Monthly Archives for September 2014

Archives for September 2014

Am I Too Old To Get Back In Shape?

Dear Davey,

I’m 41. I’ve battled obesity for the majority of my life. I hit 200 pounds when I was 12, and 300 pounds by the time I turned 30. When I was 36 I decided to turn things around, and I lost 132 pounds through diet and exercise. I was so proud of myself.

I managed to keep that weight off for almost four years, then last year I suffered several personal crisis in a row, and let things slip. I’ve gained back 78 pounds of the weight that I worked so hard to get rid of.

I am so depressed and angry with myself for allowing it back on. I also don’t feel like I can push myself like I used to.

Can I get back to what I was at before? I know that our bodies change as we age, so I’m worried it’s going to be harder. It’s only been five years, but I feel so much older this time and I know people lose muscle mass with age. For the best results, should I put more focus on cardio or weight training?

Thanks,
Dwight

Jordan-Jovtchev

Dear Dwight,

For best results, it’s not about cardio or weight training. It’s not even about age. It’s about attitude.

In the paragraphs above, you outline a number of excuses. In a nutshell, they include:

  • I’m too old.
  • It’s harder.
  • People lose muscle with age.

Excuses don’t create results. Instead, as the saying goes, excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. As such, let me destroy each of your excuses, one by one.

First, you said that you’re too old. I’m reminded of a elderly man that I met in San Diego. Jogging along on the treadmill next to me, he told me he was 91. With his World War II cap proudly on display, he outran almost everyone else at the gym. If he’s not too old, you’re not too old.

Second, you said it’s harder. Yes, getting into shape requires energy and effort. But do you know what’s harder than working out? Dealing with the effects of obesity, coping with internalized anger and dying of a heart attack at age 50.

Third, you said that people lose muscle with age. You’re right, to an extent. The condition to which you refer is sarcopenia; as people age, skeletal muscle mass and strength can be lost. But what’s also true is that sarcopenia can be prevented – and even reversed – through physical activity.

You could probably come up with more excuses. But I promise you that I’ve already heard them. And I can also promise you that they’re equally destroyable. So let’s save ourselves the time and cut to the chase.

The truth is, your greatest obstacle is yourself.

Instead of becoming increasingly frustrated, recognize that your existing problem can only be solved with a new perspective. The solution isn’t a workout plan or a diet. It’s a new way of looking at things and a new attitude.

You have an opportunity.

Through 41 years of life and your weight journey, you’ve learned a lot. Tap into that wisdom and create a new 40s for yourself. And then a new 50s. And so on. Build on your life experience not for declining health but for a renewed commitment to fitness expressed through an active lifestyle.

Love,
Davey

P.S. Because losing weight is about more than diet and exercise, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program to create truly lasting results.

Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss.

Dear Davey,

I’ve been reading your fitness blog for a few years now, and I’ve noticed that you don’t use the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss” interchangeably. Why not? What’s the difference?

From,
Austin

Hey Austin,

Todd-McCullough-Bro-Yoga-Shirtless-Red-Bathing-Suit-05132014-01Thanks for being a loyal reader – and for such a great question.

Weight loss and fat loss mean very different things. Weight loss is a reduction in body weight. It’s the result of decreased energy intake and/or increased energy expenditure. That is, fewer calories come in than go out. But it’s worth noting that the weight can be pretty much anything. If you lose body fat, you’ve lost weight. But if you lose muscle or body fluids, you’ve also lost weight. Every time you pee, you lose weight. Someone could chop off your arm and you’d lose weight.

While weight loss is very general, fat loss is very specific. And when people typically talk about weight loss, they really mean fat loss. Fat loss, by definition, is a reduction in body fat. This is a much wiser and worthwhile goal than just losing weight; after all, who wants to give up their hard-earned muscle mass?

When you create a calorie deficit by decreasing calories going into your body and increasing the calories going out of your body, you’ll definitely lose weight. It’s science. But to ensure that you’re losing primarily body fat and not muscle, it’s important to continue with a challenging strength training program. By engaging in a strength training program (lifting weights, doing push-ups, etc.), you signal to your body that it still needs muscle. As a result, less muscle and more fat will be lost.

Not only will that extra muscle keep you strong and look good, but it also helps keep your metabolism up. Muscle takes a lot of energy to maintain; by keeping muscle mass on your body, you’ll actually be helping your fat loss goals.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re looking to shed excess fat, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program and get started today!

20 High Protein Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating!

Dear Davey,

I really don’t like the taste of protein powder, so I’ve been looking at other ways to increase my protein intake. What are some healthy high protein foods that I can include in my diet?

From,
Sammy

DSC_8067It’s no secret that protein powder doesn’t taste great. But it’s important to remember that you’re eating it for other reasons than flavor. It’s fuel for your body.

Having said that, there are certainly plenty of other options for increasing your overall protein intake. Here are a few of the healthier options that I’d recommend:

  1. Quinoa (24 grams protein / 1 cup, uncooked)
  2. White beans (47 grams protein / 1 cup, raw)
  3. Peanut butter (8 grams protein / 2 tablespoons)
  4. Edamame (17 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  5. Tofu (20 grams protein / 1 cup)
  6. Seitan – wheat-meat (18 grams protein / 3 oz serving)
  7. Dry roasted mixed nuts (14 grams protein / half cup)
  8. Raw almonds (15 grams / half cup)
  9. Lentils (18 grams protein / 1 cup, boiled)
  10. Chicken (43 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  11. Canned tuna (42 grams protein / 1 can)
  12. Tilapia (26 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  13. Salmon (20 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  14. Octopus (30 grams protein / 100 gram serving)
  15. Tuna (30 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  16. Halibut (23 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  17. Turkey breast (34 grams protein / 1 serving)
  18. Eggs (6 grams protein / 1 egg)
  19. Plain Greek yogurt (17 grams protein / 1 container)
  20. Cottage cheese (11 grams protein / 100 gram serving)

If you have any suggestions for protein-packed healthy foods, share them in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more nutrition tips, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Whey Protein BEFORE Working Out Burns Fat?

Dear Davey,

A friend of mine mentioned that eating protein before you workout is a smart idea because it burns more fat. Is there really any truth to this?

From,
Sean

Bryce Thompson by Rick Day 16Hey Sean,

Your friend is likely referring to an often-cited Michigan State University study that was published in 2009.

When we talk about protein, it’s often about the role it plays in muscle growth – and the emphasis is often on post-workout protein consumption. For example, we know that consuming whey protein after a heavy strength training workout can help improve results.

But for the aforementioned study, researchers examined the role of pre-workout protein consumption on something called resting energy expenditure (REE). REE is the amount of energy, usually expressed in food calories, required for a 24-hour period by the body during resting conditions. For many of us, this measure is especially important because it can account for 60% – 75% of your total energy expenditure. If you increase REE, you burn more total calories – and, in theory, store fewer calories as fat.

In Michigan State’s study, experienced lifters were given either a whey protein supplement or carbohydrate supplement 20 minutes before working out. After 24 and 48 hours, REE was measured and compared to the baseline. While both supplements increased REE 24 and 48 hours after the strength training session, the whey protein supplement resulted in a much higher REE at the 24-hour mark compared to either the carbohydrate supplement or the baseline.

Keep in mind, increasing REE isn’t the same as burning fat. To make a very long story short, weight loss is achieved when you consume fewer calories than you burn. REE increases calories out, but that’s only one side of the equation. And weight loss isn’t the same as fat loss. What we call weight loss is really a combination of fat and muscle loss; to minimize muscle loss, continue with a challenging strength training program.

In other words, it’s a bit more complicated than your friend implied. But there is truth to his statement. If you want to incorporate the findings of this study, consume whey protein before working out. Keep in mind, post-workout whey protein and carbohydrates are also recommended for maximized results.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For everything you need to know about losing weight, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program and get started today!

Can I Turn My Man Boobs Into Pec Muscles?

Dear Davey,

I’m overweight and I definitely have a case of the man boobs. Is there any way that I can turn my man boobs into pec muscles?

From,
Rob

perfect pecsHey Rob,

I get a lot of questions about man boobs, often called moobs. Urban Dictionary defines moobs as “a combination of the words ‘man’ and ‘boobs.’ This is what happens when fat gathers in a male’s chest area, and gives him the appearance of having breasts. Floppy, Jell-O like protrusions.”

Moobs or not, it’s important to know that fat can’t turn into muscle. Conversely, muscle also can’t turn into fat – despite the myth claiming otherwise. As such, strictly speaking from a technical standpoint, you can’t “turn” fatty moobs into muscular pecs.

Instead, you can first shed excess fat from your body. This will help flatten your chest. Then, you can add muscle to your body – and, in particular, to your chest. This two-step approach will build up your pectoral muscles and result in a strong, muscular chest.

When it comes to losing weight, there’s really no secret. Weight loss is achieved through a calorie deficit of moving more and eating smarter; decrease the calories going in and increase the calories going out. Keep in mind, fat loss is a total body experience. Though you want to lose your moobs, fat will come off your entire body including face, neck, stomach, butt and so on. It may take a considerable amount of fat loss to fully reduce your moobs.

Once a flat chest is achieved, it’s time to shift gears. Instead of focusing on fat loss, switch to a workout centered around hypertrophy – which refers to implementing a workout strategy designed to build muscle. Unlike fat loss, you can build muscle on specific areas. In this case, we’ll focus on your pecs.

Here’s the chest workout that I use:

  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the flat bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the incline bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the decline bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps of dumbbell pec flies alternating with 4 sets of 10 one-leg push-ups
  • 4 sets of 8 reps of pec fly machine

Once or twice per week, I complete this chest day workout.

Because you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to progress to heavier and heavier levels of resistance on the bench press, dumbbell pec flies and pec fly machine. You’ll also need to give your body the fuel it needs by eating smarter.

While there’s no magic fix for moobs, the above formula is a real and lasting solution based on science. And, in addition to transforming your body, this solution will result in improved health, increased energy and better quality of life.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more help increasing muscle size, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

Is A Six Pack Worth It?

Hi Davey,

I’ve tried to get a six pack but it hasn’t worked and I can’t imagine putting more time into it than I already have. I honestly have to ask, is having a six pack really worth it? Why torture yourself over something superficial when there’s so many other more meaningful things worth doing in life?

From,
Audrey

caio-cesar-0402Hey Audrey,

Well, I think your email and question will strike a chord with many, many people. Indeed, for a lot of people, the energy and effort required to carve out a chiseled six pack might not be worth it. It’s a question all of us must ask ourselves and answer honestly.

But consider this.

I grew up overweight. Being a fat kid isn’t easy. The name calling and teasing was relentless – and it took a toll. By middle school, I starved myself and became dangerously thin. The ups and downs slowly leveled out in my teenage years; I slowly began the process of healing my relationship with my body. It’s still an ongoing journey, but I’ve learned so much from the experience and have come to realize my own strength.

It reminds me of a quote that I once came across: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” And it’s a quote that’s very much applicable to the pursuit of a six pack.

Getting a six pack is a huge challenge. It requires changing the way you eat. It requires spending time engaged in exercise. In many ways, it can be a change in lifestyle for most people. And while the achievement of that goal is innately superficial, the process by which it is accomplished is full of very real and important lessons.

Moreover, I’ve never found it to be torture. Fueling your body with delicious and nourishing foods isn’t torture. Honoring your body with movement through exercise isn’t torture. Going to bed at night and sleeping well isn’t a torture. All of these things, in my opinion, are gifts. Sure, they all require energy and effort. But they also dramatically improve the way you look and feel.

There’s something to be said for dreaming it, wishing it and then doing it. Yes, getting a six pack is difficult. But life’s not about limiting your challenges. It’s about challenging your limits.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If six pack abs are one of your fitness goals, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program – with a different 12-minute ab workout for each day of the week!

 

Does Blending Make Foods Healthier?

Dear Davey,

I’ve seen so many infomercials for blenders that claim to “unlock” nutrients that our bodies aren’t otherwise able to absorb. Is there any truth to this claim and should I be blending more fruits and vegetables?

Thank you,
Sean

more-men-are-learning-about-the-power-of-a-freshly-made-green-smoothieDear Sean,

Getting a nutrition education from infomercials isn’t a good idea. As you can imagine, infomercials are designed to sell products and not to educate consumers. Often citing unpublished or unscientific studies, these infomercials create unsubstantiated marketing hype that’s aimed at getting you to open your wallet.

When it comes to blenders, nutritionists note that the “unlocking” claims are unsubstantiated. Blending foods doesn’t release nutrients in a way that your body couldn’t otherwise accomplish. In fact, our bodies are better than blenders. During digestion, food is broken down far more effectively than any blender could achieve. Moreover, these broad claims would need to be tested ingredient by ingredient, and the results would likely change from person to person based on their activity levels, age and diet.

The notable exception is individuals who suffer from throat or digestion conditions that prevent ingestion of solid foods; for these individuals, blenders can represent a huge advantage.

Of course, none of this is to say that you shouldn’t buy a blender. If the convenience and taste of blended foods inspires you to eat more fruits and vegetables, then a blender can certainly be a smart and worthwhile purchase. Just remember that blended calories add up fast. To cut calories, use water or unsweetened almond milk as your smoothie base and avoid adding sweeteners like agave nectar or honey. Go heavy on the veggies and stay away from smoothies made with ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Love,Davey

P.S. For more science-based tips on improving your diet, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

 

7 Tips For A Healthier Weekend!

Be king of your weekend!

Be king of your weekend!

It’s Friday and you’re probably super excited for the weekend. Yay!

While the weekdays are often packed with school, work, appointments and other commitments, the weekends are all about you. Which is all the more reason to ensure that your weekends support your health and fitness goals.

To that end, I put together a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your weekend.

  1. Sleep! Use me as your personal excuse to be lazy. We know that sleep is extremely important to health and wellness. In fact, more than two dozen studies have linked less sleep to extra body weight. While there’s a lot we don’t understand about sleep, it’s benefits are undeniable. Use the weekend to recharge your batteries.
  2. Water > Alcohol. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5% of the average American’s calories come from alcohol. That might not sound like a lot, but consider how many calories that is over the course of a year. Based on a 2,500 calorie diet, that’s some 45,000 calories per year. Even worse, those calories are empty – and thus not providing any essential vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Just replacing a few alcoholic beverages with water will help improve your diet.
  3. Hit the gym… harder. While our weekday schedules are often packed, the weekend is a great time to spend an extra few minutes at the gym. I like to call it a workout plus. It’s everything you normally do with an extra boost. Maybe you can add on a short workout class. Or do a couple extra intervals. The weekend is the perfect time to step it up!
  4. Visit a farmer’s market. The USDA has a massive database of farmers markets – and there’s probably a great one in your area. A weekend trip to the farmers market is a great opportunity to stock up on locally grown, nourishing foods. These fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to nourish your body as a special treat. It’s also a lot of fun and something that you can do with family and friends.
  5. Go outside! We are spending less and less time outdoors and more and more time sitting in front of screens. And, of course, our waistlines keep getting bigger and bigger. While I’m grateful that you’re reading my blog, I’d rather you be enjoying the outdoors and moving your body. As such, plan your weekend activities around the outside world. Instead of watching a movie with a friend, take a hike. Or a simple walk. Go camping. Swim. Run. Kayak. Climb rocks. Play! Whatever you do, get off your butt and go outside! Beyond benefiting your physical health, you may also discover that communing with nature is good for your mental health – as it can help promote relaxation and calmness.
  6. Remember that weekend calories count, too. It’s the weekend, so you can eat whatever you want, right? You deserve it, don’t you? NO! You deserve to be nourished with healthy foods that support your goals. The weekend is not a time to sabotage your diet with high-calorie foods loaded in saturated or trans fats, added sugars and sodium. Eat smarter every day of the week.
  7. Plan for the week ahead. Since most of us are busy during the week, the weekend is a great time to plan ahead. Write out breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and stock up on the foods and ingredients you need. Rather than having a crammed schedule during the week and resorting to fast food, you can even use your weekend to prepare some healthy meals in advance. Stick them in the fridge or freezer for use during the week. Set yourself up for success!

Use these tips to put your weekend to work for you! And, in the comments below, feel free to share some of your healthy weekend tips or plans.

P.S. If you’re looking for a fun workout to try this weekend, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout for three, 15-minute at-home workouts that will help improve the way you look and feel!

Exit The Weight Loss Pity Party.

pity-partyToday’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella.

“I look so fat in this dress!”
“It’s so hard to lose weight.”
“I’m a hopeless case.” ?

Sound familiar?

While we all need to vent our feelings, staying stuck in negativity isn’t venting at all. Rather than releasing emotions, it stirs up your frustration and poisons your mind and body. Your weight-loss journey becomes harder than it needs to be when you weigh yourself down with pessimism and join in negative conversations with friends. But when you make the decision to end the complaining, your journey—and your body—become lighter.

See For Yourself

Every word you think and speak produces a physiological reaction in your body. Try this simple exercise and notice what happens:

Get yourself comfortable and take a few deep breaths to settle yourself. Now, with your eyes closed, repeat the following phrases silently to yourself while noticing the sensations in your body:

“I hate my body.”
“I feel disgusting.”
“I’m a loser.”  

Now, bring your attention back to your breathing to clear those thoughts from your mind.   Close your eyes again, and repeat the following while noticing the sensations in your body:

“I am gentle with myself.”?
“I am kind to my body.”?
“I am strong.”  

Open your eyes. Most people notice some tension in their body when they say the first set of phrases and a relaxing sensation with the second. What about you?

A diet of toxic words and self-abusive insults harms your body and dampens your spirit. But when you make a conscious decision to feed yourself loving words, your spirit lightens and your body relaxes. You stop fighting with yourself and open the way for a peaceful—and more successful—weight loss journey.

Word Power?

To release weight with less effort, be mindful of how you speak. Stop repeating unkind, disrespectful words to yourself and replace them with encouraging and kind words. I know… this may feel hard to do at first because you are so used to talking to yourself in a negative way. Changing any habit takes time. The important thing is to make the commitment to speak to yourself with compassion and then make it a practice that you develop. For example, if you catch yourself speaking disrespectfully to your body as you look in the mirror first thing in the morning or try on outfits for a special occasion, apologize to it by saying:

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me for speaking to you that way.”    

An apology to your body reminds you of your commitment to speak to yourself with kindness. Then, give your body a supportive message such as, “I intend to take good care of you” or, if this feels natural, “I love you” or “I want to love you.” You can also gently say the following words as a kind of mantra to infuse your body with calming energy: peace, love, ease, relax. Think of these phrases and words as anchors to help you stop, shift your focus and regain your confidence and strength.

Exit the Pity-Party

I know… we can all fall into complaining sessions with friends. And to a point, venting helps. But beyond the initial bonding through shared experiences or just needing a friendly ear to release frustration, complaining with others serves no useful purpose. If anything, these conversations weaken you. They taunt you to the cookie jar by justifying the limiting belief that, “Everyone agrees with me that it’s hard to lose weight, so what’s the point?”

But remember this: YOU are the point. Your health, your future, your dreams.

And when you join in toxic complaint sessions with friends and co-workers about how hard is to lose weight, how difficult it is to avoid sweets, or how impossible it is to find the time to exercise, you lose the point of you and your health. Reclaim your power and commit to no longer participate in negative conversations, in your head and with others. When you find yourself with people eager to jump on the complaint bandwagon, practice this: Say nothing, change the subject or, when possible, leave.

As you release the habit of complaining and speak supportive, encouraging words, you lighten your mind and heart. And when your mind and heart feel lighter, your weight loss journey becomes more peaceful… helping your body become lighter as well.

____

P.S. If weight loss is one of your goals, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program, co-written by Diane Petrella. By building a stronger relationship with your body and through proper nutrition and a strategic exercise program, you’ll create lasting and sustainable weight loss with ease.

Can I Get Results Working Out At Home?

Dear Davey,

I can’t afford a gym membership so working out at home is my only option. Is it really worth it? Can I get results with a body weight exercise program?

From,
Dan

tumblr_md8smsfz661qgsxq9o1_500Hey Dan,

The short answer is that yes, you can get amazing results from working out at home with body weight exercises. For those who are unfamiliar, body weight exercises don’t involve equipment or weights; instead, you use your own body weight as resistance. A really simple example of this is a push-up.

There are a few things to note.

If you’re brand-spanking-new to exercise, you’ve probably got the most to gain from an at home workout. When you transition from little or no activity to a well-planned body weight exercise routine, you’ll certainly transform the way you look and feel.

It also depends on your goals. If you want the physique of a professional body builder or an Olympic athlete, you’ll need a gym membership – not to mention, lots of time, effort, trainers, energy and dedication. Getting larger and larger muscles requires progressing to heavier and heavier amounts of resistance. As you can imagine, with body weight exercises, you’ll reach the natural limit of your own body weight. There’s a distant but inevitable plateau which may exist before or after your goals.

Keep in mind, you can get pretty creative with your home workout. There are plenty of ways to switch things up and make them more challenging. With our aforementioned example of push-ups, you can do incline push-ups, decline push-ups, one-leg push ups, push-ups with a clap in between, climbing push-ups and so on. In other words, there’s a lot you can do – and a lot of results you can enjoy – before you hit that distant body weight training plateau. And if and when you do reach that plateau, you can always decide if a gym membership makes sense at that time.

Convenient, free and not requiring any equipment, body weight exercises and at home workouts certainly have their advantages. Having said all of that, the best strength training routine is one that you’ll actually follow. And if that’s an at home workout, embrace it!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to try an amazing, heart-pounding body weight exercise workout that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout.

Mixed Grip Deadlifts: When To Use It.

Deadlift-phase_1If you’re not doing deadlifts, you should.

They’re a great, compound exercise that works both your upper and lower body. Requiring minimal equipment and providing maximal results, the deadlift is often referred to as the king of mass building exercises.

If you have no idea what a deadlift is, then watch this helpful video.

When it comes to deadlifts, exercisers often debate different grips. Typically, there are two variations that you’ll see.

The first is the double overhand grip. This is the most common deadlift grip and it requires gripping the bar with both palms facing the lifter. If you’ve never performed a deadlift, this is the natural grip that you’d assume – and it’s a great way to start.

mixed

Example of the mixed grip.

However, when performing deadlifts, the weakest link in the chain becomes the limiting factor. And well before the back, hamstrings or glutes give out, many people can’t hold onto the bar. In other words, their progress becomes limited by grip strength.

Once grip strength becomes an issue, switching to a mixed grip may be beneficial. It requires gripping the bar with one palm facing the lifter and the other palm facing away. Though it may feel awkward at first, the mixed grip helps stabilize the bar and grip strength is often less of an issue.

Most trainers recommend using the double overhand grip until grip strength fails, and then switching to a mixed grip. Of course, the real solution is increasing grip strength; utilize forearm and grip exercises to build up strength over time. In the meantime, the mixed grip can be an effective workaround.

P.S. If you’re looking to increase muscle mass, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

What Did You Do Today To Achieve Your Goal?

top-10-fitness-goals-1048808-TwoByOneWe all have fitness goals. Yours might be to lose weight, build muscle, increase definition or improve overall health.

Whatever it is that you want, each day is an opportunity to bring you one step closer to that goal. There’s no magic to it. The achievement of any goal is the sum total of many small steps taken over and over again.

This begs the question: What did you do today to bring you one step closer to your goal?

If you can list decisions that you made today in support of your goal, you’re on the right track. If you can’t, there’s good news. The day isn’t over yet and you still have time. Get on your gym clothes and treat your body to a workout. Cook up some vegetables. Search for a yoga class that you can attend. Don’t miss the opportunity that is today!

Goals can seem big and abstract. But even the biggest, most high-reaching goals can be broken down into individual, manageable pieces. Each day, make decisions in support of your goal. While each decision seems insignificant, the sum total of these small steps will be a big and dramatic change in your life.

P.S. For more help achieving your fitness goals, download one of my customized workout programs!

How To Lose Your Stomach Pooch!

Dear Davey Wavey,

I’ve started bulking at the gym to build muscle. I’m consuming 2,900 calories a day and I’ve made great advancements. But there is one problem. There’s a little pouch around my navel and I’m not a fan. I do your HIIT sprints once or twice a week and I’ve been eating well. I’m skinny by nature but this thing has always been there. Do you have any tips for getting rid of it?

Thanks,
Danny

best-way-to-lose-belly-fat-for-menHey Danny,

Ah – yes, that pesky pooch! It’s actually a very common problem and something about which I get tons of emails.

First things first, if a small pouch on your lower abdomen is your biggest problem, you’re doing really great. In fact, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of most people, especially considering that two thirds of Americans overweight.

Second, it’s going to be hard to lose the pouch while you’re bulking. Increasing your mass requires consuming more calories. Losing excess body weight means cutting calories to create a calorie deficit. In other words, building muscle and cutting fat are difficult to achieve simultaneously (unless you’re a beginner). Once you reach your desired musculature, my suggestion would be entering a “cutting” phase by reducing your calorie intake. You won’t be adding additional muscle mass during a cutting phase, but you can reduce the amount of fat on your body.

To cut that last five pounds from your midsection, follow these steps:

  1. Take a hard look at your diet. Because you only have five pounds to lose, your diet may already be pretty clean. But look for some areas where you can cut calories – including sugary drinks or fried, buttered or battered foods. Also be aware of your portion size. Reducing the portion is an easy way to cut calories and create the needed calorie deficit.
  2. Try HIIT sprints. If you can, perform HIIT sprints three times per week. I do 15 minutes of alternating between 1 minute balls-to-the wall uphill sprints and then 1 minute jogs. This gut-busting exercise will boost your metabolism and incinerate extra fat while minimizing muscle loss.
  3. Continue strength training. Many people looking to lose fat stop lifting weights. This is a huge mistake. By lifting weights, you show your body that you still need your muscle mass. This will ensure your body breaks down fat for energy and not hard-earned muscle.
  4. Be real. Everyone has a little bit of a pouch – even the models you see in magazines. In their case, it just gets photoshopped off. For some people, the pouch is the result of stretched skin from weight loss. It can be the result of pregnancy or sagging skin. For others, it’s largely genetic. Sure, do what you can to lose that last five pounds from your midsection – but also be realistic!

For many men, the lower abdomen is the very first place to gain weight and the very last place to lose it. Though you can reduce the pooch through diet and exercise, you might also find that it’s not worth the time, energy and effort to accomplish this cosmetic result.

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re looking to improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Is Breakfast REALLY The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

largeWhen we hear something over and over again, we tend to accept it as true. Case in point, most people think coffee is made from beans. In actuality, it’s made from seeds. While that’s a silly example, it’s always worth questioning conventional wisdom.

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it really?

A few recent studies are starting to cast doubts, including new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For the study, researchers from the University of Bath recruited 33 men and women and broke them into two groups. One group at a substantial breakfast before 11AM and the other group skipped breakfast entirely. Researchers recorded data including resting metabolic rate, cholesterol and blood glucose over a six week period.

What were the results?

As it turns out, researchers didn’t really find any measurable differences between the two groups. Breakfast skippers consumed fewer total calories over the course of the day. However, they also burned fewer total calories when compared to the breakfast eaters. Blood glucose was also very similar, though slightly more stable for the breakfast eaters.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that skipping breakfast is smart. Other studies have found that skipping breakfast increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 27% due to the likely connections between extended fasting, blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance.

So, what’s the takeaway?

This newest study shows that there’s still a lot that we don’t understand. And while fueling our bodies with nourishing foods is important, some of the assumptions that we’ve made about breakfast might not necessarily be true.