What’s Your Fitness IQ?

I was reading a recent poll that suggested most Americans are vastly ignorant about health and fitness. The truth is, it really comes as no surprise as marketers are often louder than science. But how does your fitness IQ measure up? Do you have more fitness smarts than the average American?

  1. Questionpietro-boselli-sexy-teacher: About how many calories are in one pound of fat?
    a.) 1,500
    b.) 2,500
    c.) 3,500

    Answer: Though estimates range from 2,800 to 3,800, you’ll commonly that one pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories.

  2. Question: Eggs are a good source of
    a.) vitamin c
    b.) protein
    c.) fiber

    Answer: Eggs contain no fiber and no vitamin c, but do contain about 6 grams of protein each. Depending on your protein needs, that’s probably about 12% of your daily requirement.

  3. What makes you overweight?
    a.) Eating too many calories
    b.) Not exercising

    Answer: Both or either. Weight gain occurs when we consume more calories than we burn, so increasing calorie consumption and/or decreasing calorie expenditure can results in a calorie surplus.

  4. Question: How many grams of sugar are in one teaspoon?
    a.) 4
    b.) 8
    c.) 12

    Answer: Disgusting as it is, one teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4 grams. Since a tablespoon of ketchup has 4 grams of sugar, we know that ketchup is approximately 33% sugar. Gross.

  5. Question: What is the daily salt recommendation?
    a.) one teaspoon
    b.) two teaspoons
    c.) three teaspoons

    Answer: Most organizations recommend that we limit daily sodium intake to 1500 – 2300 mg. But those numbers are abstract and hard for most people to understand. These recommendations translate to about a single teaspoon of salt. Considering the processed foods that most people eat, a teaspoon of salt doesn’t go far.

  6. Question: Which food has the most calories?
    a.) One medium baked potato with a teaspoon of butter
    b.) One 16-ounce cup of soda
    c.) 32 pieces of candy corn
    d.) Four ounces of roasted skinless chicken breast

    Answer: With 207 calories, the answer is candy corn.

  7. Question: What is the primary fuel for sport or workout activity?
    a.) Dietary carbohydrates
    b.) Dietary fats
    c.) Protein supplementation
    d.) Dietary vitamins and minerals

    Answer: Your workouts and sports activities are powered by carbohydrates. If you go on a low carb diet, expect to get less bang for your workout buck; you’ll sell your gym results short because you’ll like the energy needed to push yourself. Your body needs carbohydrates. But instead of consuming simple carbohydrates, opt for complex carbs.

So… how did you score? If you answered any of these questions correctly, you know more than the average American. And I’m not making that up… 75% of Americans didn’t know how many calories were in a pound of fat and 65% didn’t know that eggs are a good source of protein. Let me know your score in the comments below.

P.S. And if you’re interested in taking your workout to the next level, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout for an exercise and nutrition plan that’s designed to give you real results.

Chipotle Is Full of Shit.

screen-shot-2015-05-08-at-3-49-09-pmLet’s be clear: I enjoy eating Chipotle burritos as much as anyone. Hell, I even spring for the added guacamole. But I think Chipotle needs to be called out on its recent pseudoscience shenanigans.

Most of these shenanigans revolve around genetically modified organisms, often called GMOs. GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits.

In an announcement titled “G-M-Over It”, Chipotle announced that it was eliminating genetically modified ingredients because:

  1. Scientists are still studying the long term health impacts
  2. The cultivation of GMOs can hurt the environment
  3. Chipotle should be a place where people can eat food with non-GMO ingredients

It’s bullshit and here’s why.

If Chipotle is concerned about the scientifically-proven health impacts of it’s ingredients, look no further than sugar, simple carbohydrates or salt. Unlike GMOs, the science on these ingredients is very, very clear. From heart disease to reproductive issues to weight gain and obesity, these ingredients have very real and very negative consequences on overall health; when it comes to health, GMOs are the least of Chipotle’s concerns.

In terms of the environment, GMOs can have a negative impact in that they can result in herbicide-resistant superweeds. While this may be true, proponents of GMOs note that they’ve allowed farmers to grow more food with fewer resources. GMOs have resulted in drought and cold-resistant plants that have become essential for feeding the planet’s growing population.

Chipotle’s third and final reason to eliminate GMOs isn’t a reason at all. It’s just circular logic. Why should Chipotle eliminate GMO ingredients? Because Chipotle should be a place where people can eat food with non-GMO ingredients, of course. And in the effort to eliminate GMOs, Chipotle has failed. As Chipotle notes on their website, “Many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients, including those containing corn syrup, which is almost always made from GMO corn.” Oops. And then there’s the meat. Because it’s harder and more difficult to find meat raised from non-GMO feed, Chipotle isn’t doing it.

While it’s totally reasonable to have a discussion about GMOs and their place in our food supply, Chipotle’s recent announcement is nothing more than a distraction from the more obvious truth. And that is, of course, that Chipotle’s menu is mostly unhealthy and over portioned.

P.S. If you are actually interested in transforming the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter and get started today!

Is YOUR Peanut Butter Healthy?

ec79dfe30810ce0709cdf9d93297473bPeanut butter.

I’m basically in a three-way relationship with it and my boyfriend. And, to be honest, I don’t know who pleases me more.

But enough about me. As it turns out, peanut butter – in its purest form – can be a smart part of any nutrition program. Beyond being rich in protein, healthy fats and other nutrients, peanut butter has been shown to suppress hunger, support heart health, lower the risk of colon cancer, memory loss and even type II diabetes.

Here’s the problem: The peanut butter in your cupboard probably isn’t peanut butter. It’s a weird combination of some nuts and a lot of nasty stuff cooked up by some conglomerate mega-corporation.

If you don’t believe me, go take a look for yourself. If your peanut butter is really peanut butter, there should be exactly one ingredient listed on the product packaging:

Peanuts.

Let’s contrast that to the ingredients in Jif Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread:

Peanuts, corn syrup solids, sugar, pea protein, salt, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, molasses, magnesium oxide, niacinamide, ferric orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

The reality is, most peanut butters sold today are full of other not-so-healthy ingredients, and are often loaded with sugar. It’s like the difference between eating fresh blueberries versus a jar of jelly. So do yourself a favor and get the good stuff. Read the label and shop smarter.

Besides, you deserve a peanut butter boyfriend that treats you right.

P.S. If you want to transform the way you look and feel through the foods you eat without dieting, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

5 Fitness Mistakes Gay Guys Make…

gay men gym working outNone of us are perfect. Not even gay guys. :-P

In my experience, there are a few mistakes that gay men, in particular, tend to make when it comes to the gym, fitness or nutrition. And before anyone throws a temper tantrum in the comments below, these mistakes are obviously total generalizations and don’t apply to all gay men everywhere.

So without further ado, these are the mistakes that gay men tend to make:

  1. Sleeping where they lift. Because a good hookup is easier to find than a good gym, don’t sleep where you lift. Unless you really don’t mind seeing a parade of one night stands each and every workout, source your sex life elsewhere. That is, of course, unless he’s worth switching gyms for.
  2. Skipping leg day. Though applicable to gay men in particular, it’s my humble opinion that leg and glute muscles don’t get enough loving from men of any sexual orientation. Because biceps and chest muscles are flashier, they receive a disproportionate amount of training. Beyond the aesthetics of a balanced physique with strong leg muscles and glutes, having a strong lower body provides benefits including improved performance and decreased injury risk.
  3. Not eating carbs. Somewhere at some point, people got the idea that carbohydrates are a bad thing. And for some gay men, a bread basket might as well be the Apocalypse. In reality, our bodies need carbohydrates to function properly; eliminating carbohydrates isn’t a smart idea. Instead, focus on cutting simple carbs (like those found in sodas, sugary drinks, white bread, pastries, etc.) in favor of complex carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat products.
  4. Hiring the “hot” trainer. How your trainer looks is less important than how he or she teaches. Sure, eye candy is enjoyable but it’s the connection that matters. You need a trainer that works will with you, and that helps you achieve your fitness goals. How he or she looks isn’t a factor in getting you from point A to point B.
  5. Starving yourself before bottoming. I’ve heard many gay men say that they starve themselves before bottoming in hopes of achieving “cleaner” intercourse. To them I say, no man is worth your health. And that communication, respect, patience and understanding are all far more important to being a good partner than unrealistic anal expectations.

We all make mistakes, but it’s through our mistakes that we are able to learn and grow. So if you’ve experienced any of the above, consider today an opportunity to evolve.

What other workout or nutrition mistakes do you see gay men make? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking for a workout program that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout and get started today!

Gay Pride For Your Body!

gaypridebodyJust last week, I had the pleasure of attending Vancouver Pride for a video about drag queens that I’m filming. Next week, I’m off to Montreal Pride where I’ll be interviewing members of the bear community. As such, it only seems fitting to talk about pride.

As someone who has created more than a few LGBT pride-themed videos, I’m always surprised by the number of comments asking for straight pride. “If gay people have pride,” they often write, “then straight people should have a pride, too. After all, equal is equal.” And therein is where these (hopefully) well-intentioned individuals miss the point.

Of course, straight people don’t need pride. When children get bullied for being straight, then we can have a straight pride. When family members get disowned for their straightness, then we can have a straight pride. When people kill themselves for being straight, I will be the first to march in a straight pride parade. Until then, shut up and sit down. Because, as it turns out, every day is straight pride.

In a nutshell, it’s worth honoring and celebrating the victories and histories of marginalized groups like the LGBT community.

And in extending that circle outward (but also inward), our bodies are deserving of celebration, too. Though in a very different way and capacity, our bodies are also often the recipients of shaming, repression and mistreatment. Many of us have wrestled with body image issues and eating disorders; for some the struggle continues. But whether it’s our own personal journey or, in the larger sense, the arc of society in overcoming stigma or stereotyping, every step is worth celebrating.

Our bodies and our sexual orientation are two different things. The history and struggle is different. But regardless of the form it takes, pride is a powerful thing. Celebrating the journey makes the challenges softer and the victories stronger. It creates community. It builds us up. And it pushes us forward, even when the road ahead isn’t easy.

There might not be a pride parade for your body (though maybe there ought to be one). There aren’t flags to wave or parties to attend. But there is a history to honor and victories to celebrate. So in the spirit of pride, happy body pride.

 

How To Eat Junk Food Without Feeling Guilty.

junk-food-dayToday is National Junk Food Day. Hurray! In honor of the holiday, I’m excited to share a simple, two-step strategy for enjoying junk food without the guilt.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Eat junk food.
  2. Don’t feel guilty.

Pretty easy, isn’t it? Well, there’s a catch. The problem is, most of us find it really hard to indulge in those less-than-healthy foods that we sometimes crave. Foods like pizza, macaroni and cheese, doughnuts, french fries, candy and the like.

The first step in reducing guilt is realizing that it doesn’t work in your favor. If you feel guilty about eating a slice of cake, does guilt turn that cake into lettuce? Does it burn calories? Does it motivate or inspire you? The answer is no, no and probably not. On the contrary, feeling guilty is likely to produce more emotional eating and an increasingly strained relationship with food. In other words, guilt doesn’t serve you.

We need to move beyond the label of good foods and bad foods. Some foods are healthier than others, but labeling one food as good and another as bad feeds into this downward cycle of shame and guilt. Moreover, depriving yourself of these so-called bad foods is the perfect way to trigger a binge. In my experience, that which we resist tends to persist. Resist that slice of mom’s apple pie, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to spend the next three days obsessing over it. Just eat the damn slice and get over it.

Of course, the media doesn’t help. How many times do you see foods referred to as “guilt free” in recipes? How often do we project shame on people for looking a certain way or publish magazine articles that berate celebrities for gaining weight and then sell trigger-inducing ice cream ads on the next page? How often do we call skinny people “cute” and “real” for eating pizza and larger people disgusting or lazy for doing the same thing? In other words, it’s easy to see how the world around us can influence our relationship with food and our bodies.

Let’s free ourselves from the guilt. Let’s stop judging foods as bad or good. And let’s stop judging ourselves – or others – for eating those foods. Let’s enjoy the foods that we eat, whatever those foods are, and remind ourselves that it is all about balance. Sure, let’s eat healthier foods most of the time. But let’s also make room for life. And life without pizza, cake, doughnuts or french fries fucking sucks.

P.S. If you’re ready to ditch diets in favor of something that actually works, download Davey Wavey Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. It’s a meal plan that’s about more and not about less.

 

Is Masturbation Healthy: How Often Should You Do It?

Dear Davey,

I have a really embarrassing question to ask. I know that you’re not a doctor, but is masturbation healthy? Does it impact my workouts and how often is too often?

From,
Joe

holdhandsbillboard

Someone spent money on this?

Hey Joe,

This is probably my favorite question. Ever.

As it turns out, a lot of people rub the nub. One national survey found that 95% of men and 89% of women reported masturbating; the other 5% and 11%, respectively, reported lying. In other words, a little hand to gland combat is a very common and normal part of the human experience.

First things first, masturbation is actually quite healthy. Despite antiquated medical assumptions to the contrary, science has shown that masturbation is a good thing. Benefits range from sleeping better to stress management and improved brain health. Apparently, orgasms are better for your brain than crossword puzzles or Sudoku.

As to the impact of masturbation on athletic performance, the research is also clear. Back in the day, coaches would steer their athletes clear of sexual activity including self pleasure; the assumption was that getting your rocks off decreased testosterone – a hormone that many believe boosts athletic performance. But science is a beautiful thing! In actuality, regular sexual activity increases testosterone. Myth busted!

So when it comes to draining the dragon, how often is too often? According to Logan Levkoff, PhD, a sexologist and sex educator:

It’s not how many times you masturbate in a week (or day) that really matters. It’s how it fits into your life… If you masturbate many times a day and have a healthy, satisfying life, good for you. But if you masturbate many times a day and you’re missing work or giving up on sex with your partner because of it, consider seeing a sex therapist.

What is harmful, on the other hand, is the shame and guilt that many people feel because of the views that their culture or religion impose on this healthy and natural human practice.

As if you needed another reason for some five knuckle shuffle. Enjoy.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to give your forearms a break and train another muscle group, give Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Workout a try. It’s five, 12-minute ab workouts that you can do just about anywhere.

 

Best Men’s Gym Underwear.

Hey Davey,

I’m new to the gym and want to make sure that I’m using the best gear. I haven’t been able to find any good information about the best underwear to wear while working out. What’s your favorite?

From,
Jim

Hey Jim,

The only thing I love more than working out is underwear. And the only thing I love more than underwear is men. So I’m probably the best person to answer your question in the entire world.

underarmou_underwear_review-585x292When it comes to workout underwear, my criteria is as follows:

  • Comfort
  • Non-chafing
  • Support
  • Sweat-wicking

I think some of the sexier men’s underwear brands deserve kudos for their creativity, but most of their underwear doesn’t pass the gym comfort test. With all the mesh, straps and tiny pouches, it’s a recipe for rope burn and testicular difficulties. These underwear are made for show, not performance. Rather than underwear that detracts from your workout, opt for underwear that enhances your workout.

Which leads to the next point, non-chafing. It’s an issue so important that it is deserving of its own paragraph. From jock straps to briefs to boxers and everything in between, I have exercised in every underwear known to man. As someone who runs frequently, the only underwear that doesn’t chafe my thighs is boxer briefs. Because the fabric is tight around your thighs, chafing is minimized or eliminated entirely. Hands down, boxer briefs are the way to go.

Which leads to the next point, support. Even beyond chafing, baggy underwear like boxers don’t keep the family jewels in place. No one wants a ball slip while doing crunches or having things bounce around every time you do a lunge.

blue-frontAnd speaking of the family jewels, specialized moisture-wicking fabrics help keep things dry. Heavier fabrics like cotton tend to absorb your sweat; this makes for a thick, smelly mixture of swamp ass that is only appealing to a small subset of men on Craigslist.

So what are my top choices?

Well, I’m biased. As the creator of the DirtyFit underwear line, I can’t help but plug my undies. Not only do they meet all four criteria, but they’re made in the USA and people swear by them. Though you can order them through my DirtyFit Apparel online store ($26.95), Amazon.com is currently having a buy 2 get 1 free special.

LM9299S_0001_1If money isn’t a consideration and you’re really looking to make an investment, I also really enjoy the Lock ‘Em Down Boxer Brief from Lululemon ($38). I exercised in them until finally the fabric around the thighs wore out.

But I’d love to hear what your favorite gym underwear is… Please share your favorites in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

How To Lose Weight Fast: Don’t.

men-male-diet-tummy-tuck-weight-lossIt seems like everyone is concerned with losing weight fast.

I get it. Immediate gratification is tempting. But this is your health. Rather than quick weight loss, let’s pursue a sustainable and lasting transformation. Let’s pursue a strategy that doesn’t involve losing 10 pounds in 10 days, and then gaining 15 pounds next month. Let’s be in it for the long haul.

F*ck fast. Let’s talk about effective.

As it turns out, fast and effective don’t go hand in hand; quick fixes and yo-yo diets don’t produce lasting results. In fact, through excessive calorie deprivation, they almost always slow down your metabolism and hinder further fat loss down the road. It creates a vicious cycle that does nothing to prioritize your health or fitness goals.

So what does work?

If you want a sustainable plan for losing fat and feeling great, there are three parts.

The first is rebuilding and repairing the relationship with your body. Again, this isn’t something that happens fast. It’s an ongoing process that sometimes requires the help of a trained professional. A lot of us have strained and abusive relationships with our bodies, so it takes time and energy (and sometimes guidance) to learn to love ourselves again.

The second is moving more. Increasing calories burned is a big part of losing weight. Beyond walking, running or other cardiovascular exercise, it also means using our muscles to strength train. By strength training, we maximize fat loss and minimize weight loss.

The third part is about nutrition. If you want to drop excess fat, it means consuming fewer calories than you burn. But this isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As you make wiser food choices, you’ll be delighted by the way your body feels. For most people, cutting just a few hundred calories per day can create lasting results. To make wiser food choices and to consume fewer calories, eat whole fruits instead of sugary snacks or beverages. Opt for complex carbs. Eat lots of vegetables; they’re delicious and filling. Eat real food, and not crap that comes frozen in bags. Eat only when you’re actually hungry. Minimize alcohol. And be patient.

Losing excess fat isn’t about extreme dieting or quick fixes. In fact, I don’t think about it as a diet at all. It’s more about changing your lifestyle. It’s about making adjustments so that your actions are in alignment with your goals. And it’s about making decisions that honor your body and your life.

Or you can lose five pounds in five days and gain it all back (and then some) next week. The choice is yours.

P.S. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, I recommend Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program. Because it’s effective and sustainable, it’s the last weight loss program you’ll ever need.

Is “Happy Fat” Real?

tumblr_m9y694AJqk1qiv9dfo1_500Hey Davey,

In the six  years of my relationship, I’ve put on what my friends call “happy fat.” Happy fat is the extra weight that a person gains during a relationship. Do you have any tips for reversing this trend or am I doomed to be happy fat forever?

From,
Duane

Hey Duane,

The idea of being “fat and happy” during a relationship is quite popular, but there’s a few points we need to clarify:

  • You don’t need a partner to be happy
  • Having a partner doesn’t need to result in fat gain
  • Having a partner doesn’t necessarily make you happy

Having said all of that, research does show that married individuals have a higher body mass index (BMI) than single people. All other variables held constant, a recent study found that the increased BMI for married men and women translates to about 4.5 pounds of extra fat. Another poll found that 62% of respondents reported gaining 14 pounds or more after starting a relationship.

We can certainly speculate at the causes. For one, the aforementioned study found that married individuals are less likely to engage in sport; decreased physical activity, especially as other family commitments increase, can certainly be a factor. In other instances, being “off the market” might decrease superficial motivations for staying trim.

Whatever the cause, the “happy fat” narrative doesn’t need to be your story. In fact, staying in shape as a couple can become a great bonding experience. During our current stay in Austin, for example, my boyfriend and I spend a half hour at a nearby playground doing a bodyweight workout each afternoon. For us, it’s a great way to connect while prioritizing our fitness goals.

To that end, here are a few tips to turn “happy fat” into “happy healthy”:

  1. Create opportunities for shared physical activity. Even if it’s small, commit to consistent physical activity. A few calories burned, when repeated over and over again, can result in transformative changes. Some ideas include going on a walk with your partner, doing yoga together, take a hike or have an outdoors bodyweight workout.
  2. Cook healthy food together. While exercise helps increase calories out, it’s important to be mindful of the calories going into your body. With your partner, go on a culinary adventure and explore healthy foods and recipes that you can enjoy together. Go to the market and get excited about fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.
  3. Take responsibility for your health. Your partner can not make you gain weight without your permission. You control what goes into your mouth. You control the amount of physical activity in which you engage. Having a partner isn’t a reason for gaining weight; it’s an excuse. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choices. If you’ve made choices that have resulted in fat gain, you can make choices that result it in coming off.

Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that BMI and body fat aren’t the only measures of health; overall, despite the fat gain, married individuals tend to enjoy better health when compared to their single counterparts. Indeed, married people live longer, eat better and drink less. So let’s keep it all in perspective.

P.S. If you’re looking for a fun bodyweight workout that you can do with a friend or partner, try Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. As a free gift, you’ll also receive my Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Both programs are great tools for getting on track!