Did you break your metabolism?

While you can’t “break” your metabolism, excessive and repetitive periods in a prolonged hypocaloric state can leave your metabolism “depressed”. If you’ve eaten or exercised yourself into a corner, read on.

Our bodies are constantly striving to maintain equilibrium, and our metabolism quickly adjusts to balance (counter, resist) changes in energy intake or expenditure. This is why the common advice of EAT LESS MOVE MORE runs out of steam pretty quickly. Especially for those that have already been taking that approach for a while, or has already seen significant body re-composition.

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Abs. The holy grail of physique transformation?

Abs. Nearly everyone chasing physique transformation wants that coveted six-pack. A slick slab of undulating goodness that speaks to all that hard work. But sadly, many never achieve their dream, despite making good progress with fat-loss. But why? What is it that makes seeing abs such an elusive goal?

First, let’s be clear, a six pack isn’t for everyone. It’s not necessary, serves no practical purpose and is seen by many as an expression of extreme vanity. And if you’re reading this with a skeptical frown, thinking what the fuck is the obsession with abs in this industry, I totally understand.

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Snacking is wrecking your progress

Are you a habitual snacker? Do you spend more time justifying your indulgences than considering how to better manage your treats? Well we’ve been talking about this over in my Facebook group, Uncommon Sense Physique. Here’s what I had to say on the topic.

When you pop that snack in your mouth, in almost all such situations, there is one simple reality.

That the individual–in this case my beautiful wife–wants/seeks the joy of eating the [insert favorite snack food] more than they want [insert desired outcome here].

Worse still, we’ve also found all sorts of ways to make this okay – to rationalize our decision.

  • “It’s just one chocolate.”
  • “Life’s too short to not have a treat.”
  • “It’s been a long day and I just don’t want to think about it.”
  • “I had a salad for lunch.”
  • “I worked out today, I can afford this.”
  • “I’ll work this off at the gym tomorrow.”

This is but a partial list, a list we could probably expand indefinitely. But you get the idea. Can you spot the theme?

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So you want to get lean — Part 2

You’ve established your energy needs, adjusted for exercise, and calculated your macros. Time to get in the gym and hit the weights! But where do you start?

In part one of this topic, we covered the importance of energy balance, how to establish an energy deficit and calculate our macros to help guide our nutritional choices.

In this post, we’ll cover some of the exercise protocols you can use to increase fat loss, and walk through a sample program that draws on many of these techniques.

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Full body workout

dumbbells-on-floorWith travel and work schedule this week, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to maintain my normal three day split and six training-day setup, so I committed early to change in plans. With just three days carved out for training, I hit a lower body session, upper body session, and today, I hit an all-body workout.

Given I’ve been concerned recently with how much is enough, I thought I’d share the [improvised] program along with some narrative as to how it went. I am not going to list the weights used, as that is relevant to me only. Suffice to say the weights were at a level where I was leaving a two-to-three reps in the tank, give or take — so 80-90% of max loads for the given rep-range. Lots of supersets designated with “ss/”.

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I can see my abs

My AbsOn February 8th this year, I decided to set a new step-goal of seeing my absI can recall the date explicitly, as it’s the same day I signed-up for Adam Bornstein’s Getting Shredded event. Two months later… BOOM; abs!

Yup, that’s not stock imagery on on the right, that’s me sporting my new six-pack!

So what was different this time around?

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Chicken and broccoli … again

My current eating regimen has me cycling carbs; that means higher carbs on training days and lower carbs on rest days. As a result, you end-up eating a lot of lean proteins, which for me means a lot of chicken and fish.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a perfectly grilled chicken breast as much as the next person; I also like broccoli. But there comes a point at which grilled chicken and broccoli is just no longer satisfying. First world problems, no doubt; but a problem all the same.

Tonight, I decided I’d try to make chicken and broccoli interesting… something I did with aplomb! Apologies in advance for not having a picture — by the time I realized it would be great to share, I’d eaten it all. That’s what happens when you are in calorie deficit!

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Intermittent Fasting: It could just be the difference

nofoodIntermittent Fasting (IF) is a style of eating, not a diet. It is also not the silver bullet to fat loss that some might claim it to be. It IS, however, something you should know about, research and ultimately try for yourself.

Three quick sources for you to do some homework:

For me, IF works. In fact, it almost works too well and an eight hour eating window makes it hard to get all the calories I need when trying to gain muscle. However, when I am trying to lean out, combining an IF regimen with a healthy diet, balanced macros and a good training program makes a big difference. As a bonus, the IF protocol has hidden benefits:

  1. More free time to do more things; less time thinking about and planning eating.
  2. You care a lot more about what you put in your mouth when you’ve been fasting for 16 hours.
  3. You learn to appreciate your food more and associate being hungry with being healthy.

Closing thoughts: Don’t dismiss an approach or idea without doing your homework. Also, be prepared to invest some of your own time in trying and evaluating a diet or workout regimen. What works for one, may or may not work for another — but you won’t know unless you try!