Tag Archive | "eating"

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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

A Hamilton-based fitness expert has warned exercise fanatics may be risking their health, if not their lives, from their obsessions with working out.

Waikato University clinical psychologist Jo Thakker’s words of caution come just over a year after 17-year-old Joshua Tanuvasa died while working out at the Les Mills Gym in Hamilton.

While his death last year on September 24 is still before the coroner, Thakker said she was worried others might also come to his fate by taking their passion too far.

There are 31 gyms listed in the Yellow Pages in Hamilton – and this number continues to grow as people turn to exercise as a way to slim down or bulk up.

Thakker said some were taking exercise too far and displaying disorder-like behaviours. She had seen several cases where young men were using supplements and then exercising excessively, some to the point of hospitalisation.

“They’re willing to risk their lives to look a certain way.”

While excessive exercise was not a recognised diagnostic category, it was an aspect of a range of eating disorders, Thakker said.

Ali Alkadhi, 26, has just competed in the National Association of Body Builders New Zealand nationals.

His rigorous training regime had been “taxing” on both his body and his mind, he said. “Each week, the calories would be reduced and cardio would be added, and as you lose body fat, your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he said.

“I lost my desire for everything. All I could think of was food.”

Alkadhi said he believed all bodybuilders had some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, as they scrutinised every inch of their body to achieve perfection.

But the mental health factor is not the only problem facing keen gym-goers.

Over-exercising can lead to injury, fatigue and your results may even go backwards. Personal trainer and nutritionist Jake Campus said that in the 10 years he had been involved in the fitness industry, he had seen many cases of people pushing themselves too hard.

It was a case of excitement about training and striving too hard to reach their goals that saw most of them getting addicted, he said.

Campus believed about 20% of gym-goers would fall into the overtraining category. This became a problem when people’s bodies were not accustomed to their workouts, which led to overuse injuries and fatigue.

First Place Fitness personal trainer Michael Briggs also saw overtraining frequently.

Briggs said he believed almost everyone who trained went though a period where they pushed themselves too hard, and part of his job was reining them back in.

“You never tell yourself that you are overtraining; someone has to tell you.

“I think the health risks of not exercising are far greater than the risks of exercising. Exercise should be part of a balanced lifestyle,” he said.

While injury was the most common danger of training too much, there were more serious things such as the potentially fatal condition rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious renal condition which is characterised by muscle cell breakdown.

As a consequence myoglobin (an oxygen transport protein) leaks into the urine, which causes problems with the kidneys.

If you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder, contact Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand on 09 522 2679.

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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

Posted in Aerobics, Diets, Exercises, Health Issues, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

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The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

Tired of starting a diet every summer of every other Monday? We chat to blogger Cassey Ho about how she stays fit and healthy all year round. Take note.

Aim for balance with food: I allow myself a YOLO (you only live once) meal once or twice a week. But the rest of the time I eat clean, enjoying lots of plant foods, fresh produce, grass-fed meats, wholegrains and unsweetened beverages. I try to eat carbs, protein and healthy fats at every meal to keep me full and energised. The one thing I minimise is dairy – it makes my skin break out. I also avoid foods high in sodium, saturated or unhealthy fats, chemicals and preservatives, additives and colours.

Lose the rules: Going on diets or strict meal plans just doesn’t work for me. I always crave the foods I’m missing out on, and once that ‘diet’ is over, I want to binge on the foods I was restricting. Over time, I’ve learned to eat in a balanced way – that way I no longer have crazy cravings for junk food that cause me to binge and feel guilty.

Avoid extremes: When I was prepping for my bikini competition several years ago, I was put on this crazy diet of only eating about 1000-to-1200 calories (around 4, 200kJ) a day while I was working out for four hours a day! As a result I felt tired, irritable, angry and frustrated. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. I was labelling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and felt like I was trapped in food jail. For eight to 10 weeks I endured this crazy plan. I did the bikini competition with my new, lean body, and then I decided to go back to ‘normal-healthy’. But when I tried to introduce a variety of foods back into my diet, like brown rice, quinoa and different types of protein, my body did not like that at all. It acted like a sponge, soaking everything up. 

For the next three years, I gradually gained weight. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. During this time, I was still working out really hard for about one hour a day, but my body just didn’t respond. It rebelled. It was seriously frustrating because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Diet and exercise should equal weight loss or at least weight maintenance. But because of the damage and stress that I put my body under during that bikini prep, my hormones became unbalanced and I am still getting back to normal.

Aim for more sleep and less stress: I learned a lot from my bikini comp experience. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when you significantly lower your kilojoules, over-exercise and/or don’t have enough sleep. And cortisol plays a role in increasing abdominal fat, more specifically, lower-belly fat. This stress also decreases leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. So you feel extra hungry all the time and it’s likely that you may crave those carbs and high-fat foods. That’s exactly what happened to me. Getting enough sleep, eating sufficient kilojoules and taking time to de-stress and relax are really important for your waistline and wellbeing.

Treat yourself: When you deprive yourself of cake or ice-cream, you start to think about them all the time and that leads to bingeing. Instead, I allow myself treats – in moderation. And because I know I can have them from time to time, I don’t crave them or eat more of them than I should.

Focus on health, not weight: I rarely step on the scales anymore because I know that my weight does not tell me how strong or fast I am. When I’m at my healthiest, I can tell by how I feel. When I am consistent with my diet and workouts, I am happy, motivated and energised. When I start to feel sluggish and drained, I know that my eating habits may be off and my workouts aren’t as routine – so I address that.

Use the seasons: What I love about the changing seasons is that they allow me to prepare myself for fresh beginnings four times a year. So with each season I see a chance to refocus and find a new rhythm and routine to optimise my health goals. I also try to rediscover delicious seasonal flavours to keep my clean-eating habits on track.

See the original article here –

The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

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Sarah Storey’s cycling tips

Dame Sarah Storey DBE, 11 time Paralympic Gold Medallist and four-time Gold Medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, shares her wisdom

If like H&F’s Emma Wall you have signed up to the London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise funds for The British Heart Foundation, these Olympic-worthy race tips will be invaluable.

Sarah says:

1. Get comfy! Saddle and bike comfort is very important as you will be pedalling for at least four hours to complete the ride. You need a good pair of shorts with a padded support and also need to make sure the balance of your weight on the bike between the handlebars, saddle and pedals is right. A good local bike shop will help you with all these things and ask them about buying “chamois cream” for your shorts, which is very important on long rides.

2. Pace yourself. This is important with your preparation for the event and the event itself. Gradually build up your miles on the bike during your preparation phase. During the ride itself remember this is not a race. You will finish strongly if you go a bit easier than you think you need to at the start.

3. Fuel correctly. Eating and drinking are both of the upmost important during a ride of this length and you may need to practice doing this on the bike. If not whilst moving, then remember to take plenty of short breaks to get the food and fluid inside you. Drinking before you a thirsty is very important and eating something small every half hour will stop you getting hunger pangs or worse still running out of energy altogether.

4. Always wear a helmet and do all your practice and preparation rides using the helmet too. It might well save your life one day.

5. Enjoy it! This is the most important part for whenever you get out on a bike. Enjoy the feeling of freedom, the fresh air and the beautiful English countryside.

Keep up to date with H&F’s fitness challenges with our fantastic subscription offer – 3 issues for £1!  

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Sarah Storey’s cycling tips

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The latest high intensity interval exercise: Hollywood HIIT

We’re all inspired by different goals and people when it comes to fitness. Whether you long for the curves of Kate Upton, or you’re in awe of the athletic prowess of Amir Khan, celebrity trainer Ruben Tabares has you covered. Not only does he train stars like the aforementioned (plus a few more fit A-listers you might have heard of), which means he’s used to the pressure of achieving results quickly, but his variety of clients means that he can help you reach any fitness goal.This full-body workout below, devised especially for WF readers, will boost your fitness thanks to its low rest periods and bursts of high intensity. Combined with smart eating, it also promises to boost fat-loss

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The latest high intensity interval exercise: Hollywood HIIT

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Get fit for summer

Summer is on its way (we hope!). Maybe you’re planning to go away and have been fretting about gaining a few extra pounds around your waistline. Not to mention the dreaded cellulite you discovered when when you got your bikini out.

There’s nothing like a beach holiday to get you motivated to loose weight so, before you pack your shorts and skimpy dresses, maybe it’s time to get rid of toxins, fat and fluids trapped under the skin. The quickest way? Up your fitness regime. Using the right fitness equipment, at home or in the gym, will help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.

Whether it’s a bike, treadmill or simply a fitness mat to do leg raises, the right equipment and exercise all help the battle against cellulite. Eating coloured fruits such as papaya and mango is another way to get to grips with unsightly orange peel, while green tea has long been recognised as a natural fat buster.

But don’t think you’ll have to go hungry – there are plenty of foods you can eat that won’t make you pile on the pounds. There’s everything from brown rice to fruit and vegetables, nutritional yoghurts and even healthy popcorn, while lean protein such as fish and chicken is perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay. You can find healthy, tasty recipes online.

If you haven’t exercised for a while, start off with easy leg raise repetitions, sit-ups and calf stretches. These can be done at home or at your local gym. When out and about, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, leave the car at home and cycle to work and go swimming instead of staying at home and watching TV. A change in lifestyle and a positive attitude will go a long way, as will having a session with a PT or working out in a group. So, to look good, in shape and ready to go for the summer, intensify your workout.

Need a bit of inspiration? Strengthen glutes and hamstrings with the Roman deadlift. It’s one of the most effective moves, using muscles that are essential for other exercises that involve lifting, jumping or sprinting. It won’t be long before your overall body strength and conditioning improves dramatically, making you feel and look good.

If you really want to go for it, training for a half marathon will take your fitness workout to the next level, help you lose weight and give you the body you’re looking for. What are you waiting for?

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Get fit for summer

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Half marathon training

You’re feeling fit, strong and healthy. So what now? If you’ve started coasting from one session to the next now that you’ve made all that initial progress, it’s time to take your workout to the next level.

Not only does your body need a routine shake-up once it’s adapted to exercise, your motivation needs a boost, too. There’s always room to improve, whether you’re a runner, a weights girl or just looking to lose a few pounds – you just need to know how. Try training for a half marathon to break through your barriers and take your results higher.

Become a film star

OK, it might feel strange to watch a video of yourself working out, but it’s a great way to check your running technique. Sometimes a movement might feel right when it’s not quite perfect, which means that you’ve made a habit of performing it incorrectly. So, video footage allows you to see if you need to be more upright when running or need to work on your gait.

Eat for exercise

Keeping your weight in check is simple: avoid refined and processed foods, sugars and trans fats and fill up on vegetables, good fats and protein. But if you hone in on your healthy eating just a little more, you could see a huge pay-off when training for a half marathon. What you eat and when you eat it can have a dramatic effect on your results. Take carbs, for example – most people think they’re best consumed before exercise to act as a fuel, but they’re actually most useful after a tough session when the glycogen stores in your muscles are depleted and in need of replenishment. Plus, we’re more sensitive to insulin after exercise, so the effect carbs usually have on blood sugar will be less significant and less likely to be stored as fat. Win-win!

Know thyself

Get familiar with your genetic body type for a tailor-made workout. Are you a mesomorph (naturally low body fat and able to gain lean muscle mass easily); an ectomorph (naturally long, lean and slender and struggle to gain fat or muscle mass); or an endomorph (able to gain both fat and muscle mass easily)? Knowing yourself will help decipher the best way to eat and exercise for the results you want when you’re training for a half marathon.

Train to compete

What drives elite athletes to get up at the crack of dawn to begin a long day of training? You can bet it’s their gold-medal goal. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional to have a competition goal – sign up for a half marathon to ramp your motivation up a gear.

Alter your aims

Struggling to blast the last five pounds through running? Want to shave seconds off your PB? Whatever goal you’ve been working on for last six weeks, change it up if your results are slowing. Focusing on something fresh, like a half marathon, can subconsciously change your approach to training, which might be enough of a tweak to get the effects you’re after.

Keep a diary

Studies have shown that keeping a food diary is crucial for successful weight loss. It encourages mindful eating, progress tracking and ensures you can’t get away with lying to yourself about your eating habits. Well, the same goes for exercise. No more skipping sessions, lacklustre efforts in the gym or excuses for giving your workout a miss. Jot down what you did and when, as well as how you felt before and after the sessions to discover what works best for you.

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Half marathon training

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Jake Wilson's Mass Class: Supplement Fundamentals

Supplements—and supplement companies—are a dime a dozen these days. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it means that there’s more discussion and serious research into the benefits of strategic nutritional supplementation than ever before. On the other hand, far too few people are strategic about what they take, and why.

This problem often goes hand-in-hand with an overall confusion about fitness goals. People haven’t taken the time to figure out what they’re training for, or to master the fundamental concepts of training and nutrition. Whether they say it or not, they expect supplements to perform the hard work for them—which they definitely won’t do.

Does that mean supplements are just expensive bottles of empty promises? Definitely not. I want you to take a smarter approach to supplementation and get maximum benefit out of the hard work you do. Let’s dial in the fundamentals of sports supplementation in Mass Class!

Mass Class:
Watch The Video – 5:52

Question 1

This is a great question, and one that deserves real discussion. Why should you supplement? Simply put, if you are training hardcore and your nutrition is in place, there are plenty of studies which show supplements are better than not supplementing. Supplements, it’s been shown, can help you get bigger or leaner. They’re perfect for when you’re trying to take yourself to the next level.

Maybe you’re a competitive bodybuilder, or you’re just a guy or girl in the gym who wants to maximize your potential; in either case, supplements can bring you closer to that goal. When someone has their program in place, supplements can work, and that’s why—and when—I recommend them.

If you are competitive bodybuilder, or just a guy or girl who wants to maximize your potential, supplements can bring you closer to that goal.

Question 2

I’m a big believer in the basics. Once you have that your nutrition down, the next step should be to look for a Whey protein is an outstanding first supplement to take. After that, I would move to things like branched-chain amino acids. Why? Because, as I discussed in Mass Class Nutrition, BCAAs can stimulate muscle growth with incredible caloric efficiency. This is essential in a sport like bodybuilding, where the goal is to be both as huge as possible and as lean as possible.

After that? One word: creatine. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of tall tales floating around about creatine, both positive and negative. But from a mass-building perspective, these three well-established benefits of creatine are enough to start the conversation:

  1. It helps fuel the body’s creatine phosphate energy system, the mechanism most responsible for powering muscular contraction during high-intensity activities like weightlifting. This means you can push yourself in the gym harder and for longer.
  2. It draws water into cells, increasing cell volumization or “the pump.” I discussed the importance of the pump in Mass Class Training.
  3. It helps the body adapt to stress from exercise and repair itself afterward. Remember: Recovery is when growth happens, not training!

If your goal is to build quality mass, you simply can’t beat those big three. For most people, they’re enough.

Question 3

The big three are the place to start, but from there, you can start to specialize a little. For instance, people who are novices in the gym are going to experience a lot of muscle damage. HMB, which is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, has been shown to help speed up the recovery of muscle to training-induced damage.

But there’s a catch: You need to do the damage in order for it to work. What this means is that if someone takes HMB—or creatine, or any other supplement—and thinks “I’m going to get huge,” but then trains like a pansy, it’s not going to happen. But if they push it in the gym and they constantly change their workouts and push themselves to the limit, that’s when a supplement is going to help.

Bodybuilding supplements only work if you do. If you don’t train intensely and have anything to recover from, then why are you supplementing? You need to get your behind in gear and start training intensely first. That’s a takeaway I want to get across to everyone: Supplements interact with the training stimulus.

Question 4

Definitely not! When it comes to supplementation, it’s all about quality, and that quality only goes as far as the company making the supplement.

One of the things we found in our lab is that, when we test certain supplements, the claims on the back of the label don’t always pan out. We’ve tested proteins that claim to contain 25 grams of high-quality protein per serving, but it’s really only 19 or maybe 18 grams—and it was low quality. It had maybe a gram of leucine, and if you read Mass Class Nutrition, you know you need 3 grams of leucine to grow. That means you would have to take 3 servings of that protein to do anything. Your money is more or less wasted in this case.

Once you set a goal in place, do your research on supplements. Don’t just take someone’s word for it.

So do your homework and select a company that has a good reputation, creates high-quality supplements, and just as importantly, does scientific research. There are plenty of companies that just want to talk about old research, but they won’t perform research on their own products. I have a lot of respect for companies which are willing to say, “We’ll put our products to the test.” Stick to those companies, and your money will go a lot further.

Question 5

Step one is to be clear about what your goals are, because when it comes to supplementation, it’s crucial to individualize. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, then you won’t train adequately for it, and you’ll set yourself up to fail.

Once you’ve got a goal in place, do your research. Don’t just take someone’s word for it, whether it’s your friend or the guy at a store who tells you, “Oh, bro, you should definitely take this.” Take the time to research it yourself, so you know exactly what you’re taking and why. Bodybuilding.com is a great place to start, because there are a lot of reputable scientists on the site who take this stuff seriously, and who list sources you can go out and investigate.

This allows you to be your own scientist. No one else knows what you’re really working toward, so make your body your laboratory and get to work!

Recommended For You

Mass Class Training: The Fundamentals Of Muscle Growth

I want to bring this sport to a new level with the latest science has to offer, and I want you to ride along with me. Pull up a chair and get out your notebook. Mass Class is about to begin.

Mass Class Nutrition: The Fundamentals Of Eating For Muscle Growth

You can drive yourself crazy with the what, when, and how of muscle-building nutrition. Or you can master the fundamentals with guidance from Dr. Jacob Wilson. Get your plate in order and your physique will follow!

Ask The Muscle Prof: What Are The Ideal Macros For My Breakfast?

The first meal of the day is a free-for-all for some and an afterthought for others. Here’s your guide to making the perfect bodybuilder breakfast.

About The Author

Dr. Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., CSCS*D is a professor and director of the skeletal muscle and sports nutrition laboratory at the University of Tampa.

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Jake Wilson's Mass Class: Supplement Fundamentals

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Jake Wilson's Mass Class: Supplement Fundamentals

<div class="article-padding-content" webReader="44.1444875599"><div class="article-author-by-line"><span class="byline">by <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cassie-smith.html">Cassie Smith</a></span><span class="article-date">Apr 09, 2014</span></div><div id="DPG" webReader="44.2337259764"><p>Because there is always new research and information regarding physique building and fitness, Jim likes to test nutrition and supplementation variables on himself. Through his years of research and self-testing, Jim knows exactly which macros will produce the best results. Here's his nutrition regimen!</p><h4>Jim Stoppani, PhD, Fitness 360<br /><span class="exercise-note">Watch The Video - 17:54</span></h4><h3 class="article-title">Applied Science</h3><p>"Overall, my nutrition philosophy is high protein," says Jim. "Muscle is made out of protein. In order to build muscle, you have to eat more protein. When you eat so much protein, you can eat fewer carbohydrates because the protein is also providing energy."</p><p>Jim bases much of his diet plan from favorable research findings. For example: "Research has shown that people who eat whole eggs (at least three yolks per day) gain more muscle and strength than people who are eating just the whites." Jim also eats beef once per day for its muscle-building benefits and salmon for the uber-important omega-3 fatty acids.</p><img src="images/2014/fit-360-jim-stoppani-graphics-nutrition-1.jpg" width="560" height="424" border="0"/><p>"'In order to build muscle, you have to eat more protein. When you eat so much protein, you can eat fewer carbohydrates because the protein is also providing energy.'"</p><p>He's also a Greek yogurt fan: "It has high casein content, which is a slow-digesting protein. I like to mix a cup of Greek yogurt with a scoop of whey protein. It tastes like pudding, and you're getting fast-absorbing protein and slow-absorbing protein at the same time which helps extend your anabolic effect so you can build muscle better."</p><p>As for carbs, "I give myself a high carb day once per week," he says, "which keeps my metabolic rate up and allows me to eat foods that I might be craving. It's a fairly consistent diet year round. I like to eat frequently; I get protein every few hours so I can avoid protein breakdown."</p><p>Bodybuilding diets can be monotonous, so Jim finds creative ways to make food taste better. "I use a lot of fresh spices like garlic, basil, and things like that," he says.</p><h3 class="article-title">Jim's Meal Plan</h3><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul><li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/protein-powder_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder.html">Protein Powder</a></strong><br />1 scoop</span></li>
<li class="c10">
<h6>Scramble:</h6>
</li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/guides/images/fap-nutrition-eggs.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('1123')">Eggs</a></strong><br />3 large whole eggs</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/guides/images/fap-nutrition-broccoli.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('11090')">Chopped Broccoli</a></strong><br />1 cup</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/cheese_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('1168')">Low-fat Shredded Cheese</a></strong><br />1/4 cup</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/oliveoil_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('4053')">Olive Oil</a></strong><br />1 tsp</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/pre-jym_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/jym/pre-jym.html">Pre JYM</a></strong><br />1 scoop</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/protein-powder_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder.html">Protein Powder</a></strong><br />3 scoops</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/post-jym_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/jym/post-jym.html">Post JYM</a></strong><br />1 dose</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/shrimp_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('15149')">Shrimp</a></strong><br />8 oz</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/stirfry_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Stir-fry Vegetables</strong><br />2 cups</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/oliveoil_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('4053')">Olive Oil</a></strong><br />1 tsp</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/beeftenderloin_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('13291')">Sirloin Steak</a></strong><br />10 oz</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/sweet-potato_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('11507')">Sweet Potato</a></strong><br />1 medium sweet potato</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/salad_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('21052')">Mixed Green Salad</a></strong><br />2 cups</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/oliveoil_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('4053')">Olive Oil</a></strong><br />1-2 tbsp</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/food/red-wine-vinegar.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('2048')">Red Wine Vinegar Dressing</a></strong><br />1-2 tbsp</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/guides/images/fap-nutrition-salmon.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('15076')">Smoked Salmon</a></strong><br />4 oz</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/stringcheese_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:nutrientpop('1168')">Light String Cheese</a></strong><br />2 sticks</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c12"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/yogurt_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Greek Yogurt (reduced fat)</strong><br />8 oz</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c13"><span class="mpt-images c11"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/protein-powder_50.jpg" alt="Almonds" width="50" height="50"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder.html">Protein Powder</a></strong><br />1 scoop</span></li>
</ul></div><p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/jym.html"><img src="images/2014/jym-sup-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a></p><div class="c14"><strong>[ <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-jim-stoppani-phd-body-by-science.html">Jim Stoppani Fitness 360 Main Page</a> ]</strong></div><br class="c15"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c18" webReader="5.13333333333"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/death-by-protein-debunking-protein-is-as-bad-as-smoking-study.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/death-by-protein_smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="6.6"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/death-by-protein-debunking-protein-is-as-bad-as-smoking-study.html">DEATH BY PROTEIN: DEBUNKING THE 'PROTEIN IS AS BAD AS SMOKING' STUDY</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
A new study says that a high-protein diet will kill you, but boatloads of carbs are fine. Sound suspect? You're right. Jim Stoppani goes behind the headlines to bring you the real story!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="5.40086206897"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-supplement-guru-when-should-i-take-creatine.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/ask-the-supplement-guru-when-should-i-take-creatine-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="6.94396551724"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-supplement-guru-when-should-i-take-creatine.html">ASK THE SUPPLEMENT GURU: WHEN SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Creatine is here to stay, but gym-goers continue to bicker over the best way to take it. You'd better believe that Jim Stoppani has an opinion on this pressing supplement debate!</p></div></div><div class="c18" webReader="6.53571428571"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jim-stoppani-six-week-shortcut-to-shred.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/jim-stoppani-six-week-shortcut-to-shred-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c17" webReader="8.98660714286"><h4 class="c16"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jim-stoppani-six-week-shortcut-to-shred.html">JIM STOPPANI'S SIX-WEEK SHORTCUT TO SHRED</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Get ready to burn fat, build muscle, boost strength, and get absolutely shredded in only six weeks. Get ready to achieve the best shape of your life. Get ready for Shortcut to Shred.</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-article-related-articles" id="article-related-articles"><h4 class="article-section-header">Related Articles</h4><div class="gray-gradient-box-with-border no-top-border"><ul class="related-article-list"><li class="first-related-article"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-big-fat-6-pack-ab-lies-14-ways-to-beat-belly-fat.htm">5 Big Fat Six-Pack Abs Lies & 14 Surefire Ways To Beat The Belly Fat!</a></li>
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</ul></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="40.2019230769"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.58227848101"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cassie-smith.html">Cassie Smith</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cassie-smith.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cassie-smith.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-cassie-smith-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cassie-smith.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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Fitness 360: Jim Stoppani, PhD, Nutrition Program

Because there is always new research and information regarding physique building and fitness, Jim likes to test nutrition and supplementation variables on himself. Through his years of research and self-testing, Jim knows exactly which macros will produce the best results. Here’s his nutrition regimen!

Jim Stoppani, PhD, Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 17:54

Applied Science

“Overall, my nutrition philosophy is high protein,” says Jim. “Muscle is made out of protein. In order to build muscle, you have to eat more protein. When you eat so much protein, you can eat fewer carbohydrates because the protein is also providing energy.”

Jim bases much of his diet plan from favorable research findings. For example: “Research has shown that people who eat whole eggs (at least three yolks per day) gain more muscle and strength than people who are eating just the whites.” Jim also eats beef once per day for its muscle-building benefits and salmon for the uber-important omega-3 fatty acids.

“‘In order to build muscle, you have to eat more protein. When you eat so much protein, you can eat fewer carbohydrates because the protein is also providing energy.'”

He’s also a Greek yogurt fan: “It has high casein content, which is a slow-digesting protein. I like to mix a cup of Greek yogurt with a scoop of whey protein. It tastes like pudding, and you’re getting fast-absorbing protein and slow-absorbing protein at the same time which helps extend your anabolic effect so you can build muscle better.”

As for carbs, “I give myself a high carb day once per week,” he says, “which keeps my metabolic rate up and allows me to eat foods that I might be craving. It’s a fairly consistent diet year round. I like to eat frequently; I get protein every few hours so I can avoid protein breakdown.”

Bodybuilding diets can be monotonous, so Jim finds creative ways to make food taste better. “I use a lot of fresh spices like garlic, basil, and things like that,” he says.

Jim’s Meal Plan


Recommended For You

DEATH BY PROTEIN: DEBUNKING THE ‘PROTEIN IS AS BAD AS SMOKING’ STUDY

A new study says that a high-protein diet will kill you, but boatloads of carbs are fine. Sound suspect? You’re right. Jim Stoppani goes behind the headlines to bring you the real story!

ASK THE SUPPLEMENT GURU: WHEN SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?

Creatine is here to stay, but gym-goers continue to bicker over the best way to take it. You’d better believe that Jim Stoppani has an opinion on this pressing supplement debate!

JIM STOPPANI’S SIX-WEEK SHORTCUT TO SHRED

Get ready to burn fat, build muscle, boost strength, and get absolutely shredded in only six weeks. Get ready to achieve the best shape of your life. Get ready for Shortcut to Shred.

Related Articles

About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

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Fitness 360: Jim Stoppani, PhD, Nutrition Program

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5 Skills For A Successful Transformation

I’m no stranger to body transformations. Having been a both fitness coach and the co-founder of Fitocracy, I’ve been exposed to countless successful transformations, but even more stories of people who’ve started, continued, and ended their fitness journey. Unfortunately, despite all the inspiring and triumphant stories out there, most people are still failing at reaching their fitness goals—and obesity rates continue rising.

How can that be? The two reason I hear people cite the most are, “If I just had the motivation,” and “If I only had the willpower.” They seem to think there’s a secret to making a successful fitness transformation—like motivation and will-power are some sort of magic pixie dust that makes fit people instantly hate the taste of pizza and love the treadmill.

You know who has motivation? Your average Joe who joins a gym in January. He’s motivated as hell. Sadly, neither he nor his motivation stick around until March rolls around. He stops going to the gym, feels guilty, and then blames his lack of willpower.

Let me say it once and for all: Fitness success is not merely about motivation! Motivation is fleeting and unreliable. Rather, fitness is a skill, like riding a bike or learning a language. Here’s how you can cultivate the skill and make it work for you.

The Growth and Fixed Mindset

Psychologist Carol Dweck has a great theory which places people on a continuum comprised of two different fundamental mindsets: “fixed” and “growth.” Her theory wasn’t necessarily created with fitness in mind, but I believe it goes right to the heart of what makes us succeed or fail in our physical goals.

Those with fixed mindsets believe that success is based on innate talent.

Those with fixed mindsets believe that success is based on innate talent. In other words, someone is born with certain characteristics, and you either have them or you don’t. Failures—such as the failure to follow a diet—are the result of lacking these characteristics, such as self-control, discipline, or intelligence.

By contrast, those with a growth mindset believe that success relies upon improving their different skill sets through hard work, learning, and experience. These people believe they can improve their success in different facets of life. I happen to agree.

Back to my original bike-riding analogy: The growth mindset is analogous to falling off the bike on your first attempt at riding, but being willing to get back on and try again. You understand that you didn’t fall because you lack the necessary discipline to ride your bike. You just know your skill isn’t fully developed yet, so you keep practicing until it is.

For millions of people, all things involved with fitness seem to fall squarely in the realm of the fixed mindset. When they slip up on their diets, they tend to scold themselves for being undisciplined and lazy, rather than stopping to think about why they slipped up and how they can avoid it in the future. People with a fixed mindset try to force their success with sheer willpower, which simply doesn’t work.

Studies have shown that willpower is a finite resource. Thus, relying on it alone is less likely to lead to success. If fitness is a skill, which I believe is the case, then it should be improved by working the muscles of other skills that constitute a successfully fit life. Embrace these five skills of fitness, and you’ll be on the road to a lasting change.

1 Knowledge

Knowledge is an evidence-based understanding of things like training and nutrition. It allows you to create a plan and execute it. Knowledge can be either basic—understanding calories and how they impact your weight—or relatively advanced, such as correctly incorporating a carbohydrate re-feed in order to raise leptin during your diet. You can improve your knowledge by reading sites like this one, or by utilizing credible fitness pros like Alan Aragon and Layne Norton for their encyclopedic knowledge.

Knowledge is the most important of all skills, but paradoxically, it is also the most abused.

Knowledge is the most important of all skills, but paradoxically, it is also the most abused. That’s because more fitness and nutrition information is swirling around the Internet than ever. Everyone can be a citizen scientist or guru, it seems. Easy access to abundant resources like PubMed often leads to misinterpreted or romanticized readings of information.

Too much information, especially if you can’t sift through all the white noise, can put you at a disadvantage. After all, what good will understanding the optimal meal timing to optimize muscle protein synthesis do for you if you can’t stop yourself from binge eating?

That’s where mindfulness comes into play.

2 Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the examination of your feelings, surroundings, and your existence relative to everything else. Think of mindfulness as fitness wisdom. It’s the ability to learn about yourself and your feelings. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to learn from your mistakes.

I recently had the following conversation with a client:

As you can see, the client saw a binge as a failure without any underlying context. He was actually confused by the idea that he could dig deeper into his binge beyond simple failure. This is a case where people approach fitness with a markedly different eye than they do, say, business.

I figured I screwed up. That led me to feel anxious. Eating everything in sight was a way to cope with that anxiety.

In business, people may seek out patterns to preclude the chance of repeating a mistake, but this doesn’t seem to be the case in fitness. It’s as if fitness is an all-or-nothing principle.

By practicing mindfulness, the client eventually broke down his binge into independent events and traced them to conscious decisions. We agreed that going 50 calories over maintenance is hardly a disaster. The next time this client sees this same pattern, he can use previous experiences to disrupt this course of action.

You can improve mindfulness by following the “totem exercise” that I write about here.

3 Self-Compassion

Hate. Guilt. Self-loathing. These are the typical feelings of someone who slips up on an otherwise “perfect” day. For many, cycles of perceived dieting failures have perpetuated a lifetime of these feelings. They become convinced that they need to “strengthen their resolve” to overcome these weight-loss hurdles. And each time, they face the same disastrous outcome.

Research has shown that developing self-compassion allows people to think of fitness more as a skill to improve, rather than an end goal. Those who show self-compassion forgive themselves for their mistakes so that they can try again with a more productive mindset.

The next time you mess up, cut yourself some slack! Then exhibit mindfulness by figuring out what went wrong.

4 Humility

Humility is the skill that gives you the motivation to improve all other skills. Without it, you stagnate.

Those who show self-compassion forgive themselves for their mistakes so that they can try again with a more productive mindset.

The first time I heard intermittent fasting expert Martin Berkhan say that “Breakfast is not that important,” I was outraged. Seriously? Everyone knows that breakfast is obviously the most important meal of the day!

Anger is a natural reaction to a hole being punctured in your steadfast beliefs. You’ve been drilled for so long about the dangers of skipping breakfast, and how doing so will doom you to obesity. How dare someone tell you differently!

Research has shown that when people’s deepest convictions get challenged by contradictory yet credible information, they actually cling more tightly to their existing beliefs.

I later re-examined Berkhan’s claim. I started skipping breakfast and was rewarded with more mental energy and additional hours in my morning for having done so. As an entrepreneur who works more than 80 hours a week, skipping breakfast has added countless hours to my productivity. It just works for me. The only way that I was able to accept this information was practice humility—suppressing my ego and being open to the possibility that I was wrong.

This is just one example. I can think of countless others in the realms of training, nutrition, and health. It turns out that the more you learn about fitness—or any other skill for that matter—the more you realize just how much you don’t know.

Whenever you feel the need to lash out because your precious beliefs are under attack, think again. Keep an open mind and be willing to re-examine your beliefs.

5 Discipline

Discipline allows you to create habits, which in turn are created by repeating a task over and over again—going to the gym at the same time every day, preparing tomorrow’s meals at the end of every day, and so on.

Some studies show that discipline, however, can expire by the end of the day. Making decisions throughout your day—no matter how small—drains a ton of energy. If you’ve ever felt mentally exhausted after a day full of meetings, then you know what I mean. Hell, thinking really hard depletes self-control so much that it could even reduce maximum voluntary strength, according to one study.

Research has shown that when people’s deepest convictions get challenged by contradictory yet credible information, they actually cling more tightly to their existing beliefs.

This could pose a problem when it comes to the nitty-gritty of keeping in line with your fitness-related goals. Think about it. By the end of the day, you might feel so mentally depleted that the paltry remains of your willpower and self-control resources may lead you to make the “easier” decision about the gym. You know, just putting it off completely.

Simply put, making hard decisions at work, deciding whether to go to the gym, and saying no to that piece of cake all compete for the same pool of mental resources. However, there is a way to combat this: Build a habit.

When something is repeated often enough, that action no longer requires a costly conscious decision. The kicker is that habits may require more willpower at the start, but a good habit is well worth the effort it takes to build.

Putting it All Together

As with any skill, you improve fitness by doing, not just by thinking. Here’s how how all these skills could intertwine in your life:

Discipline allows you to create habits, which in turn are created by repeating a task over and over again.

  • Knowledge: Find a training and nutrition plan that appeals to you and fits your goals and lifestyle. Stick to the program as best as you can, but expect to slip up along the way.
  • Mindfulness: If you find yourself deviating from the plans frequently, dig to the root of your behavior and experience in a non-judgmental way.
  • Self-compassion: Guilt will naturally arise if you skip the gym or deviate from your nutrition plan more than a couple of times. But rather than throw your hands helplessly in the air, forgive yourself and figure out what’s going wrong, so you can fix the problem.
  • Humility: Realize that your long-held beliefs can be wrong, or at least, they could be causing you to miss beneficial opportunities. Your ideas of what you’re incapable of can also be wrong. The more you practice your skill, the more you’ll have your mind opened.
  • Discipline: Humility and discipline go hand-in-hand. Perhaps morning is the most logical time for you to train, but you resist it because you think you’re “not a morning person.” Use some discipline and create a habit around waking up earlier every day.

Run through each skill and determine what you need to improve. Sometimes, improving a skill—like mindfulness—is as simple as becoming aware of it. You will become disciplined enough to do the mundane, tough enough to always forgive yourself when you fail, and brave enough to accept that being wrong is OK.

Once you can take failures, examine them, and improve upon them, you’ll be well on the road to developing fitness as a skill. Remember that a successful transformation on the outside first requires a transformation within!

Which of these skills do you find is your greatest strength or weakness? Discuss in the comments below and let’s all work together on improving our fitness skills.

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5 Skills For A Successful Transformation

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight lossComments Off on 5 Skills For A Successful Transformation

<div id="DPG" webReader="243.996869497"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-19"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/greg-robins-vital-stats-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>Name:</strong> Greg Robins, CPT<br /><strong>Education:</strong> University of Massachusetts Boston<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cressey Performance<br /><strong>Twitter:</strong> @CoachGregRobbins<br /><strong>Website:</strong> thestrengthhouse.com<br /><strong>Location:</strong> Hudson, MA</p></div><p>Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called "hardgainers," adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I'm skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I've had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.</p><p>At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.</p><p>Over the years, I've learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you're a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won't feel hungry all the time, but you'll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-1.jpg" width="560" height="346" border="0"/><p>"Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size."</p><p>I don't care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">1 Use data over guesswork</h3>
</p><p>The guessing game and going by "feel" never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!</p><img class="float-right c13" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-2.jpg" width="190" height="283" border="0"/><p>Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That's a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.</p><p>"Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes."</p><p>Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or <em>not</em>, in many cases.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.</p><p>Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven't been gaining as much muscle as you'd like, check your protein intake to see if it's adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.</p><p>One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.</p><p>Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals</h3>
</p><p>Hardgainers don't gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don't sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.</p><p>Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it's a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or "cookies."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-3b.jpg" width="560" height="288" border="0"/><p>"Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains."</p><p>Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm's reach and ready. Don't be lazy about it.</p><p>More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> one of my favorite quick and easy snacks</p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.</li>
<li>Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.</li>
<li>Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.</li>
<li>Mix all together.</li>
<li>Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.</li>
<li>Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.</li>
</ol><p>Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/anna-sward.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward</a>.</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein-powder/the-cookbook-protein-pow.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/annasward_bookbanner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0"/></a><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)</h3>
</p><p>This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you'd be surprised by how many people ask me why they're not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.</p><p>I'm not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.</p><img class="float-right c15" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-5.jpg" width="264" height="224" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">4 Fat is where it's at</h3>
</p><p>Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they're damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.</p><p>Fats should comprise most of your meals when you're not training or close to training times.</p><p><strong>Action points:</strong> things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet</p><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.</li>
<li>Pat some butter in your sweet potato.</li>
<li>Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.</li>
<li>Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.</li>
<li>Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).</li>
<li>Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.</li>
</ul><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">5 Eat faster</h3>
</p><p>Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill 'er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach's actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts "eating a lot" into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.</p><img class="float-right c16" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/7-ways-to-gain-weight-6.jpg" width="268" height="322" border="0"/><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">6 Drink more calories</h3>
</p><p>Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/proteinshakes.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shakes</a> you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">7 Have a positive relationship with your food</h3>
</p><p>Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.</p><p>Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don't even realize are taking place. It's often the negative association that stems from the "need to eat" and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.</p><p><strong>Action point:</strong> Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren't afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!</p><p>Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!</p><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="5.15789473684"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm"><img src="images/2014/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.63157894737"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12-skinny-guy-tips-to-build-monster-muscle.htm">12 'Skinny Guy' Tips To Build Monster Muscle!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Are you afraid to challenge yourself? After reading this article, you should be ready to take the first steps in the journey!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.55434782609"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm"><img src="images/2014/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="7.14130434783"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hardgainers-guide-to-muscle-building.htm">Hardgainer's Guide To Muscle Building!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Every hardgainer is looking to add muscle. This guide will focus on the types of weight training, cardio and nutrition needed to meet your goals.</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="5.34210526316"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm"><img src="images/2014/bones-to-buff-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.86842105263"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/30-day-bones-to-buff-training.htm">How To Go From Bones To Buff In Just 30 Days!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
For someone struggling to gain mass, a different approach must be taken. Here are the benefits of a 30-day program for ectomorphs. Check it out!</p></div></div></div>

Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Gaining weight can be incredibly difficult and stressful for certain people. For these folks, commonly called “hardgainers,” adding even a little size can seem like a monumental task. Personally, I’m skeptical about the extent of this difficulty. From my time in the military to setting recent personal powerlifting goals, I’ve had my fair share of experiences gaining healthy weight.

At my lowest weight of 173 in the military, I had the energy of a bull and personal bests that included a 435-pound deadlift, a 315-pound squat, and a 285-pound bench press. Later, when I flew up to 230 pounds, these same lifts shot up over one hundred pounds apiece, and I still boast a better-than-average work capacity.

Over the years, I’ve learned that tackling any goal comes down to being honest, acknowledging how much work it will take, and pushing through that work. If you’re a hardgainer who wants to gain weight, you probably won’t feel hungry all the time, but you’ll still have to eat. If you really want to grow, you need to silence your fears of getting fat, of your performance suffering, and of eating 100 percent clean.

“Gaining weight can be difficult and stressful. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size.”

I don’t care how hard it is for you to gain weight. With proper training and willingness to do the work, you can build quality muscle and add healthy size. Do you have the courage to actually step outside your comfort zone and get something done? If you want to grow, start with these seven tips!

1 Use data over guesswork

The guessing game and going by “feel” never give you an accurate picture of what you eat on a daily basis. So do the math and figure it out!

Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes. You may be surprised by what you find. Perhaps you thought you ate 3,300 calories one day when, in fact, you ate only 2,900. That’s a 400-calorie difference that can add up overtime.

“Write down your daily diet in a notebook or food-tracking mobile app, crunch the numbers, and seek help if you need additional eyes.”

Often, you just need something as visual as a food log for a couple weeks to fully grasp what you put into your diet—or not, in many cases.

Action point: Spend at least one month writing down your meals, snacks, and calories of any form that touch your lips. This serves as a mental exercise to get yourself used to eyeballing portion sizes and grasping the frequency and size of the meals you can consistently suck in on a daily basis.

Take advantage of this experimental period to tweak your diet according to results and how you feel, and learn how your body responds. For example, if you haven’t been gaining as much muscle as you’d like, check your protein intake to see if it’s adequate; if not, bump it up by increasing protein portion size or shift foods around a bit. One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a solid daily target.

One month is all you need to get a good picture of your caloric intake, but if you feel like it really helps, by all means, continue doing it until you can confidently start assembling meals through approximation and still achieve the results you want.

Just be sure to avoid getting consumed by the idea that you need to count every calorie all the time.

2 Add calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals

Hardgainers don’t gain weight for a slew of reasons. Chief among them is that they don’t sneak in enough extra calories into their diet. Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.

Sure, this might be easier said than done, but it’s a matter of identifying foods and recipes that are calorie-dense but light on stomach space. These foods include nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butters, honey, full-fat coconut milk, and full-fat Greek yogurt. Some other viable options consist of drinking milk throughout the day, making peanut butter and (insert your choice of condiment) sandwiches, homemade 1,000-calorie protein shakes, and homemade energy bars or “cookies.”

“Finding something to add as a surplus source of quick and easy calories is clutch for major gains.”

Once you figure out the foods which bloat the calorie count but not the stomach, plan to put them into your meals. That means making things in advance, thinking ahead, and having foods like full-fat Greek yogurt and nut butters within arm’s reach and ready. Don’t be lazy about it.

More calories = more growth, so pack on the calories and cram them in where you can.

Action point: one of my favorite quick and easy snacks

  1. Grab a jar of all-natural peanut butter (none of that added sugar and oils funny business!) and empty it into a bowl.
  2. Add two or three scoops of quality protein powder, a little honey to taste, and about 1/2 cup of dried oats.
  3. Add just enough water to make it mixable but not soupy at all.
  4. Mix all together.
  5. Separate into little balls that can hold together and refrigerate.
  6. Eat one with each of your meals over the next few days.

Other good options include many awesome high protein recipes by Protein Powder Chef, Anna Sward.

3 You need to eat carbs (yes, even the starchy ones)

This tip seems pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised by how many people ask me why they’re not gaining weight when their only carbohydrate sources come from vegetables, trace amounts of sugars, fruits, and legumes.

I’m not saying to go completely crazy on trashy carbohydrates, but your body will gain better results from additional carb sources such as rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and—dare I say it—bread. This is especially true with heavy weightlifting, since carbs are needed to replenish glycogen stores that a particularly grueling lifting session devours. Some studies suggest that timing the majority of your starches around when you train may shunt unnecessary fat storage. For example, eat these starches either pre- or post-workout.

Action point: Add two bananas, a bowl of oatmeal (one cup measured uncooked), or half a cup of rice (measured uncooked) to your post-training meals.

4 Fat is where it’s at

Fats are essential to your diet because they cushion your vital organs, help you digest certain types of vitamins, maintain optimum brain function, and more. Plus, fats are the easiest way to add extra calories. Fat sources are calorically dense, go down quickly, provide a lot of energy, and of course, they’re damn tasty. Before you go to town on heavy cream and lard, fats should come from quality sources, like raw nuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters, avocado, fattier cuts of meat, olive oil, real mayonnaise, and some cheese.

Fats should comprise most of your meals when you’re not training or close to training times.

Action points: things you can do to add more fats and thus more calories to your diet

  • Liberally douse your veggies in grass-fed butter or olive oil.
  • Pat some butter in your sweet potato.
  • Add extra olive oil in your marinara sauce.
  • Use real mayonnaise in your sandwiches.
  • Eat a whole avocado with your meal (they go with everything!).
  • Snack on macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and any of the other more nutrient-dense nuts throughout the day.

5 Eat faster

Before your body has the chance to feel satiated, fill ‘er up! If you eat too slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up on your stomach’s actual satiety levels, which is usually about a 20-minute delay. When you sit down to eat, start shoveling as much food as you comfortably can into your gaping maw. That means the opposite of what most weight loss experts will tell you. Never put your utensils down during your meal.

Action point: Make it a point to eat your meals with training buddies or friends who eat more food than you do. That way it becomes sort of a competition. It also puts “eating a lot” into a humbling perspective when you can see how much other people eat in comparison to yourself.

6 Drink more calories

Chewing takes work and time. Drink your calories whenever you can, whether that ends up being milk, coconut water, or a simple shake. Big, nutritional shakes you make at home are the real moneymaker here. You can add extra calories from coconut milk, nut butters, high-quality protein powders, and fistfuls of greens to make that shake give you both weight and nutritional gains.

Action point: Drink beverages like coconut milk, milk, or coconut water with each meal.

7 Have a positive relationship with your food

Far too often, people get consumed by the act of eating that they forget to savor food and view food as more than just numbers. Learn to cook, enjoy your food, and stop eating alone.

Having a positive relationship with food will do wonders for the poor habits you don’t even realize are taking place. It’s often the negative association that stems from the “need to eat” and makes hardgainers less likely to be able to adhere to consuming more calories. In these cases, it just helps to have a friend to be there along the way.

Action point: Plan to have dinner with a friend at least twice each week over the next month. As I already mentioned, try to make plans with friends who aren’t afraid to say yes to two entrees or second (or even third) helpings!

Do you have any other weight-gaining secrets to share with other hardgainers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Recommended For You

12 ‘Skinny Guy’ Tips To Build Monster Muscle!

Are you afraid to challenge yourself? After reading this article, you should be ready to take the first steps in the journey!

Hardgainer’s Guide To Muscle Building!

Every hardgainer is looking to add muscle. This guide will focus on the types of weight training, cardio and nutrition needed to meet your goals.

How To Go From Bones To Buff In Just 30 Days!

For someone struggling to gain mass, a different approach must be taken. Here are the benefits of a 30-day program for ectomorphs. Check it out!

Read this article: 

Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Get Growing: 7 Ways To Gain Weight For The Hardgainer


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