Alike many nutrition questions, not to sound cliche… but it really depends.
First off, we gotta get some more context. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, add muscle or increase your sport performance?
Here are a few quick tips for each of these cases:
Well, timing is important otherwise you start to devour everything in sight when you finally do eat. You may have been there before. Smaller more frequent meals are commonly taught, but I generally coach the “eat when you’re hungry” approach. The biggest keys are to eat slowly (20-30 minutes) and away from distractions (no TV, texting, Facebook etc…) and only until you’re 80% full. That way your body hits satiety (AKA the feeling of fullness). If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t have time to trigger the “stop eating” button and you’ll tend to overeat.
Eat. Eat often, and when you’re not hungry eat a sandwich. Seriously, timing of large meals is critical when you want to add muscle to your frame. Eating large amounts of food quickly is the takeaway here. Quality protein is most important. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or eating animal protein (which are scientifically proven to be more complete) you must ensure all essential amino acids are being taken into account to maximize the growth of muscle fibres.
When you’re a performance athlete and need to consider nutrients and calories and performing well, you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate number of nutrients in your body before every lift. Many meals throughout out the day is the gold standard, while pre and post training nutrition plays a huge role in your success too. Eat good whole food and sleep well to ensure you’re body is ready for the next competition.
Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you. Be sure to reach out if you need some answers! Ciao!
I’ve been asked countless times, “Mike, I’m eating well, I just can’t seem to lose the weight… what am I doing wrong?”
I’m usually quick to ask “What’s eating well look like to you?” As part of my coaching, I like to believe the best in everyone, but honestly, seeing is believing so I generally follow that question up with “Can you show me what each meal has been exactly in the past three days?”
Most often, that person cannot.
More often they say something to the effect of
“Well, it’s just really tough when the boys want to go out for wings and beer after the game… when my wife wants to do pizza and wine night on Friday and the kids are always on the go for band recital, soccer practice and other extra curricular events… I just don’t wanna be that guy, you know?”
I do. However, own it. You get to make that choice to get wings and beer, enjoy the pizza or choose to eat fast food from the drive thru en route to the kids practice… only you get that choice. And to piggyback on this, it’s not only to do with nutrition. If you find yourself in any less than ideal situation, maybe you just lost your job, maybe you’re considering starting your own business, maybe you want to pursue a passion – whatever it is, if you don’t have the social support, the likelihood of you achieving that dream significantly decreases.
It’s amazing how much we are influenced by the social circles that we are in. I found a very interesting article that explain the power of social support very clearly, from my friends and fellow coaches at Precision Nutrition. Take a read if you think you might know someone that’s got the right intentions but the wrong friends. Might be time to cut the line…. [Read the full article here]
A lot of folks don’t know the natural benefits of raw foods. So let’s open up discussion on one of them; beets.
Historically, these bad boys have been described as medicine, not just food. A true testament to their full potency. Here are my Top 11 points that should encourage you to pour a glass of natural beet juice every once in awhile.
11 Reasons To Drink Beet Juice
Beets contain betalains. Two of which, betanin and vulgaxanthin contain loads of goodness, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties.
1 Cup of raw beets contains just 58 calories and 2g of Protein
1 cup of raw beets contain 6% DV of iron
Lower blood pressure! Beets contain nitrates. Research shows that the high number of nitrates will immediately lower your blood pressure.
Detox! Beet juice will help detoxify your liver, dump toxins and rebuild liver cells. Boom. Rad.
Prevent premature aging! Lycoprene will help keep your skin elastic, so beets help prevent aging
Energy! That nitric oxide produced from the nitrates will help you boost energy
Lower blood sugar! Those dang soluble fibres found in beets help aide in reducing glucose in the blood stream.
Improve sexual performance! Those nitrates are back at it. When they get converted to nitric oxide that stimulates blood flow.
May help arthritis and joint pain
Helps to improve cognitive function. You will reduce your chances of dementia due to increased blood flow from the high amounts of nitrates found in beet juice.
Want to improve your nutrition this spring? Get at me for a free 30 day trial of my remote coaching at mikeschwartz.ca/trial
I’m prepared to take heat from the uneducated for this one. And I’m unapologetic about it.
If you follow the last two or three years worth of “If It Fits Your Macros” junk, aka : IIFYM , you should reconsider your understanding of true nutrition.
Nutrition is far more than “in vs. out” energy expenditure. Fact.
I’m coming from 12 years of combined expertise in nutrition and holistic lifestyle coaching. I’m not just some guy that looks ripped. Actually, I’m not ripped at all. I carry about 12% body fat, and I’m here to explain to everyone that sees those ads and commercials of absolutely jacked humans…
These are not the norm, and nor should they be aspired. Do not let “Insta-sadness grip you.
Nutrition is far more.
I’m actually split between two types of nutrition coaching. Metabolic Typing and Precision Nutrition’s standard of behavioural change. Both are incredibly simple to understand, but can pose challenges in implementation. But wow, when you get them down. You feel AH-MAZE-ING!
Here’s the Coles Notes version on both:
Eating to the way your body processes food. Yes, we are all different. So that diet Bob went on with “no (starch) carbs” may not produce the same results for you. Metabolic typing follows this basic principle. Some of us are quite balanced between processing all three macro nutrient groups (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) Eat some food, wait a few hours, notice and name how you feel. Are you sluggish? Are you full of energy? Do you feel like shit? Are you happy? Irritable? You know, the basics. Seems simple enough, right?
Here’s the challenge: This practice is just that: a practice. And while most of us are overrun with social media, distractions and heavy work load, we barely have enough time to eat, let alone sit mindfully and think about how we feel a few hours after said imaginary meal. So we don’t. And we tend to eat food on the go. Food that lacks nutrients., is low in calories (because that’s what the internet says is eating healthy so it must be good) and prepackaged so we can eat it at the desk, or with a quick heat up in the ‘nuker (we’ll save my thoughts on microwaves for another rant…uh, I mean post…) But seriously… tell me that this isn’t all a pretty accurate observation…
So how do you know what metabolic type you are? What the eff is a metabolic type anyway? Well, for starters you gotta figure out what foods your body digs. Carbs? Fats? Proteins? What’s the difference? Do I have to eat meat? All the answers are there in a consultation with me… but if you’re a go-getter I recently came across a super helpful resource (rather they came across me and I’m very happy they did) and would love to share their hard work with you. It’s a database of a kabillion types of protein powders on the market. These fine folks have specifically done the research on which protein powders are the best on the market. Head to reviews.com/protein-powder and check out the invaluable info on some high quality protein supplements to help aid your body through the day without sacrificing convenience. Simple. Go bookmark that site right now and come back and read on…
See, I offer the services that’ll tell you how much of what you should be eating to maintain optimal functionality and performance. You should reach out. A consult is completely confidential and I have packaged a few different options for those of you that are interested in what I can do for you. They range from $50 up to $200, and I offer payment plans. It’s all online, so you could be reading this in the German countryside and I could help you feel better simply by eating better. Fuel the soul properly, ja?! Das ist gut! Send me a note at email@example.com and lets get crackin’!
Here’s another way to address your nutrition based lifestyle issues at the core:
Precision Nutrition Habit-Based Nutrition
Enter behavioural change. Habit-based nutrition. Yes. The concept makes sense, right? Do something every day and it’ll become second nature. Eat shitty food and a lot of it, expect to reflect that aesthetically… You’re going to look like a Big Mac. Eat nutrient dense foods, such as avocado, lentils, spinach and the like… expect to feel great, full of energy and ready to take on the world. Which life would you chose?
See, here’s the challenge. When you’ve had practice of more than 10-15 years, the re-learning process of behavioural change is intimidating… to say the least. I get it. I coach folks with hard-to-give up addictions, habits that really perplex the mind and a general lifestyle that doesn’t speak to an abundance of “health”. However, look at it this way. If you’re about 65% of the way to your “ideal self” that means you’re only 35 days away from your ideal self… just take it 1% per day. Simple now, right?
If you’re struggling with how to lose that last little bit of muff off the top, I’m here to tell you there’s no secret pill. No little magic button. No shortcuts. Move more, eat better food. Make sure the nutrients get to your tissues. Laugh. Love. And be kind to yourself and forgiving. I offer a full curriculum of nutrition and behavioural change coaching for half price until the New Year… only $100 per month. Guaranteed results when you put the work in. Get at me if you’d like a shot at that.
Exclusive offer for you, my VIP. Exercise and nutrition coaching for half price.
Join dozens of my clients in working towards bettering your nutrition and lifestyle choices through adjusting key behaviours in the number one habit-based, lifestyle curriculum on the planet. With the help of Precision Nutrition, my nutrition certification, I coach you through daily lessons, practical habits and 24/7 support to help you learn the essentials to maintaining a healthy body for your lifestyle’s needs.
Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds, get stronger or improve your performance, let me help you get there. As a special offer to anyone that happens to read this make month to month payments of $100 (regular $200/month).
Lastly, for those of you in Calgary, musician or not I’m hosting a 3 night interactive workshop at Long-McQuade Calgary North and I’d encourage you to register for that. The cost is only $149 and you get a copy of my book, “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle”. Considering my regular hourly is $120, this is a smokin’ deal. I will be going through all three pillars of a great lifestyle with my co-founder, Kirsten Toth on how to move better, manage pain, eat better, and manage stress and perform better. Essentially this is a how to come a rad human kind of course and there’s a ton of information packed into 3 nights.
Diets and fads are ineffective long term, unsustainable and actually quite damaging to your health. There’s no shortcuts to living better. Put the work in and you’ll reap the rewards of accomplishment and a sexier body. Win-win.
Contact me for options to get kickstarted into the New Year before the droves of resolutioners attack the city walls of MusicFit in the next two weeks.
Alright folks, it’s about that time of year again. Birds are chirping, sun is shining. And you have a hankerin’ for a whole mess of pancakes, drizzled with syrup and a side of bacon or some sausage links if you fancy. That’s right; Calgary Stampede 2017 is just around the corner, and as a born and raised Calgarian myself, I’m not afraid to admit the very best part. It’s the ten days of what seems to be endless Stampede Pancake Breakfasts around the city. Most of them are FREE too… what a dangerous game!
But, just like any cohort mission, there are tactics and strategy and protocols you should follow in order to successfully accomplish this great endeavour. Whether you’re just out for a “treat meal” or you are part of a workplace pancake eating challenge, these four pro tips will help you to conquer the mighty Stampede Breakfast.
Do some recon – That’s right. A well planned trip around your ideal schedule and/or dietary concerns (yes there are gluten friendly and health-conscious options too! Read below!) will save you tons of time in line at hot spots, help you to avoid politician traps, help you to avoid death or death-like symptoms and may even help you scout out where the best live entertainment is to accompany your morning feast. Heck, if you plan it right you can “Pancake Hop” around two or three separate events per day to tackle many more breakfasts with ease and efficiency. Set a timer, spend enough time to savour the flavours and jump to the next one. Boom. You’re welcome. Here’s the official 2017 Stampede Breakfast Guide to help you out with your strategy.
Take friends! – Not to poo poo your ambitious solo-feasters, but really, whether you’re trying to bulk up ’cause it’s “growing season” or not… maybe you’re actually trying to lose weight and these next ten days are going to be the bane of your existence… if you have a tribe of Stampeders with you, regardless of their goals this will help. Why? Well first off it’s wicked fun, right? Secondly, the folks that are interested in bulking will take care of the leftovers from those of you who might have enough sensibility to stop eating before you see the light… it’s win-win, right!? (I’ll explain more in detail below) Help each other. That’s what friends are for. And leftovers. Good friends are also for cleaning up leftovers.
Stuck in a Pancake Eating Challenge? I got you! Here’s how to win – We are going to use science for this one. Satiety, or the feeling of “fullness” regarding appetite kicks in for most human beings at about the twenty minute mark of eating. That’s right, it takes your body that long to recognize there might be a problem if you do happen to overeat within that window. See where I’m going with this? For those of you who are up for the challenge, I dunno, maybe for a half day off work or something with the office buddies – try this out. Eat as much food as humanly possible within twenty minutes. I think I might have done like 6 of those monster pancakes a couple years ago, but I’m an average guy – six foot, buck eighty. I know there’s some dudes that could take me to the cleaners on that. So, go for it. That’s a pretty consistent way to put on mass outside the Stampede season too, by the way. Eat, eat a lot and eat fast as to trick your brain into how much you’ve actually eaten. Sneaky, right?
Want to enjoy a “treat meal” or two, but don’t want to go off the deep end? I got you! Here’s how to win – Science again. It’s important to be mindful about your eating all the time if you’re watching your waistline. Up for the challenge? Two key habits: Eat slowly. Eat until you’re only 80% full. Why? Satiety again. By the time you feel 80% full, if you’ve eaten slowly you’ll feel satisfied. it’s super neat how that works, even while facing stacks of pancakes! Use your body to your advantage. Often times while coaching clients on their nutrition and behavioural goals I find their biggest struggle is not actually taking the time to eat and only eat. It’s always on the run, generally with no concern to the process. Slow down and enjoy your pancake. I bet you’ll surprise yourself. And I call it “treat” not “cheat” because cheating would imply this is a test. What do people do on tests? Fail them. Your nutrition is not a test. Work away at it one step at a time and know that with 90% effort, you can expect 90% results. 12% effort… see what I mean? Eat what you want but understand the outcomes.
So, as you can see there are a lot of ways you can conquer the challenges of Stampede Breakfasts. Whether your goal is to eat 3 pancakes at every single one this year or if you would rather just participate without losing the awesome progress you’ve made so far this year, I’ve got you covered. Keep in mind as I mentioned earlier, there’s also gluten friendly and health conscious options out there for “all y’all” that want to have a guilt-free ten days… one in particular Tuesday, July 12 Amber Approved Stampede Breakfast seems like a good bet for most of you leaning that way.
In any case, know that it’s only ten days and you can choose to do what you like. Enjoy life, enjoy food and enjoy the greatest show on earth. Calgary Stampede 2017 doesn’t stand a chance on your Stampede Breakfast skills now.
For more exercise and nutrition tips and tricks, or if you have questions regarding your fitness plan or maybe you’d like to inquire about our studio or remote training services, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note below.
Okay, I’m likely going to take a lot of heat from a whole assortment of communities on this one. But it’s true, the “diet” approach doesn’t work. I’ve done it. I’ve even coached it. I’ve remained open to all sorts of dieting practices. Gluten free, sugar free, greens detox, low carb, high carb, cycling, starvation, or I mean.. restrictive calories, that “if it fits your macros” bullshit, vegan, vegetarian, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, omnomnomnivour… you name it. Nothing works.
You might ask… “How the eff do you figure, Schwartz?” I know guys that have lost a lot of weight AND they kept it off. Okay. So far, so good. But really, what’s the key to nutritional wellbeing in my oh-so-humble opinion? Consistency. And even “those guys” haven’t got any consistency. So, it’s only a matter of time they’re be “off the program…”
That’s right. NONE of the above diet solutions, fad or not promote consistency. They actually promote quite the opposite. Inconsistency. Here’s a closer look…
So, you’re on a diet, eh?
You’re either “on” or “off” a diet – there’s no in between.
So what do you think that does to a person’s psyche when they are out and about and not able to eat the 3 grams of protein with 1 silly meal like their ignorant meal planning coach enforced? Do you think that person’s attitude towards eating well changed for the positive, or for the negative? I’m willing to bet (and this I’ve seen) that that person will now be more inclined to eat more shit, because they already “screwed up” that day. Been there before, folks? Of course you have. Don’t lie. One piece of cheese and a glass of wine quickly turns to waking up on Monday still wondering what happened to Sunday. It’s a rabbit hole…
What a messed up version of reality, if you ask me. But I digress…
So… you’re still counting calories and worrying about fat and carbs, eh?
Well, that’s unfortunate.
I mean, it’s not your fault at all. I blame the media, which is basically run by the companies that want you to buy their shit. So, really – watch TV, surf the net, or otherwise follow pop culture and you’re likely screwed. No, calories aren’t bad. No carbs aren’t either. Neither is fat. They’re quite necessary as part of a healthy diet (not THAT kind of diet, diet as in what you ingest…) You require energy from those macronutrients in order to carry out daily functions effectively. No fat? No carbs? Limited cognitive function. That’s right, you fail to process things… cool right? Nope. Zero percent cool. So, what do we do?
Here’s my solution!
Start by building on habits. The key to solid nutrition is nothing more than replacing poor dietary habits with better ones, and that takes time. So regardless of whether or not you’re looking to build muscle, sleep better, improve athletic performance, lose weight or correct an old injury, you’ll need to start small with manageable habits. I’m talking small, small…
Here’s a drill I incorporate with nearly all of the folks I work with. Take one week to focus on just making time.
15 minutes. 2 minutes. An hour.
Whatever you’ve got. Make time and schedule it.
No one will give you time (everyone’s problems are yours, don’t you know…) so if you can start changing your mentality around creating time for yourself, things like meal prep, shopping at Community or Planet Organic instead of McDonalds drive thru, making sure you get to the gym (or your training session with me…) will easily translate when your brain goes into autopilot about thinking about taking care of YOU before all else. But again, that takes time. So be patient. Start by looking at your next week and plotting out time each day to work on you. It can be whatever. Writing, taking a bath, breathing, meditating… Just disconnect and make the time.
Try this out for a week and just see how it goes. Check in with yourself every day. You’ll be surprised at how difficult it may be, depending on how over-extended you actually are. (In that case you’ll definitely want to talk to me… I have some online answers to help solve the problem of setting intention and a healthy foundation of positively, reinforced habits).