17 Pounds Gone In 6 Weeks

If I told you that you’d probably think I was exaggerating.

But a picture says 1,000 words, right?

Here’s the picture Angus sent me from his first 6 weeks in Mansformation 2.0 (to apply for the next group go HERE to fill out an application)

The “after” is on the left (if it wasn’t obvious enough by how much belly is gone!)

If you’ve been struggling to lose the belly for what seems like forever, I’m going to GIVE you this complete step-by-step, almost FOOLPROOF plan

Surprisingly, it has absolutely nothing to do with any of the typical stuff you’ve probably heard before:

…NO “weird fat loss tricks”…
…NO grapefruit diets…
…NO P90X…
…NO restrictive, hate your life calorie intake…
…NONE of the stuff you’ve probably tried and failed at.

Hint: You need accountability in a group and a guy to guide you who’s been there (that’s me)

You’ll get the whole plan, A-to-Z…

…including a sustainable approach to nutrition that burns fat and builds muscle…

…everything I’ve discovered about nutrition and training (which helped me lose 50 pounds and keep it off. Now I EASILY maintain 12% bodyfat eating my favourite foods)

…and all the necessary exercise and done-for-you nutrition plans you need to get results without plateaus.

But this “done for you” system isn’t for sale.

Anywhere.

At any price.

‘Cuz I’m gonna GIVE it to you. (More about that in a sec.)

I’m also gonna give you two bonuses:

Bonus #1 – “Add An Inch To Your Arms In 30 Days”

It’s a training program focused on boosting your gun show. You’ll want to follow it about a month before summer arrives 😉

Bonus #2 –”30 Days To Shredded”

There’s no B.S. theory or fluff. Another training program focused entirely on fat loss that you can use in conjunction with the arm plan pre-summer.

Just a proven plan to bring in a nice loss of fat – like the last 5-10 pounds.

How much weight can you lose in Mansformation 2.0?

That’s up to you, Hoss.

Just like it was up to Angus.

And look what he did with it. (And we aren’t done).

Listen, if Angus can do it, if I can do it, you can do it too.

But here’s the catch:

I will NOT give it to just anyone.

Ever.

Nor will I ever sell this system as a whole

At any price.

The ONLY people who can get this system are the action takers in my Mansformation 2.0 program.

Should YOU choose to have your manhood boosted…

Click here to claim your manhood today… (fill out the short application and I’ll be in touch… maybe)

All the best,
Mitch

P.S. To recap…

I’m re-opening my Mansformation 2.0 program

It includes…

–   a sustainable approach to nutrition that burns fat and builds muscle…

–   everything I’ve discovered about nutrition and training (which helped me lose 50 pounds and keep it off. Now I EASILY maintain 12% bodyfat)

–   and all the necessary training and done-for-you nutrition plans you need to get results.

But you can’t buy this.

Anywhere or at ANY price.

‘Cuz I’m GIVING it away.

But ONLY to the dudes in Mansformation 2.0

Click here to claim your manhood today…

Get Swole Without Getting Stronger

Do you require a half gallon of Lakota cream on your aching knees before a set of squats?

Do you need to jump in an ice bath after every set of presses?

There just comes a time in a lifter’s life where you may have to make provisions to your training for safety and longevity.

But this doesn’t mean you have to retire your weight belt and take up an aquafit class.

Train smarter, not harder.

When most think of progress, they think of continuously adding weight to the bar week after week.

But there are many ways to go about it.

The progressive overload principle basically states: In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.

Here are 11 ways to increase progressive overload without loading up the barbell and trying to get stronger every workout.

1. Increase Rep Ranges

Move your rep ranges northward.

Instead of trying to routinely go for 1RM or sets of 6 reps or less, aim for sets in the 15-plus rep range.

Of course, this assumes you’ve been throwing iron around for decades and have a solid base of strength.

I’m not suggesting you go down to 135×20 when your max is over 400 pounds. It’s simply changing course from sets of 405 x 6 to 315 x 12, working at 60-70% of your 1RM rather than pushing maximal loads.

2. Slowing The Negative

Increased the amount of eccentric work your muscles are required to perform in a given lift.

Emphasizing the eccentric or negative phase of your lifts can ramp up protein synthesis and trigger muscle growth, without having to go really heavy.

As reported at T-Nation, scientists in Sao Paulo, Brazil, say “slow speed” reps can help you build muscle up to 3 times faster than “fast speed” lifting.

After 12 weeks, the men in the slow speed group built three times as much muscle as the fast speed lifters. Interestingly, they also showed nearly five times the progression of strength than that shown by the fast speed lifters.

Here’s an example using the preacher curl bench for biceps.

3. Drop Sets

Use the weight of your heaviest set for 6, drop the weight by 20-30%, do another set right away for 8 reps, drop the weight by another 20-30% and finish with as many reps as possible.

4. Mechanical Advantage Drop Sets

You’re modifying the movement with each subsequent set as the muscle starts to fatigue, without reducing the weight used.

Take dumbbell chest presses. Set the adjustable incline bench to 45 degrees. Pick a weight you can complete for 8-10 repetitions. Complete one set. Upon failure, immediately lower the incline bench to 25 degrees and press the dumbbells to failure at this position. When you fail there, lower the bench to a flat position and rep out as many as you can.

5. Rest Pause Sets

Do a set of 8-10 reps. Take 5-6 deep breaths. Rep out the same weight for as many as you can (it’ll be less than the first set). Take 5-6 deep breaths. Rep out the same weight for a few more. /End set.

6. Partial Reps

Why partial reps? You can go beyond failure and increase time under tension (i.e. get yoked!) without going for max lifts.

Basically, when you get to a point where you can no longer perform a rep fully, just involve the bottom few inches of a rep (1/4 reps) to extend the set and push past failure.

*Use a safe machine (in this case Smith) or competent spotter**

7. Myo Reps

Perform an activation set of 15 reps. Rest for 5 seconds. Each set afterward is referred to as a myo-rep set, where your goal is to hit 5 reps for as many sets as you can. When you can no longer hit that target rep range, the exercise is complete.

8. Density Training

In the simplest terms, density training involves increasing the amount of work you do in a given amount of time, increasing total volume. As you know, volume is king when it comes to building muscle.

You can read all about this training technique here https://www.t-nation.com/training/density-training-for-fat-loss

9. Weighted Stretches

You’ll perform a weighted stretch or an intense static stretch following a movement).

Animal studies have shown that weighted stretches can lead to size increases of 300%. A study reported on T-Nation that I wrote about has shown humans get a similar effect.

To emulate the study’s protocol, use a weight you can lift for 12 or more reps and then let the weight stretch the targeted muscle for at least 30 seconds.

Follow the stretch with 2-3 drop sets, repeating the weighted stretch at the end of the set each time.

Take incline dumbbell curls. Between sets, let the weight pull you into controlled hyperextension at the shoulder for at least 30 seconds. Be sure to flex your triceps at full extension to maximize stretch and tension. Drop the weight and repeat the process 2 or 3 more times.

10. Accommodating Resistance with bands

Bands allow for accommodating resistance through the entire range of motion, matching your strength curve. In other words, the bands are most resistant when you’re at your strongest (i.e. band is fully lengthened at the peak of a dumbbell press when you’re near full extension), challenging you equally throughout the entire distance that your targeted muscle group travels.

This adds a whole other level of difficulty to any exercise, without having to go too heavy and sacrifice form.

There’s also the benefit of eccentric overload, which is a fancy word for putting added tension on a movement during the eccentric/negative portion.
Here’s one example in the video. Double up on heavy bands on the incline hammer strength press. This is a good warm-up exercise to pump blood into the chest and shoulders before getting into your heavier work for the day.

11. Alternating Static Holds

Best done with dumbbells or cables, holding a weight in the contracted or starting position (while performing reps with the opposite arm)

BONUS:

Some Rules Of Thumb For Longevity (i.e. Avoid injury as you get old as F)

1. Always hydrate before lifitng.

2. Warm up appropriately. Don’t walk into the gym cold and go for your heaviest set of squats. Dynamic warmups and pyramiding up and weight is key as you age.

3. Use supportive gear. Don’t be “too tough” to use a belt or wrist wraps. This can make a measurable difference on joint health.

 

The Truth About Fat Loss (3 Stages)

Losing weight is not a linear process.

You may think if you keep doing the same things that helped you shed the first 10 pounds, the next 10 will come off just as quickly.

But rarely does it happen that way.

This past week, one of my successful past clients — we’ll call him Curtis because that’s his name — came to me with a question.

So I gained 4 pounds over the last week or so that I can’t seem to shed. Body hasn’t changed much other than some more leg and arm muscle. Gym on a regular basis still. Did I hit that stand still point? Is it muscle? I’m lost.

For a frame of reference, he’d lost more than 20 lbs and a pant size in 8 weeks as part of my Mansformation 2.0 challenge.

He could wear clothes he used to be able to fit into but hadn’t in some time.

His fiancé noticed he was walking around shirtless – even in the winter (this aversion to shirts is a common side effect of Mansformation 2.0)

But what was happening now?

There’s less room for error as you progress. And as we said earlier, weight loss isn’t linear.

Many think that with just a little more time, the abs start popping and the super hero physique emerges.

Curtis is not alone in that perception – but reality tells a different story.

There are two lines of thought when it comes to fitness…

  1. With just a few changes to one’s diet and exercise routine, you can look like a magazine cover model.
  2. It’s either all or nothing. Getting into shape requires sacrifice, restriction, and mountains of broccoli.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. 

Many people need fitness in their lives. How much of it will depend on your goal (and which stage of fat loss you’re striving for).

Data reported on by Precision Nutrition says the average American is about 28% body fat, and the average woman is 40% fat.

Research suggests men should be sub-20% bodyfat for optimal health, while women should be in the 20-30% range.

Visual representation of bodyfat percentages courtesy jasondoesstuff.com

If you aren’t in that healthy range, how do you get there?

Here are some simple guidelines to follow for each stage:

STAGE 1 (Under 20% for men, 30% for women)

  • Adopt some form of exercise 3 times per week and be consistent over months
  • Emphasize protein and veggies with every meal (fill up half your plate)
  • Eliminate liquid sugary drinks and moderate your alcohol intake (i.e. no binge drinking)
  • Home cooked meals 80% of the time and watch your portions

STAGE 2 (Under 15% for men, under 25% for women)

  • Exercise daily (not necessarily weight training, but sweat daily)
  • Go out of your way to get in extra activity (step counter, take the stairs etc.)
  • Sleep consistently 7 hours a night and manage stress
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to 1-2 nights a week at no more than 2 drinks per sitting
  • Home cooked meals 90% of the time and measure your food (or at least have a good idea of calorie intake)

STAGE 3 (Under 10% for men, 20% women)

  • Resistance training up to 6 times per week plus regular cardio
  • De-stress daily through meditation or self care (massage, steam room)
  • Adopt hunger management strategies (gum, coffee) as you’re fighting tooth-and-nail with your own biology at this point
  • Limit cheat treats to once per week (prepare own meals 95% of the time and measure every ounce of food that goes in your pie hole)

STAGE 1 (20%/30%)

Guidelines

  • Adopt some form of exercise 2-3 times per week and be consistent
  • Emphasize protein and veggies with every meal (fill up half your plate)
  • Eliminate liquid sugary drinks and moderate your alcohol intake (i.e. no binge drinking)

For most, simply changing some foundational habits will help you get to this level of leanness. Of course, it takes time and relentless consistency, and everyone progresses at different paces. This isn’t a quick fix.

But you cannot go wrong starting with three whole body weight training workouts per week, reducing your sugar and alcohol intake, and prioritizing protein and veggies in nearly every meal.

If you’re looking for a place to start, get instant access to my FREE Diet Secrets 2 Page Guide (past participants lost anywhere from 5 to 12 lbs of fat in two weeks) >> click HERE <<

Get the Diet Secrets FREE!

How do you know things are working in Stage 1?

Keep a close eye on visible changes through scale weight, waist circumference and bodyfat % (if you have tools available to assess).

Most importantly, as you lose weight and enter Stage 1, you’ll experience a number of benefits that you may not have experienced at a heavier weight.

You have more energy.

Are you slogging your way through the day? Midafternoon, you need a caffeine and sugar hit to keep your eyelids propped open and the only bar you’re getting under after work is the one in your basement that holds the liquor. If you have plenty of buzz to play with the kids after 5, you’re on the right track.

Your clothes feel just a little looser.

Adding muscle is a big priority in my programs, and for good reason. Muscle looks great, building it can help raise your metabolism and help your clothes fit better.  That old beer t-shirt doesn’t fit (fortunately or unfortunately?), because your chest and arms are now too muscular for it.

You’re sleeping better.

There can be many reasons for poor sleep: stress, aging, hormonal changes, being a new parent, getting too much light late at night, jet lag, and so on.

But nutrition and exercise can play a role. For instance, if you over-eat heavy meals late at night, it can cut into your sleep. I usually recommend one of my client approved meals 2-3 hours before bed and one of the recommended snacks only if needed.

Alcohol and caffeine can have a negative impact. I usually recommend caffeine be eliminated before 5 pm (some people metabolize it slower than others and I push the deadline up) and alcohol no more than 2 hours prior. You know those nights where you drift into an alcohol-induced slumber and feel partially awake all night? Deep sleep is compromised.

Take home point: Realistically, you could get into Stage 1 of fat loss and work to maintain it and be perfectly healthy (in general terms). But many get here and think “What’s next?”

They want to get a body that turns heads… which takes us to stage 2.

STAGE 2 (15%/25%)

Guidelines:

  • Exercise daily (not necessarily weight training, but sweat daily)
  • Go out of your way to get in extra activity (step counter, take the stairs etc.)
  • Sleep consistently 7 hours a night and manage stress
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to 1-2 nights a week at no more than 2 drinks per sitting

Curtis (our example above) was entering this stage and finding it harder to get results. That’s common.

You’re now pushing your body beyond its comfort zone and further from its set point. Achieving a bodyfat percentage below 15% for men (25% for women) is no easy task, and is definitely harder for some than others. Genetics are a B after all.

Depending on how long you were overweight, it may be a struggle at first to maintain this level of conditioning. You’ll have to make the gym a big part of your routine, prep meals for the day ahead and really hone in on your sleep and recovery (sacrificing some social engagements in the process).

STAGE 3 (10%/20%)

Guidelines

  • Resistance training up to 6 times per week plus cardio
  • Limit cheat treats to once per week
  • De-stress daily through meditation or self care (massage, steam room)
  • Adopt hunger management strategies (gum, coffee) as you’re fighting tooth-and-nail with your own biology at this point
  • Often performance drugs or stimulants required

This is an area reserved for the…

  1. 1% who can maintain this condition with little consequences (likely not you)
  2. Elite bodybuilders getting ready for a contest and models getting ready for a photoshoot (plus normal humans who want to look great for a short moment in time)

The process required to drop to single digits in bodyfat goes against biological cues.

You’ll be hungry. Irritable. Fatigued. On the verge of throat punching that door-to-door salesman. You know, side effects of being “hangry” but, like, all the damn time.

Again, these symptoms aren’t universal but they impact the majority of my clients who approach this goal naturally with average genetics.

We’re not talking juiced up college kid or Chris Hemsworth here – average joes here.

So, for normal humans, chasing a six pack can negatively impact your sex life,  work life and everything else that goes with it.

Sure, if you have a photoshoot or wedding and want veins coming out of your dress shirt, then maybe Stage 3 is worth your time. But I warn you to exercise caution and only go for it if it’s what you truly want.

Many turn to steroids to achieve this look. Others choke down stimulants (nicotine, ephedrine) by the handfuls to curb hunger along the way and suffer anxiety, disrupted sleep and a tanked hormonal profile. Some also sacrifice relationships and become a hermit to get there (I’ve done it).

Look, here’s me at my leanest a few years back. About 11-12% bodyfat.

I just looked skinny with a shirt on.. really flat, but the abs photo on my About page was taken at the end of this diet.

Cool. I had some semblance of abs. But I also had low libido (partly from the diet and partly from ephedrine), poor energy and hated life at times.

Interestingly enough, the last month of the diet I had a massive cheat day every Saturday, complete with 600+ grams of carbs (think kid’s cereal, pancakes, sweets) just to keep my metabolism from tanking.

But I hated the other 6 days of the week.

So, with that said… it’s on you to decide. Which stage do you want? Review the bottom section below to guide you.

What’s Next?

  • Figure out your goals and priorities. Do you want to be healthy and full of energy or do you want to be shredded? Rare to achieve both for any considerably length of time.
  • Decide which stage you want to strive for. Make sure what you can realistically commit to the guidelines that align with the stage you’re focused on getting to.
  • Need a place to start? Download my free Diet Secrets fat loss guide to simplify the whole process and get you started.

Get instant access to my FREE Diet Secrets 2 Page Guide (past participants lost anywhere from 5 to 12 lbs of fat in two weeks).

Get it FREE!

 

4 Tips To Curb Hunger On A Diet

So you’ve lost a couple pounds.

Your diet is working.

But you’re a week in and it already takes every ounce of willpower to avoid diving head first into those stale donuts in the office lunch room.

What gives?

Well, to lose weight, you need to eat less calories than you burn.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Naturally, that involves some hunger and discomfort.

The Science Of Why Dieting Is So Damn Hard

Within a day of beginning a diet, your ghrelin levels go up and progressively get higher.

Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the gut, with its main function to increase your appetite.

A calorie deficit is a perceived threat to your survival, so ghrelin is in place to keep you alive.

Not great in today’s world of instant access to calorie-dense foods though, is it?

But, here’s the thing…

Before I get into the tips, you need to understand it’s OK to be a little hungry once in awhile.

Maybe not “ready to punch your boss” Snickers commercial hangry, but tolerable hunger is actually a good thing. That suggests you’re actually eating less than you need to maintain your weight.

In other words, your diet is working if you’re hungry from time to time!

With that out of the way, here are some ways to make the most of your diet and minimize hunger in the process.

1. Eat Meat

Protein reduces your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

It also has a high TEF – or Thermic Effect of Food. Meaning that as much as 20-30% of the calories from protein are “burned off” just to digest the protein,  compared to carbs (5-10%) and fat (0-3%).

Plus, it helps you maintain lean body mass as you diet down. When you’re in a significant calorie deficit (i.e. eating less than you burn), your body is happy to feast on muscle for energy. It doesn’t tend to throw out just fat and keep muscle… unless you eat lots of protein and weight train.

That’s why scale weight is not the only measurement of success.

A high protein intake may help prevent muscle loss when daily calories are reduced for weight loss.

In one study, researchers at McMaster University, found it’s possible to gain muscle while cutting fat—in just 4 weeks.

In their month-long study published last year, 40 overweight men in their 20s followed an exercise program and ate a calorie-restricted diet of 40% fewer calories below maintenance.

The wrinkle? Half the men followed a lower-protein diet (1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight) and the other half followed a higher-protein diet (2.4 grams per kilogram of body weight).

The results: After 28 days, the higher-protein group saw 2.3 pounds of muscle gain and 10.5 pounds of weight loss. The lower-protein group retained their muscle mass (broke even) and lost about 8 pounds.

2. Fire in the Hole (Your Colon, That Is)

A high fiber intake stretches the stomach, slows its emptying rate and influences the release of fullness hormones.

On a diet, veggies are your friend.  Fiber in veggies will decrease hunger.

Veggies are packed with vitamins, too, but if you can’t stand the thought of eating your greens, try a fiber supplement like Metamucil before bed. Don’t let it thicken into a gel before drinking – you want it to expand later on in the digestive process! Put it on your tongue dry and quickly wash it down.

High fiber protein bars (think Quest or the Costco brand pictured) can help curb hunger between meals as well.

What I’ve been doing lately is skipping breakfast and delaying lunch by drinking a diet coke with a couple protein bars.

As Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes writes, cold food is more satiating than hot food. When you “cool” the stomach with cold food, it slows digestion, and satiation increases.

Footnote: I’ve actually switched to tip #3 – paired with the bars – as my latest hunger-suppressing stack.

 

3. Coffee

Research shows that coffee promotes a feeling of fullness.

It releases a PYY hormone which scientists believe plays an important role in determining how much you’re likely to eat, according to an article on Authority Nutrition.

Interestingly, decaffeinated coffee may produce the highest reduction in hunger, with effects that last up to three hours after consumption.

For those who can’t deal with caffeine in even moderate doses (myself included), decaf may be a good option. I pair a decaf coffee with a protein bar to get me through “hangry” pains right now. Try something similar if you find yourself grazing on junk at the office or at night.

4. Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep can also help reduce hunger and protect against weight gain.

Studies show that too little sleep can increase hunger and appetite, and chronically over time has been linked to higher rates of obesity.

Get your shut-eye by any means necessary!

What’s Next?

Get instant access to my FREE 7 Day Diet Challenge (past participants lost anywhere from 5 to 12 lbs of fat) with simple to follow nutrition guidelines and a grocery shopping list.

Take The Challenge!

 

4 Rules To Avoid Diet Failure This Time

Before I get to the article, this is last call for my next Mansformation 2.0 group challenge. The last one had 16 guys lose more than 150 lbs during the holidays of all things. You can see their testimonials HERE. The price is still at the beta 50% reduced rate for this final time so get on it, bucko.

I was wrong.

When I first became a coach, I thought every client would instantly buy in and find the passion for exercise to the same level I was at.

“OMG, I love the way my biceps femoris responds to this exercise, Mitch!”

It’s not reality. I never get asked that.

And, frankly, I should never have expected that.

Because I completely forgot where I came from.

13 years ago, the gym was this foreign meat market with wall to ceiling windows and ripped dudes and hot chicks.

A diet was something Richard Simmons and hippies preached about (OK, I’m not that old) and certainly nothing I wanted to get myself into.

I was scared to go to the gym.

I was scared to face reality.

I was scared to get my shit handled because change is hard and my comfort zone was safe.

And there was good reason for that. It’s a TOUGH first step.

In fact, the first few months will be a  grind, especially if you’re starting from ground zero.

But if you break through and come out on the other side? Awesomeness ensues, I promise you that.

Higher metabolic rate, more energy and confidence, little black dresses, Borat speedos, and complete respect from that asshole co-worker who used to always judge your weight.

So how to do you avoid the weight loss merry-go-round that has you losing 5-10 lbs, only to put it back on and then some? Rinse and repeat?

Follow these 4 Dieting Rules, Jacko.

#1 Have A Concrete Plan, Man!

Often one of the first questions I ask to a prospective client is what their goal is.

The first answer is often vague such as “I want to lose my belly” or “I just want to feel better”

But you have to know where you want to go clearly and definitively, and have a strong reason for doing it.

The best approach is to clearly define your goal in 90 day increments.

Far off year-long goals are nice to strive for, but breaking it down into quarterly mini goals is better.

Let’s say your end goal is to lose 40 lbs. That’s going to be tough to do in 90 days the right way, but if you set a target of 20 lbs it breaks down to simply losing about 2 lbs per week.

Next, make sure you give yourself constant reminders of your goal.

On Sept. 6, I aimed to be under 210 lbs by Dec. 15 for my Vegas Trip – starting at 223 lbs.

I put a weekly notice in my cellphone calendar to go off every Thursday reminding me of my goal.

calendar

 

Here’s my weigh-in on the hotel scale in Vegas on the morning of Dec. 16…

scale

You may want to take a page from the self development community and practice visualizations and positive affirmations. Nobody in fitness teaches this stuff, but it’s universal. Regardless of your goal, practicing these techniques can help you reach it.

You may need to get a little crazy and repeat your goal in the mirror every morning in the present tense:

“I’m so happy and blessed to have a lean physique at 210 lbs that I can be proud of, so I can truly be the father my children deserve”

Pair your concrete goal (weight loss #) with your big reason for wanting to achieve it.

Take home point: If you can get to a point with exercise that it’s a habit, it’s not a chore to go and do, then you’re going to be far more successful than the guy that goes really hard for two months and burns out and quits. Plan your goal in 90 day increments and reinforce that goal with reminders of where you want to go and why.

P.S. You can download my FREE 14 Day Belly Burner diet challenge to get you started (available this month only). Start NOW for free.

#2 Prepare Ahead

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When you’ve got a balanced lunch prepared, you’re less likely to swing by the drive-thru at break or buy something out of a vending machine.

 

You need to take the 10 minutes necessary to prep some quality meals to pack for the day or week ahead.

I cook a big pot of jasmine rice once a week. Alongside that is a pan-full of extra lean beef. That’s my fall back meal for lunches most days.

Your dinner preparations might involve some cooking the night of, but then you have left overs for tomorrow’s lunch.

You’re a grown adult – start eating like one.

Take home point: Simply match up your carb of choice (i.e. potato) with veggies and leftover protein from the night before, and you’ve got yourself a healthy lunch.

#3 Think Long Term

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Once you hit your first plateau, do you take the pedal off the gas?

“Okay, I lost this weight, now I’m going to go back to doing what I did before.”

You need to focus on making this a permanent lifestyle change that’s part of your identity.

Here’s where most go wrong…

They drop the first 10-20 lbs and then… stall. You may be doing the same things that got you there, but your weight is stuck. You get frustrated and fall back into old habits, and the weight literally comes back on in weeks. That’s your body’s set point pulling you back to where it was comfortable.

But you need to understand that plateaus are a necessary part of the process.

It’s the same approach you need to take with your training. Sometimes, a deload from the gym is just what you need to come back stronger the next time.

If you go from 250 to 220 pounds and wait out the set point process, your body’s drive to move back to the old weight is no longer so intense.

My set point is 220 now. I can slip up from time to time and it’s VERY easy to get back to that number.

According to Mike Israetel, depending on how far from your goal weight you are, dieting phases should be no longer than 3 months in duration and/or involve losing 10% of your starting bodyweight.

Follow that with a maintenance phase of comparable length where you relax your calorie deficit and work like hell to stay around the weight you ended the diet at: establishing a new set point.

20170108_102118

Take home point: The diet doesn’t end after you’ve cut weight, but after you’ve maintained the same weight for a few months (by closely monitoring your caloric intake).

#4 Enlist A Support Group or Coach

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Are you going in circles trying to “figure it out” on your own, only to end up at square one?

Sure, you could take the canoe across the lake, but the speed boat gets you there 10x as fast.

Those who succeed in life invest in themselves because they know it’ll pay off.

Short term pain for long-term gain.

Like the 16 guys in my Mansformation 2.0 challenge

who lost more than 150 pounds collectively in 8 weeks.

You can see some of their comments below.




Want in the next Mansformation 2.0 group challenge?

It’s ONLY for those who are ready to go all in on themselves.

You must have:

  • Some prior exercise experience
  • Be a man (sorry, ladies)
  • This is NOT for those who want the quick fix or magic pill solution

Some potential side effects may include:

  • Having to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate your leaner, muscular physique
  • Getting free shit just because you’re devilishly good looking and carry yourself with confidence

http://calendly.com/calvertfitness/15min <<<=== GO HERE TO BOOK A CHAT WITH ME

Take home point: Involve your friends and family in your fitness pursuits. Or enlist a cool coach to guide you.

 

 

 

Are You Sabotaging Your Diet With One Of These Mistakes?

“I’ve read peanut butter before bed helps you burn fat, is that true?”

A client recently sent me that message.

It inspired me to write this article to clear up the confusion out there, once and for all.

I’m going to tell you how to avoid sabotaging your diet.

This article won’t involve any of the following:

– ‘Detox’ teas and quick fixes

– 15 minute a day workout programs

– Fad diets

– Sugar pill supplements

But you need to hear it if you’ve been approaching fitness like this…

… looking for quick fixes

… not having the foundations in place

… not knowing the road ahead

This article is 100% for you.

It’s not going to make false promises.

It’ll just promise you practical changes to make your diet stick.

Before we get into this, let me start with a story …

In college, I remember wanting so badly to fit in that I went full Party Boy from Jackass mode (See what I mean in this video).

I felt I missed out on things by not being ‘cool’ in high school and had some catching up to do.

My first night out with my new college crew went down like this (sorry, Mom)…

I guzzled one too many rye and diet cokes…

Puked in a cab and got momentarily chased by said cabbie, but thankfully he didn’t want to abandon his car and gave up quickly (my “run” was more of a stagger),

Got picked up by a RANDOM car full of teenagers/young adults who found my state of inebriation VERY amusing (I still can’t picture their faces, but do remember their laughter),

Managed to get dropped off on the right street by slurring the name of it repeatedly…

Mercifully, I eventually awoke on the couch to the disapproval of my parents (it was Remembrance Day – my way of honoring our troops was to not remember much of the night before).

Anyway, where am I going with this?

It’s very easy to be swayed by peer pressure. The masses mentality. Marketing is coming at you from every angle, telling you how you should dress, think, talk and act to fit in.

It’s no different when you start trying to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, right?

You logically start your search on Google and instantly get pulled down a rabbit hole. One site tells you to eat carbs. Another says to avoid them entirely and just eat fats. Eat gluten. Don’t eat gluten. Only buy organic vegetables harvested in the far northern plains of Tibet.

You get my point. It’s complicated. Everyone has an agenda or product to sell. And, hey, I run a business too, so I get that.

But you just want results. So here’s where you should start come Jan. 1 or sooner.

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Mistake #1: Not Planning Your Day (Or Week)

It’s so simple, and yet so many people overlook this.

You need to know what your meals are going to look like for the week or day ahead, or you’re bound to fail.

Without a plan, you’ll succumb to the temptations of the work pot luck or nearest fast food joint.

You need to take the 10 minutes necessary to prep some quality meals to pack for the day.

I cook a big pot of jasmine rice once a week. Alongside that is a pan-full of extra lean beef. That’s my fall back meal for lunches most days.

Hell, you can even plan to have a chicken burger from McDonald’s – just make sure you have a plan!

You’re a grown adult. Your diet shouldn’t consist of leftover donuts and a handful of gummy bears.

By portioning out your meals the night before when you aren’t hungry, you’re self-regulating your calorie intake without having to decide in the moment when you’re “hangry.”

You’ve seen the Snickers’ commercials. Don’t risk it.

That might mean eating the same things a little more often than you’d like, but that’s what separates successful dieters from those who fail. Over and over again.

Take home: Plan ahead and success will follow.

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Mistake #2: Ignoring the Hidden Calories

You should be finding areas to “save” calories on a diet.

As you may know, fat is the most calorie dense food at 9 calories per gram.

You can very easily turn a calorie deficit into a surplus by getting a little too liberal with the peanut butter or cooking oils.

Watch your oil intake. Free-pouring oils (even healthy ones) into the pan to cook can quickly add as much as 250-300 calories.

How do you avoid this? Swap out cooking oils for sprays when preparing your meals.

Any cooking spray will do – even canola. You’ll be using trace amounts anyway.

A lot of fad diets and fitness influencers would like you to believe you can defy the laws of physics (Energy Balance Equation) and somehow lose weight in a significant calorie surplus through eating fats and keeping carbs on the sidelines.

Fats are fine – in moderation – but there’s no magic there, no matter what some guru tells you. You don’t need heaps of butter and coconut oil in your coffee to get your brain working in the morning. One little tablespoon of butter has as many calories as almost a pound-and-a-half of fresh spinach.

Watch the sugary sauces.

Barbeque sauce. Teriyaki. Honey dill.

Sauces can add as much as 10 grams of sugar with every single tablespoon (and let’s be honest, you’re using a lot more than that!)

Instead of flavouring your meals with sauces, swap them out for seasoning salts. Salt doesn’t add any calories to your meal, and in fact can aid your performance in the gym.

Here’s a poor man’s alternative to teriyaki sauce: soy sauce with a few packets of Splenda mixed in.

Or look into Walden Farms line of calorie-free products.

As much as you may hate to hear it, if you are struggling to manage your weight it’s likely your portion control sucks.

By eliminating hidden calories, you won’t notice much difference in taste but your calorie intake will decrease on auto pilot.

Take home: Swap out the sugary sauces and cooking oils for low or calorie-free alternatives.

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Mistake #3: Not Slowing Down, MuthaF$%#@

Here’s something you may overlook as being too simple, but it can make a big difference.

Slow down your eating.

Slow eaters consistently have lower body mass index (BMI) than fast eaters.

Some just seem to be born this way. Eating slowly is a real struggle for me, while my dad can be halfway through dinner while the rest of us are onto dessert.

If you fall in the same camp as me, you may need to force yourself to use chopsticks, the worst food utensil invention on the planet, to get the job done.

What gives here?

Salivary amylase is an enzyme in your saliva that starts the digestion of starches in carbohydrates. The gene that makes amylase, AMY1, varies in number from person to person. The more of it you have, the faster and more effectively you digest carbs.

Researchers compared the genes of 149 Swedish families that included siblings withBMI differing by more than 10 kg/m2. The single biggest factor determining variations in BMI from one individual to the next was the volume of AMY1 in their saliva.

Take home: Be present at meal time, eat as slowly as possible and really take your time at each meal. Use chopsticks if you need a handicap. This evens the playing field with people with more amylase and/or naturally slow eaters.

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Mistake #4: Not Investing In Yourself (So Failure Isn’t An Option)

If you’re serious about making lasting change, it’s decision time.

Go all in and commit to making this work or don’t do it all.

Don’t dabble.

Dabblers don’t get anywhere.

You have dabbled in the past, right?

But when you dabble, you quit at the first sign of resistance.

There will be some resistance and discomfort.

It’s a diet after all – you’re eating less calories than you need to maintain your weight and your body doesn’t love that.

But if you follow the plan and implement these dieting rules, you’ll be on your way.

If you’re sick and tired of dabbling and you know you need someone to hold you accountable – apply here to have a conversation with me about joining my Mansformation 2.0 coaching program.

Look what my man Curtis has accomplished in just shy of 6 weeks (he’s in my Mansformation 2.0 group)

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BOOM.

He’s down 12 lbs and has put on some muscle too.

Do you want to be part of the next Mansformation 2.0 group coaching program? If you’re sick and tired of dabbling and you know that it’s time – apply here to have a conversation with me about joining the next one in January.

I’ll be there to help you build your foundations and set you up properly so that you actually prosper in 2017.

The real question is…. Are you ready to go ALL IN in 2017?

Click here if you are.

To recap, avoid diet sabotage with these four strategies:

  1. Plan your day or week
  2. Watch the hidden calories
  3. Eat slowly
  4. Invest in yourself so failure isn’t an option

Why ‘Eat Less, Move More’ Is Failing You

If you’re stuck trying to lose a few lbs you’re not alone.

I speak to dozens of guys every day who send me messages telling me things aren’t working anymore.

“I’m stuck at this weight no matter what I do”

“I used to always be able to follow this diet for awhile and drop 10 lbs but it doesn’t work anymore…”

“I can’t gain an ounce of muscle no matter what I try, and my spare tire isn’t going anywhere, either”

You see, your body is programmed to keep you alive. It does a good job of that, but it can be a big pain in the arse when dieting.

When you try to outsmart your body, it outsmarts you back.

If you try to rush the process, here’s how your body tries to keep your weight steady when you take in less energy and start to lose weight, according to Precision Nutrition…

  • Thermic effect of food goes down because you’re eating less.
  • Resting metabolic rate goes down because you weigh less.
  • Calories burned through physical activity go down.
  • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis goes down.
  • Calories not absorbed goes down and you absorb more of what you eat because your body senses a calorie deficit.
  • Reducing actual calories eaten also causes hunger signals to increase, causing you to crave (and maybe eat) more.

Definitions of each below

Thermic effect of food (TEF): Every time you eat, a certain percentage of the calories ingested are “burned off” just to digest the food itself. What you eat matters here as some macros are more metabolically demanding to digest.

  • Carbohydrates: 5 to 15% of the energy consumed [1]
  • Protein: 20 to 35% [1]
  • Fats: at most 5 to 15 %[2]

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) : RMR is the number of calories you burn each day at rest, just to breathe, think, and live.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): NEAT is the calories you burn through fidgeting, standing, walking and all other physical activities except purposeful exercise.

So, a number of factors are working against you when trying to lose weight… So what can you do if more exercise and less food isn’t really the answer forever?

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1. Eat more protein

Protein is essential when losing fat.

Protein helps you keep that all-important lean body mass so you don’t look like a bag of milk when you’ve got to your goal weight.

When you’re in a significant calorie deficit (i.e. eating less than you burn), your body is happy to feast on muscle for energy. It doesn’t tend to throw out just fat and keep muscle… unless you eat lots of protein.

That’s why scale weight is not the only measurement of success.

Your diet sucks if it drops as much muscle as it does fat.

How much protein then?

T-Nation reported on a study conducted by Dr. Joey Antonio on 48 bodybuilders. Each of them reported to have taken in about 2 g of protein per kilogram every day for the last few years. Dr. Antonio split the group in two. The first group stayed on the same protein intake (NP). The second increased their daily protein intake to 3.4 g per kilogram per day. All of them did the same training program.

The Results

Both groups, the 2.3 g “low” protein group and the 3.4 g high protein group, gained the same amount of muscle. However, the really high protein group lost much more fat mass, even though they were taking in about 400 more calories a day. The NP group lost an average 0.3 kg of fat, but the HP group, despite the extra calories, lost an average of 1.6 kg of fat. Percent body fat decreased, too. The percent body fat decrease was -2.4% in the HP group and -0.6% in the NP group.

How could this happen? Dr. Antonio’s group speculated that it might have something to do with the thermic effect of protein or TEF as mentioned previously.

Regardless, the study had three main findings:

  • Protein overfeeding is unlikely to cause any gains in body fat, and appears to actually reduce body fat.
  • It’s wrong to conclude that eating anything more than 1.5 to 2.0 g per kilogram of protein is a waste of time.
  • Blood tests confirmed that a high-protein intake had no detrimental effects to the kidneys or any other parameters of health.

My suggestion for most is to aim for 1 gram per lb of bodyweight (and sometimes more, as I’ll outline later)

One study showed that 40 grams of protein induced greater muscle protein synthesis than 20 grams in both high and low LBM groups, contradicting previous studies suggesting that MPS after exercise is maximized after ingesting 20–25 grams of high-quality protein.

Overall, a 40-gram dose of whey protein isolate taken immediately after training stimulated MPS to a greater extent than a 20-gram dose.

Take home: Just by eating more protein you burn more calories, because of the increased thermic effect of eating. If you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll only use about 70 calories of it. (remember that embarrassing episode of “meat sweats” at the Brazilian BBQ joint? Yeah, embrace the pit stains.)

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2. Build more muscle

Your body burns more calories maintaining muscle tissue than it does fat tissue.

How much though?

Some experts estimate that each extra pound of muscle you gain burns 30-50 extra calories a day, while others estimate that a pound of muscle burns 6 calories at rest, compared to 2 calories burned by a pound of fat. It’s not a perfect science, and not a huge difference, but it can add up.

I believe there’s more to the story here though.

The more muscle, the more storage capacity for glycogen (stored carbohydrates in your muscle cells).

The more muscle, the more insulin sensitive you are.

The more muscle, the better your body performs.

Take home: Do everything you can to build and maintain every ounce of lean muscle.

Footnote: Muscle isn’t just for looking good. Artero, et al., (2012) did a review of the literature on the effects of increased muscle strength and found that it has a protective effect on all-cause and cancer mortality in healthy middle-aged men, men with high blood pressure, and those with existing heart disease.

3. Eat every damn macronutrient (within reason)

A balanced diet is sustainable.

A balanced diet will over the long haul.

As mentioned, protein should form the base of your fat loss diet.

Aim for 1-1.5g per lb of bodyweight, particularly if you exercise regularly and want to maintain or gain some muscle along the way (and who doesn’t … seriously).

Then utilize carbs in moderation – enough to fuel training, boost leptin (maintains metabolism), and promotes happy chemicals in your brain. Have you gone zero carb? Yeah, you were an asshole every minute of that diet, right? No need to drop carbs to zero and hate life. From the Department of Captain Obvious, in addition to starchy and fruit carbs, get in some greens. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help you fill up during meals without the calorie cost.

Then comes fats. Fats are tricky. A lot of fad diets and fitness influencers would like you to believe you can defy the laws of physics (Energy Balance Equation) and somehow lose weight in a significant calorie surplus through eating fats and keeping carbs on the sidelines.

Fats are fine – in moderation – but there’s no magic there, no matter what some guru tells you. You don’t need heaps of butter and coconut oil in your coffee to get your brain working in the morning. One little tablespoon of butter has as many calories as almost a pound-and-a-half of fresh spinach.

Fats keep your sex hormones healthy, boost the immune system, and are satiating, but very calorie dense and blow up a diet if you aren’t careful. Stick to tight portion control.

Case in point, courtesy Ben Carpenter:

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Peanut butter on toast, these photos look nearly identical but the one on the left has 10g of peanut butter and the one on the right has 50g of peanut butter.

A subtle difference which equates to 260 more calories. Very easy to do on calorie dense fats like oils, spreads and nut butters.

As much as you may hate to hear it, if you are struggling to manage your weight it is quite possible that your guesswork sucks.

Take home: Eat a balance of all three macronutrients, proteins, fats and carbs, then add in veggies, but pay particular attention to your portions.

4. Adjust course when you hit a sticking point

As your weight loss progresses, the plan that got you from A to B may not get you to C.

Small adjustments can add up here.

Maybe it’s removing 5-10% of your calories from carbs and fats.

Maybe it’s adding in an extra walk or two each week.

Maybe it’s upping your workout volume in the gym by small increments.

However, one study referenced on Precision Nutrition found weight loss plateaus have less to do with metabolic adaptations and more to do with “an intermittent lack of diet adherence” – i.e. in scientific terms, eating too much shit too often.

Take home: Do an objective review of your actual diet in relation to your expenditure or hire a third party coach to help you get out of your own way.

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5. Cut back on processed foods

This transitions nicely from my last point. Stop eating so much shit foods, you’re a grown adult! If it comes in a box and has a long list of ingredients, avoid it for the most part.

For a number of reasons, the first of which is we absorb more calories from highly processed carbohydrates and fats, because they’re easier to digest. 

For example, research found that almost 38 percent of the fat in peanuts was excreted in the stool, rather than absorbed by the body. Whereas seemingly all of the fat in peanut butter was absorbed. Whole foods are more complete (with lots of fiber for one) and harder to digest as a result.

There’s two problems with eating junk food.

The first: Your brain is doing its job to keep you alive. Junk food is full of calories and highly palatable. Your brain knows it should load up on these calories while it can, in the event of famine down the road. Remember, your brain was programmed during a time when food was scarce or hard to come by.

The second: Junk foods also give us a “hit” or a reward. We’ll go out of our way to get foods with a high reward value. Do you stand in line at Starbucks? Busted.

Take home: Eat more whole, fresh, minimally processed foods with a balance of macronutrients, protein, carbs and fats. Keep the junk out of sight. It’s the only way to minimize temptations.

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6. Have patience

Motivation wanes. You need daily, consistent effort and habits to succeed over the long haul.

That means you’re going to have to view your weight loss journey as a marathon, not a sprint.

Smart weight loss can and should be relatively slow, as most recommendations suggest you aim to lose about 0.5-1 percent of your body weight per week.

This slow and steady approach helps to maintain muscle mass and minimize the adaptive metabolic responses to a lower calorie intake and resulting weight loss. Faster weight loss tends to result in more muscle loss without extra fat loss, as well as a larger adaptive response.

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7. Do the right amount of exercise FOR YOU

Resistance training is the Big Kahuna. Training helps you maintain muscle in a calorie deficit, according to lots of studies I’m failing to mention here.

When dieting, you’ll need to do a bit more exercise than you were doing to maintain your weight.

But make small changes at first.

I suggest you add in metabolic resistance training. It increases the metabolic cost of exercise through post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The more you can create a deficit through exercise, the better, as it means you don’t have to drop your food intake even lower.

But don’t overdo it. How much is too much? That depends on you, as everyone’s recovery abilities vary based on lifestyle, genetics and a host of other factors.

One way to increase your training “tolerance” is active recovery work (e.g. meditation, walking). These low-intensity activities help you balance your training and lifestyle by decreasing stress (lowering cortiso).

My quick tip for the busy person is to take a 10-minute cool down walk or lay down on a mat with relaxing music in your ear -buds after every strength training workout. Easy, right?

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8. Find ways to increase NEAT.

Remember NEAT mentioned earlier in this novel of a post?

As you diet down, you’ll find yourself uncontrollably beckoned to Netflix and the couch.

This is your body’s attempt to down-regulate NEAT now that is has less calories to work with.

It largely happens without you realizing it, so you need to set some rules to keep yourself active.

Take the stairs. Park further away. Use a step counter and set a daily target.

These small increases in activity can make a big difference.

Take home: Do less sitting, more moving. The lower you take your calories, the more likely your body will down-regulate activity. You’ll need to schedule in activity to make it happen, even when the couch and Netflix beckon.

To recap, 8 ways to diet down beyond just more exercise:

  1. Eat lots of protein
  2. Build more muscle
  3. Eat every macronutrient (in moderation)
  4. Adjust course when you plateau
  5. Cut back on processed foods
  6. Have patience
  7. Do the right amount of exercise for you
  8. Find ways to increase NEAT

Need a helping hand? Apply for a free coaching call below

Steroids Might Make You Stupid (Here’s What To Do Instead)

It’s the elixir of the Gods.

It’s the mojo of manhood.

It’s the golden ticket to gains.

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Photo courtesy Giphy.com

Testosterone: the holy grail of the hormonal system.

Low testosterone in men leads to reduced quality of life, well-being, libido, and overall health.

Besides sobbing uncontrollably watching The Notebook (OK, it’s a tear jerker), low testosterone corresponds to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can create symptoms of brain fog, depression, and lethargy.

Low testosterone levels are linked with cognitive decline and neurological degeneration, while cardiovascular disease and heart attacks are higher in men with low testosterone.

“OK, should I blast the juice and shoot my testosterone levels through the roof then?”

Not exactly. There’s a healthy amount of research showing supraphysiological doses of testosterone (i.e. steroids) can be just as harmful (or more so) than naturally low testosterone.

The cardiovascular risks notwithstanding (which have been well documented), you may know a steroid user that appears perfectly normal. He or she may not experience any of the scare tactics used in the media – acne, “Roid Rage”, ED and so on.

So you might be willing to take your chances in the name of gains, right?

Well, new research suggests neural and cognitive risks with recreational steroid use as well.

One new study found a link between steroid use and smaller brain volume and brain thickness in users, while an older study linked the specific steroid, trenbolone, with neurodegeneration.  It should be noted that former users who came off saw some return to pre-steroid brain volume and thickness, so if you come off now all may be OK.

This large-scale systematic investigation shows negative correlations between steroid use and negative effects on brain volume and cortical thickness. This does not conclusively say steroid use directly caused the degeneration (google the difference between correlation and causation) but it raises concerns about the long-term consequences of steroids on structural features of the brain.

The question is: Are you willing to risk it? Do you care more about your bulging biceps than your brain?

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“OK, so what’s the alternative, Mitch?”

You could optimize your testosterone levels naturally first – or discuss Testosterone Replacement Therapy with your doctor.

But Why Boost Testosterone Naturally In The First Place?

study conducted by researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science tested the effects of testosterone on participants’ ability to lose fat and gain muscle.

What they found is that while testosterone does aid in adding lean mass, the results were not statistically significant until testosterone levels exceeded the normal range —i.e. only what could be achieved by high doses of steroids or the genes of Andre The Giant.

So it appears that increasing your testosterone levels within the normal range won’t significantly help you build muscle.

But they did find a link between high testosterone levels and low body fat percentage: The more testosterone, the less body fat.

So if fat loss is your priority (and it is for most), getting your testosterone levels as high as possible – naturally – should be on your task list.

Plus, there are a number of other benefits that go beyond trimming your waistline…

Benefits of Healthy Testosterone Levels

  • Promotes leadership and aggressive risk-taking, plus feelings of confidence and assertiveness.
  • Strengthens the immune system. Low testosterone correlated with increased sick days, higher levels of stress hormone, and diminished working performance according to a study referenced by Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
  • Promotes energy levels, more resistance to fatigue, and greater physical stamina

Let me ask you this: Surely experiencing the benefits above will help your efforts in the gym, but also in your career and day-to-day life?

<<<Good segue, Mitch>>>

Here’s Some Ways To Boost T Naturally (Since T is Key)

Get To Bed

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Bad news for all you night owls: testosterone is directly related to the amount of sleep you get each night. The more quality, restful sleep, the more you increase your testosterone. Sleep also boosts Growth Hormone and rebuilds your brain. Want an easy way to increase your testosterone? Turn off the TV and computer and go to bed. A number of studies suggest that blue light in the evening disrupts the brain’s natural sleep-wake cycles, so disconnect and read a book or something, buddy.

Lift Weights

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Good news for you, as you know this site is all about weight training. Pumping iron pumps up your baseline testosterone by about 15% according to one study referenced in Lee Myers Natural vs. Testosterone Therapy. Though other studies have suggested the opposite (the hunch is that happens only when nutrition does not allow for proper recovery, i.e. spiking cortisol levels training fasted as high testosterone can’t live in unison with high cortisol).

Eat Your Bread, Man

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In one study, researchers concluded that men who exercise and consume a diet low in carbs experience a rapid increase in the stress hormone, cortisol.

Cortisol can inhibit testosterone production if chronically elevated.

Training is a perceived threat (stress) to the body, which means it elevates cortisol in the bloodstream. Some stress and cortisol is necessary to build muscle, but consuming carbohydrates post workout helps lower cortisol and bring the body back to an anabolic state where you can recover and grow.

To maximize your training potential and minimize cortisol elevations, keep all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) in your diet.

Your best bet is to hire a coach to determine your caloric needs in direct relation to your goals.

Slow Your Roll, Bro

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Your outlook on life controls just about everything, and that applies to your testosterone as well. It’s not just your moose knuckle that pumps out an increase in testosterone, it’s that head of yours between your ears that’s the master switch.

A bit of stress can help you reach your goals in and out of the gym, but it’s all in the dose.  What we don’t realize is that not all our hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, go up with stress. Some hormones, your beloved testosterone, in particular, heads south very quickly under those conditions.

In fact, what science has found is that if your cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is high enough, it is the culprit in shutting down testosterone directly.

Be A Competitor

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Play a sport? Beer league football? Same deal. Even the anticipation of competition can significantly boost testosterone in men. Having a little healthy competition in your life is a good thing. Will this natural spike in testosterone have a measurable impact on your muscle gains? Maybe not directly – but when you’ve got your game face on you work harder.

Steer Clear Of The Candy Aisle

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According to another study in Lee Myer’s work, blood sugar spikes lead to decreased testosterone. The study showed persistent blood sugar elevation can whack testosterone by as much as 25% from baseline.

Metabolic Syndrome (otherwise known as pre-diabetes) – caused by inactivity and chronically high blood sugar levels – is associated with lower levels of testosterone.

It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario – researchers have concluded that “while it is clear that metabolic syndrome can suppress circulating testosterone levels, it has also been documented that low testosterone levels induce the metabolic syndrome.”

Regardless, you knew to watch your junk food intake, but this study gives you an extra incentive: your manhood may be at stake.

Put Down That Beer Funnel

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Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to zinc depletion, which in turn can lead to lower testosterone levels.

That’s heavy consumption though. A pint on a Friday or Saturday night? All good.

Small doses of alcohol can actually be beneficial to your fitness goals – a pint of beer increases testosterone by 17% and has no negative impact on muscle loss – according to one study.

But both testosterone and protein synthesis (i.e. helps muscles grow) drop when drinking more than two pints a night. Daily consumption of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on testosterone and your ability to build muscle and burn fat, even in moderate amounts. You’ll also sleep worse and feel off the next day.

Try to drink your last drop at least two hours before bedtime. And limit it to two drinks  – so it doesn’t turn into an all-night bender where you end up eating a salmonella-filled hot dog from that food vendor at 2 a.m. and wake up with an embarrassing tattoo on your face. Not cool.

Drop the Extra Weight, Fatty

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There is nothing uglier than those love handles to your health: Fat converts ever increasing amounts of your precious testosterone into estrogen.

That’s not cool, man.

In one study that examined 64 severely obese men, their average testosterone was a measly 340ng/dl (for reference LabCorp’s healthy reference range is 348 – 1197 ng/dl). The same study noted that weight was associated with increased estradiol (estrogen).

So, basically, being overweight does everything negative possible to your testosterone levels.

What is interesting is that being overweight lowers SHBG levels, the protein that binds to testosterone, which should translate to higher free testosterone levels. However, multiple studies have shown that being overweight lowers free testosterone as well.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, those extra pounds around your middle have been correlated with lower testosterone.

Get The ‘D’

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Turns out a few cents a day of this all-important vitamin could boost your testosterone levels.

Vitamin D is critical for fertility, muscle growth, exercise performance and hundreds of other physiological processes. Correcting a vitamin D deficiency, which is quite common, can lead to a bump in total testosterone of about 30% according to a number of studies.

Vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, but there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it, in your arteries. A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”

Some researchers claim that it’s crucial to optimize vitamin A and vitamin K2 intake at the same time as supplementing with vitamin D3.

Vitamin K helps regulate where calcium ends up in the body, and high amounts of vitamin D may deplete the body’s stores of vitamin K (source).

Keep in mind that these are just hypotheses based on research, but it may be wise to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients if you are going to supplement with vitamin D.

Generally, it is not recommended to exceed the upper limit of safe intake, which is 4,000 IU (100 micrograms) per day.

If you choose to get your Vitamin D from the sun (good luck to those in the U.K.), keep in mind that you need to expose a large part of your body.

Consider going without sunscreen for the first 10-30 minutes or so (depending on your sensitivity to the sun), then apply it before you start burning.

Sunshine is healthy, but sunburns can cause premature ageing of the skin and raise your risk of skin cancer (source).

Magnesium The Magnificent

What dirt cheap supplement might give you a nice boost in testosterone according to a recent study?

Magnesium is very inexpensive and was found in a study of seniors to be tightly correlated with T levels.

And it is no wonder: magnesium is used by literally hundreds of critical systems in the body. Another very interesting study noted that magnesium levels increased testosterone when combined with exercise.

Magnesium is a good pre-bed supplement to help you wind down at night.

Note: Suggest magnesium citrate (or aspartate), not magnesium oxide. The latter is more of a laxative.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

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There are a number of different testosterone replacement methods available for men with low testosterone, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. We suggest discussing options with your doctor if your test score comes back below the healthy, normal range and/or you’ve exhausted all of the natural remedies listed above.

Where To From Here? Mansformation Challenge 2.0

Overwhelmed? Need a hand putting your natural testosterone boosting plan into action?

The Challenge 2.0
This will be a group coaching program aimed at duplicating the results above. There’s something very powerful about having accountability buddies.

Each week, there will be a live online workshop with me on a topic relevant to losing fat and replacing it with muscle. Think nutrition strategies, tricks in the gym, supplements to use etc., how to eat pie without failing.

Each week, you can expect to lose a few lbs and add muscle along the way.

Each week, you’ll feel more energized and ready to take on your responsibilities at home and work.

And the best part? You’ll get to eat plenty of pie and turkey (because I sure will be too)

Spots are limited, as I want it to be a small, supportive group of action takers.

Why Open This Now? This is the WORST time of year for weight loss…

Most people undo their efforts between Thanksgiving and New Year’s…

Most people will still be fat on Jan. 1.

Most people will still lack energy and sex drive on Jan. 1…

But you aren’t ‘most people’ or you wouldn’t have read this far.

You may have failed in the past, but it doesn’t mean you’ll fail now.

Come take the shortcut to success with me… in 8 weeks.

If you are serious about:

  • Not gaining JUNK WEIGHT the rest of the year
  • Being active the last 8 weeks of 2016
  • Breaking years of horrible holiday habits
  • Having a follow along plan for success
  • Staying lean while still enjoying pie
  • Being part of a motivated community of people in the same stage of life

If you want to apply, click here

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The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site.