- Look good - Do you just want to be skinny?
- Get in Shape - Is your goal to run a marathon?
- Healthy - Do you want to improve your health and quality of life?
For example, a NFL football player that weights 380 lbs is actually a great athlete and has to be in tremendous shape to compete. But he doesnt look good and its far from a healthy lifestyle. A hollywood actress may look good, but in the majority of cases, they are far from in shape and are rarely in great health.
The problem is, that most people only really care about looking good. Being in shape or being healthy is usually secondary to how we see ourselves in the mirror. But the bottom line is this, if you live healthy, the other two goals will naturally take care of themselves. Ultimately, most people just want to look good. If they could eat junk food but still look like a fashion model they would go that route. But that world does not exist in this reality.
So your first goal will be just to get you "HEALTHY". That is the easiest of the 3 and you can get that started immediately. The other two goals will take time and a lot of change in your habits and lifestyle. You should tackle them as time progresses. Expect this entire transformation to take about 6-9 months to really set in.
Proper health starts with a proper diet and mental state. Set realistic goals, avoid stress, participate in healthy hobbies, and a stable personal life all go a long way towards the proper foundation to build from.
Here are the rules which you must begin to live by if you want to see the fastest results:
- Beverage - Only drink filtered H20, Coconut Water, or (unsweetened almond milk). The human body isnt really made to drink anything but water. (Coconut water must be of the unpasteurized variety or it is basically just sugar water)
- Certified Organic - If possible, eat organic
- Grass Fed Meats - grain fed animals are nutritionally void
- No GMO - Under no circumstances should you be eating food that has been Genetically Modified
- No Corn or Soy Products - 80% of all corn and soy products are GMO, and besides that, neither corn nor soy have any real nutritional value, like grains, they can be toxic and the cause of many allergies
- No Grains - Since grains were introduced to the human species diet, our brains have gotten smaller and we've gotten shorter. If you must eat a grain product, make sure it is absolutely GLUTEN FREE
- No Processed Foods - If it comes in a box or has been manufactured in any way, STAY AWAY
- No Preservatives - If it has preservatives, it is pretty much nutritionally void. If it cant break down naturally then your digestive system wont be able to break it down either
- No Refined/Processed Sugar - Sugar may be the single most dangerous substance to our health. Stay away from sodas or anything else with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it
- No Dairy - None whatsoever, if you need a list of dairy substitutes, just ask me I know a healthy and tasty substitute for just about anything. I do have one exception to this rule, Goat Yogurt. It has enzymes that no other foods have that are essential to fighting fungus or yeast issues (dandruff, athletes foot, jock itch, yeast infections, etc)
- No Fast Food - This shouldnt even need mentioning but I have to say it anyways
- No Alcohol - It ages you, it ruins your skin, adds to stress, and its a poison. Not to mention, its heavily fattening. If you're going to drink, avoid beer. Dark beers in moderation. Stick to red wine. Vodka if liquor, avoid mixers. But all in all, there is no need for alcohol.
- Limit Rice and Potato intake to a minimum - Heavy starches are great for athletes that need the sugar, but not for the average person. The average person should be getting their energy from the stored fat on their body. Rice, Potatoes and other carbs are for athletes with extremely low body fats and thus low energy reserves. Body fat is a more efficient energy source. It burns slower, lasts longer, and gives you better energy and without the “crash” that comes from sugars.
If you have any questions on what to eat, brands, etc, just feel free to ask. If I was training you, eventually I would be pushing you to start eating the PALEO DIET. And way down the road I will even be able to tell you what types of dishes and pans to buy for your kitchens. But for now, just try to follow the above simple rules. Learning discipline at this stage and turning it into habit is going to be your biggest challenge.
Understanding “Fat Burning”:
The key concept of the Paleo Diet is that it’s all about getting your body back to it’s natural state. Humans have gone on for thousands of years through times of feast and famine, nourishment and malnourishment, and as a result, we have the genetics we have today. Getting things working in their natural order is the only way to achieve proper health. There are no supplements or protein powders that can provide for you better than what nature does. Nothing man-made will ever compare to the real thing that was developed over thousands and thousands of years by nature.
When you begin working out intensely for this program, you will encounter soreness at first. The reason why you are sore is because of all the toxic buildup in your body. Most importantly, from grains. Grains are toxic by nature. They are supposed to be, in order to prevent us from eating them. But we eat it anyway because quite frankly it is a easy product to produce and feed billions of people with. But it isnt what we are supposed to be eating thus the reason for lots of health issues. Mainstream media wont support this theory because it just doesnt suit their sponsors agenda. A corporations job like Monsanto is to make money at all costs. And Monsanto pretty much runs the FDA and has heavy influence over all school health programs and university level teaching curriculums.
We are omnivores, which means we can digest protein, fats, AND carbs. This is great for getting us through lean times. But the bad thing is, that a lot of the modern carbs in our diet are really bad for us. The only carbs we should be eating should be of the natural fruits and vegetable variety. And lets face it, those are all seasonal in nature, so they never were meant to be a staple of the human diet.
As a result the average American is constantly hungry or has intense food cravings every few hours. This is because when we eat lots of grains/sugars in our diets, our body begins to run on sugars for energy. This is called being in a state of GLUCONEOGENESIS. This is not the way humans were meant to live. We are supposed to be in a constant state of KETOSIS. Ketosis is when the body uses fat for energy. Because that is what fat is, stored energy. But when we eat lots of grains (that get converted into sugars) and other sugars in our diets, our body stops knowing how to burn fat and simply uses the sugar for energy. The sugar runs out very quickly (after just 20 minutes of hard exercise) and then you enter a temporary state of ketosis. That is why it usually takes so much cardio in the gym in order to start burning fat. You have to use up the ready sugar first. When you are not working out, and you use up that sugar, your body instantly wants more. It is not in ketosis mode so what ensues is headaches, stomach cramps, hunger pains, and cravings for sweets/starches/carbs when you shouldnt be hungry at all. You and I both have enough fat stored on our body to last us a week without eating but most people’s metabolisms are not in that state of functional ketosis that makes them able to use the fat for energy. Fat is slow burning and a much more high quality & efficient energy source. The difficult thing is that most people's bodies are not in a state to readily burn fat. That is where the ratio comes into play. It is the most important aspect of the program IMO.
So what you must do at this time is remain EXTREMELY disciplined in your diet. The transition from GLUCONEOGENESIS to KETOSIS takes about 2 weeks of strict diet. It wont be comfortable. It can even get painful when the sugar cravings kick in. Sugar is a drug just like any other, a highly addictive stimulant and that is just talking raw sugar. Take all the highly processed refined sugars chemists have developed over the years like High Fructose Corn Syrup and I’d say that stuff is far more dangerous than most recreational drugs. The withdrawls from sugar can be uncomfortable, especially in the gym, because when we are used to gluconeogenesis, our bodies have a tendency to "crash" once all available sugars have been exhausted. "Crashing" is VERY painful and its unlike anything Ive ever experienced. I had one case of severe crashing once during a 107 mile bicycle endurance race. At about the 75 mile mark my body just began to shut down. It was nearly paralyzing.
Functional Ketosis requires that 75% of your diet be fats & proteins. The other 25% can be vegetables & fruits. Using the Calorie Counter App (by FatSecret) is a great way to track your fat/protein to carb ratio.
If you have a cheat meal, that is fine. Just make sure you do so in moderation, and know, for every cheat “day” you take, you set yourself back more than just that day. So try to limit it to (1) cheat meal per week. Remember, 1 lb of fat on your body is equal to 3500 calories. So for every time you eat out at Outback Steakhouse or In-n-Out Burger, just know, that each of those meals are usually in the 1000-1500 calorie range. The equivalent of a extra 1/2 lb that you will now have to struggle to burn off later in the gym.
“Cheat Meals” are one of 21 meals a person will typically eat in a week. So with every cheat meal, you are seriously affecting your diet. You could throw your fat/protein to carb ratio off by as much as 5%. Make it a “cheat day” and now you have just affected approximately 15% of your diet. And with just 2 cheat days in a week, you can throw your diet off by 30% and then you are well on your way back into a state of GLUCONEOGENESIS. So be careful with the “cheat meals”.
After about two weeks, you body will begin to adapt. Full adaptation can vary based on genetics but within the month you should be fully on the right track and then your body will begin only using the stored fat on your body for energy. The hunger and cravings will go away and you will feel great. And best of all, you will have tons of energy because your body will now be in its natural state, which is burning the ready and easy to use fat on your body whenever it needs it. Eating will become more of a routine and something you have to remind yourself to do rather than something you crave doing. That is when you know you are really on the right track.
- Baking - Replace Crisco Vegetable crap with Coconut Oil or Rendered Duck Fat for baking pies and whatnot
- Sauteeing - Replace Butter with Extra Virgin Olive oil and/or Rendered Duck Fat
- Frying - Extra Light Olive Oil or Avocado Oil (grapeseed oil is fine as well)
- Sources: https://www.ninacucina.com/smokepoint-of-fats.html
The 10 rules of the Paleo diet
- The Paleo diet should be high in fat,moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
- Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
- Eat generous amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form ofstocks and broths.
- Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
- Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problem or are trying to lose weight faster.
- Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter orclarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
- Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive oil and avocado oil are fine, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over prepared food.
- Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. At the grocery store, visit only the meat, fish and produce sections.
- Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without,read this article and consider raw, full-fat and/or fermented dairy.
Some good references:
- Paleo Diet: www.robbwolf.com
- Recipes: www.ninacucina.com
- Supplements: www.rynopower.com
- Supplements: www.onnit.com
- Meats: www.toplinefoods.com
- Vegetables: www.farmfreshtoyou.com
- Rehabilitation: www.floatlab.com
What does it mean to be truly competitive? For most athletes they think it is about effort on the court in games or during practice. The truth is, a measure of a athlete’s competitive drive is all I need to see in order to tell what their potential ceiling is. It’s what separated the “very talented” from the “all-time greats”. Being more competitive than your competition means you are willing to do whatever it takes to gain an advantage (within the rules of course). Being talented isn’t enough. Great natural gifts will only get you so far in basketball or in life for that matter.
Where does it start? For me, it starts with nutrition. The energy you fuel your body with is the foundation for whatever sport you want to compete in. It’s the foundation for your performance on the court as well as preventing injury and illness. A race car driver would not put water in his gas tank. You shouldn’t do the same sort of damage to your body if you are truly competitive and want to get the most out of yourself in sports, and in life.