideline: males – consume 4 liters of water/ females- consume 3 liters of water

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

How many times per day should I eat?

Meal frequency is a topic of discussion that often ends in trainers and coaches recommending 6 meals per day, spacing those apart equally as a means to spike or stimulate the metabolic rate. Research shows that the amount of meals you eat per day doesn’t have an impact on your body composition and total calories in a 24 hour time period seems to matter the most. Individual variance and preference will come into play here and seems to be the biggest application piece in creating a individual nutrition program for a client. If we dig into the weeds and learn more about the client we can create the most optimal approach for the client. Other aspects to consider are the number of meals to eat per day within the guidelines of your training time. Eating and not eating pre-workout can make a substantial difference in your total available energy for the workout which can effect your performance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4033492/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769537/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828430/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6680710/

Can I try keto?

Great Question, the ketogenic diet by definition is a nutritional approach that warrants a high fat intake, low to moderate protein intake, and very low carbohydrate intake. In the medical world, ketogenic diet ratios of the above macronutrients would consist of 60-75% from fat, 15-30% from proteins, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. These ranges can be skewed slightly based on individual variance but this is the nutritional strategy that makes up the ketogenic dieting approach.. the secrets out.

So what can be learned from this data, well the answer to that, in my opinion, is quite simple. For most people this will require a drastic lifestyle change.. If you’re willing to make that commitment to yourself for the benefits that could come from it, then, by all means, make the commitment and reap the benefits but be mindful of the following first.

The ketogenic diet was created as a medical nutritional modality that could cure any illness. Most of the data on the ketogenic diet revolves around the ability to improve your fasted blood sugar and improve inflammation. The people that would benefit the most from this approach would be individuals who have self-inflicted or genetic insulin resistance (type 1 and type 2 diabetics), any form of auto-immune disease, cancer patients, and those who suffer from high levels of inflammation. Recent research has shown that a Ketogenic diet can be a useful tool for endurance athletes but should not be used by anaerobic based athletes to optimize their performance in resistance training or sprinting like activities.

The ketogenic diet should not be used as a loose weight quick system, rather it should be used to modality to optimize certain health problems. Any nutritional strategy that you choose should be educating at its foundation. This level of education will allow the client to be in control of their future concerning the understanding of energy balance and metabolism. Since anaerobic activities are glycolytic exercise we do not advise the ketogenic be used for anyone looking to optimize hypertrophy or explosiveness.

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0180-0

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-S1-P40

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/

Can I try intermittent fasting?

Yes, of course, you can, if it fits your lifestyle the best? The most important aspect we as a nutritional coaching staff want to teach you about the “intermittent fasting” approach is that it’s not magic in and of itself. The reason that it can work (weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity, improved cognition, etc) is simply because you have likely placed yourself into a caloric deficit with the change in your lifestyle. When you commit to only eating within a 4-8 hour window you’re making a major lifestyle change and many of the habits you had of going to the pantry to grab a snack or eating out of boredom are canceled out. The act of eating less total calories within 24 hours is what makes you improve all of the above markers of success, it’s not the magical window of eating in a time block.

So the question that we have for you is, do the intermittent fasting nutritional concept fit the best into your life? If it does our coaching staff would be more than happy to implement this modality for you. After all, the best nutritional strategy for your long term is the one you can stick to. If it doesn’t, then we need to help you find the best modality of eating for YOU!

Published journals on Intermittent fasting:

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-S1-P25

http://www.theissnscoop.com/intermittent-eating/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595101/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6359485/

Video Link 2:

Should I eat breakfast if I train at 5 am?

Eating breakfast at 4 am (approximately 60-90 minutes) pre-workout can be highly beneficial in breaking your fast and ending your catabolic time spent sleeping in the middle of the night. Eating an early breakfast will help create an anabolic environment and provide your body energy to perform especially later in the second half of the session. However, it’s not 100% necessary if that 4 am breakfast doesn’t sound appealing to you. If you want to wake up early and just don’t feel like eating but still want to get in the gym early and crush your workout that’s fine with us. If that’s you here are a few things to consider.

Eat a larger meal before bed to fuel your performance in the gym the following day. A meal consisting of fats, carbs, and protein will suffice. The amounts per macros are relative to you.

Wake up and hydrate, instead of grabbing the coffee pot, try drinking 20 ounces of water pre caffeine to help with hydration before training. Adding electrolytes (sodium & potassium in a ratio of 3-4:1 is ideal) to your water can also be beneficial for the training and contractile ability of the connective tissues.

Break the fast once the damage has been done; in most cases for those of our clients who train fasted we like to recommend either 10-20g of EAA or 20-30g of whey protein isolate about 45 minutes into the training session to jump-start the recovery process and promote muscle protein synthesis (anabolism).

You also have the option to try a liquid meal (20-40g whey isolate + 15-30 g of carbs from fruit) pre-training, whey protein isolate and fruit juice can be a great choice. However, you also need to be mindful that you could stand the chance of going hypoglycemic intra-workout, nausea and fatigue are not pleasant intra-training feelings. If this was to happen we recommend that you add in 10g of fat to your pre-workout liquid meal to slow down the digestion of the protein and carbs, coconut oil can be a solid choice. This should lead to a slower sustained release of energy and will help you avoid the dreaded feeling of hypoglycemia.

The protein supplement we recommend is:

https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/whey/

Dieting with carbs vs dieting on keto?

The truth is you can “lose weight” with both as long as the caloric deficit has been established. The question you need to ask yourself is “what can I adhere to?”. For most of us it’s been embedded in our DNA to eat carbohydrates and for most people eating carbs as a part of your daily nutritional habits is going to be ideal. Many of the issues both physiologically and psychologically that I’ve seen over the past 10 years come from extremism. Extremism of eliminating whole food groups leading you to only wanting that one food item or that one macro that you “can’t have” on this new diet you’re trying because it’s “off-limits”.

A better way to think about this question would be, how can I use a ketogenic approach as a tool to accomplish this short term goal? A goal such as; improving insulin sensitivity for a few weeks, stabilizing blood sugar in individuals with insulin resistance, assisting in reductions of inflammation, improving cognitive focus, and potentially assisting individuals dealing with some form of auto-immune issue.

While a ketogenic approach can be very helpful.. even life-changing for some, it’s not for everyone and your personal preferences should be taken into consideration.

Are you a vegan? Complete proteins vs incomplete proteins and recommendations.

No sweat, if you are a vegan we can still achieve your fitness and health-related goals. However, we will have to include some dietary supplements to make sure some of the gaps in protein quality as well as vitamins and minerals are filled as a means to ensure your overall health is optimized. Many animal-based protein sources will provide us various vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that we can not get from vegetable sources.

The amino acid L-leucine is responsible for activating the muscle protein synthetic response and in most vegan diets is quite low. Supplemental vegan protein sources containing predominantly pea and rice would be ideal as research shows similar muscle-building potential when compared to animal-based whey protein isolate.

Due to the reduction of animal-based protein in the vegan diet, if you have been a vegan for longer than 6-12 months and have not considered the gaps in vitamins and minerals we would recommend that you seek out a medical professional to have your blood work checked so that you can spot any gaps that need to be filled.

Other vegan nutritional considerations would be:

Vitamin B12 (only present in animal sources, common deficiency), Vitamin D 1000 IU/day (Sunlight contact), Calcium (if you don’t consume dairy), Iron (male and female), Zinc, iodine, creatine, and fish oil (EPA&DHA) will take care of the gaps but getting blood work done to detect these deficiencies is ideal. We wouldn’t recommend you try to guess.

Vegan protein supplements we recommend to help increase your protein intake are:

https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/thrive/

Why do you recommend so many supplements? Do I need them?

The supplements that we recommend are all clinically proven to be effective at improving your overall health. In most cases even with an intelligently planned nutritional strategy and healthy active lifestyle you can miss vitamins and minerals. For this reason, we select supplements that we as a coaching staff feel would be ideal for the client. We will never recommend something that we don’t believe in.

What supplement brand do you recommend? And Why?

We stand behind the supplement company Legion Athletics! I’m honored to be a part of #teamlegion as I’ve used their product line since 2014 when I first purchased their pre-workout “Pulse”. Pulse was the gateway to other amazing peer-reviewed clinically dosed products created by legion. Each Legion Athletics product is created with full transparency and made with 100% natural high-quality ingredients. Try LEGION ATHLETICS today, it will be the only supplement brand you need and if your not 100% satisfied they will provide you a refund, no questions asked.

https://legionathletics.com/the-truth/

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