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]

Ciao, babes!

Xo

M

 

Featured Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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Meal plans don’t work. Well, I guess it depends on what your definition of “work” is, actually.

For me and my clients, friends, family and anyone I have some sort of influence over or some sort of vested interest in, this is what my definition of “work” is in the context of aiming to correct or give aide to something, namely: lifestyle goals.

An attainable strategy in not only achieving and maintaining outcome based goals, but inspiring progress towards reaching for new, even more rad goals.

Cool, huh? That’s what I thought anyway. So here is my number one beef with folks that ask for a diet, or a meal plan or another form of quick fixings on a much deeper-roosted behavioural issue. Expect to only put a bandage on the wound when you fail to address the root of the problem.

Let’s look at diet for example: When we cut starch carbs, dairy and sugar out of our lives cold turkey, the success rate of maintaining that without any habit based practice in changing the lifestyle that is associated with one making those choices is significantly reduced.

Here’s a video that gives you my three pro tips to overcome the New Years funk…

In order for it to “stick”. We need to first address the behaviours that will get us on the right track. More on that below…

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As a Precision Nutrition coach, I find myself talking about this extensively so I wanted to put together a super informative info session that you and your friends can learn and interact with me on this upcoming Sunday, January 28th.

I just ran a great session tonight on how to beat post holiday, haven’t started my New Years Resolutions epidemic that runs wild every January…

Check the replay out here so you can get a taste of my presentation…

https://musicfit.yondo.com/r/1990/WxTuSsB0

Join in for tips on how to pick the right foods for your body type, how to make tiny, slowchanges that will get and keep that unwanted body weight off, and most importantly, learn how to feel and perform better at life.

Here is your private link: https://musicfit.yondo.com/webinar/what-s-a-macro-a-4-step-process-to-start-eating/3469

I hope to see you there.

Comment below, What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to food choices and your diet?

 

Until next time, stay sweet!

That’s right.

Well, actually no… but close right? Look:

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I’ve known this guy for years now, and after reconnecting through working together again  I’m super honoured to call him a dear friend. After hearing his story, seeing his drive and determination to best himself, I’m so happy to see how quickly his progression to become the best version of himself has been. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of his change.

That photo up there shows you physically how his body has responded. To check out the work he’s put in and his experience with the program for yourself, click here… left is August, the right is January. Dude’s lost 10lbs, 5cm around the waist, went down a whole pant size, up in confidence and actually became even more hilarious. We’re starting our 8th week together in movement and accountability coaching next week. Pretty amazing results when you dig in and want it. Unfortunately converting him from being a Canucks fan is going to be a bit of an uphill climb, but I believe anything is possible…

So he’s a pretty smart guy. Algebra. Algorithms. Math nerd. Big time brainy dude. He would teach Pythagorean theorem – shortest line travelled and efficiency and that sort of thing…

Ironic too, as Carder found the shortest line travelled in his quest to bettering his health and wellness in order to feel as good (and look as good!) physically as he feels inside.

Carder, man – you’re a true beauty. You light up every room you’re in and it’s only just the beginning. Your strength, both physically but even more so in the less talked about realm of mindset, is truly admirable.

Keep on rockin’, congrats on Athlete of December. I truly can’t wait to see this transformation unfold. The best is yet to come!

 

Alright. This one’s short and sweet. Listed below are three things I learned from my Pro Coaching myself and my clients on nutrition and habit-based accountability. I’ve applied these principle’s this month whole-heartedly and thus, I’ve seen unrivalled results! I wanna share that with you.

  1. Eat slowly!
    • This may seem silly at first, and you might think “I do!” But seriously take a stopwatch out and time yourself, hot shot. I say this ’cause I was that guy. “I do”. Holy shit, no “I don’t”. Or didn’t, anyways.. now I do. It takes 20 minutes for satiety to kick in. That’s nutrition coach code for “You won’t feel full until 20 minutes in”. So unless you’re bulking, bro… slow the eff down. Taste the food. Enjoy the flavours. Put the fork and knife down between bites. You’ll be surprised with the amount of plates you don’t finish.
  2. Eat only until you’re 80% full
    • It can seem like a challenge to leave that little edge of hunger as you still may have food on your plate. But it’ll go away. Embrace that as a challenge. Your new pants -a whole size or two smaller – will thank you. 😉 The science here goes hand-in-hand with the first point. Eat slow, eat ’til 80% so that the brain can regulate properly and you don’t overeat. Boom. Science. By the time you walk away from that luncheon you’ll feel content. It takes practice.
  3. Use your brain.
    • That’s right. I re-learned how to use my brain. When I get mindful about my food, it transpires into ALL of my day-to-day activities. It’s really quite amazing how mindful I’ve been and how that affects for the positive all of my relationships, all of my attitude and my life in general. Stop and think. Breathe. Pause. It’s amazing.

Okay, there you have it. 3 keys to get that body, mind and soul all in working order the way you want and deserve. If you’re looking for that first step (the most important one…) I’ve got a FREE Kitchen Rescue Pak up for grabs. Just click here, tell me where to send it and I’ll fire it out right away. You’ll learn how to make a super shake, you’ll learn how to make a perfect meal for you without any hassles of a meal plan, overpriced certified organic, fair-trade, gluten-free, locally grown and traded BS… (unless you want to of course!)

…But those fads won’t make you happy, fit and full of life. Your behaviours will, and that’s what I coach. Boom. Mindblown, right?

That link again: Free Kitchen Rescue Pak

Make today awesome!

SCHWARTZ

Here you go. Simply put, sleep is crucial for everyone. Regardless of movement, nutrition or mindset goals. Without it we don’t restore, recharge and rebuild to our full potential.

  1. Growth Hormone is produced in R.E.M – quintessential for the development of lean tissue – a key element of strength training and fat burning
  2. Ideal psychological and physical repair occurs from the hours of 10pm-6am
  3. Sleep loss promotes higher blood pressure, among other health concerns.¹

Here’s a couple fun ways to get better rest. Try em’ out tonight. Or tomorrow. Or as soon as possible if you’re sleep system could be better.

  1. Turn off electronics 2 hours prior to sleep
  2. Rub a few drops of magnesium gel into your neck prior to bed time. Dim the lights and set an alarm or three. You’ll be out cold.

To find out a bit more about the importance  of sleep head to my website http://www.armyofharmony.com and request a consult. For the remainder of August I’m offering FREE Health consults to help bring light to your lifestyle and provide some solutions in the means of movement, nutrition and mindset.

Remember, you don’t need to be a rock star to start, but you need to start in order to become a rock star.Stay sweet, folks.

Mike

 

 

¹Ogawa Y, Kanbayashi T, Saito Y, et al. Total sleep deprivation elevates blood pressure through arterial baroreflex resetting: A study with microneurographic technique. Sleep. 2003;26:986–9.[PubMed]

Weight loss is a fickle matter. Oftentimes I have clients that swear they’re eating the right foods and they’re eating the right amounts and eating them at the right time but still, magically not losing weight. If this sounds like you, I have a quick exercise I would like you to do.

Show me.

It’s a practice Dr. John Berardi coaches in his Precision Nutrition certification on accountability. I for one, have been a big fan of this type of mentality as 99% of my coaching relies on accountability process to deliver the goods (ensuring reliable tracking for exercise and nutrition, food journaling etc.).

If you write things down you’ll see where you’re winning and losing the game. It’s amazing, speaking from experience as I have recently reintroduced tracking to my own program and you really forget about half the little “cheats” you eat or drink in a day. These, added up over time will slow your progress. So, show me. You can only manage what you are tracking, so write it down and we’ll go from there.

Here’s three little generalized tips (from the Precision Nutrition camp) that’ll accelerate weight loss:

  1. Eat slowly, away from distractions and only until you’re 80% full
  2. Incorporate more thermogenic foods (cinnamon, cayenne pepper) into your diet to accelerate metabolism
  3. Drink more water. Often times when you’re hungry it’s actually a sign of dehydration

 

Regardless if you’re a touring musician, mother of 4 or someone else spending a lot of time trying to manage stress with a hectic schedule, this week’s tip is one way to ensure your workouts don’t contribute to that pile of stress. See, the way your body deals with stress is regardless of it’s emotional or psychological, relationship worries, physical stress (like poor eating habits), financial or job security stress – your body throws it all on to the same pile. More often than not, I begin working with a new client and after conducting a stress test questionnaire I learn that this person is stress to the max. My next steps as a coach can either help to build that person up or break that person down, so it’s pivotal to know how stress affects my exercise and nutrition programming.

The funny thing with the media is that they have portrayed this general idea that running, working out and the like will battle stress and leave you feeling excellent, when in reality,  exercise in relation to mood has barely been studied as according to Boecker et al and could cause merely temporary relief of the sensation of pain, while the destructive forces could in fact be more damaging overall and contribute to more – not alleviate, stress in certain individuals.

Knowing what I know about exercise and intensity and supported by Paul Chek, I utilize a technique to help remedy the feeling of wanting to do regular weight lifting and seeing continued progress in the gym while not risking a burn out due to stress. Here’s a few simple ground rules to help explain why this method works.

When you’re experiencing fatigue, exercise volume, not intensity, should be cut. That means cut sets and make the program shorter rather than lifting less weight. As according to Chek, it is the exercise intensity that maintains muscle development and strength, so we need to keep that up if we don’t want to lose what we have gained so far.

That said, I utilize what is called “neurotonic” training, a style of weightlifting that tricks the body into doing more work than it actually is. I have seen this method work in both my own programming and the programming I have done for high profile, highly stressed clients. Here’s how it works, and I encourage you to adopt this method for yourself when workload is crazy, schedules are tight and you have that itch for the gym. You’ll leave the session feeling vitalized and fresh, not burn out and ready for bed.

Let’s use the deadlift for example. Take a weight that you can lift comfortably for 8 repetitions (we are looking for maximal strength training here, right? – intensity…) but stop at 4 reps instead. You can adjust how many set you do at this weight based around how much energy you’re feeling that day, but by simply introducing this method, you’ll hack the volume of that workout in half (not to mention the time spent in the gym)!

Another point worth noting is that when you’re feeling the stress and still want to go to the gym, try introducing simpler movements. Complexity of exercise in short makes your brain work harder. What we are trying to do is stimulate the muscles without frying your nervous system. So lay off the Olympic Lifts or walking lunges with medicine ball twists for a bit. Performing these exercises will generally make you feel more drained when you’re system is already on the fritz. Even performing less exercises during a session is a surefire way to reduce the amount of neurological demand on your system and fast tracker you to recharging your workouts!

I hope these quick tips help you perform your best! Please feel free to add any tips you have come across in the comments and share this with anyone you think may need a bit of a different approach when it come to their health. Remember you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star.

Stay sweet!

Mike