Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Simple Rules For What You Should Be Eating Right Now...

By Nick Nilsson 

What you eat on a daily basis determines just about everything you can possibly imagine that goes with your body...your health, mental energy, body composition, athletic name it and what you eat has an impact on it.
These 7 simple rules are here to give you a little nudge in the right direction and make things a little easier for you in your own daily choices. At the bottom of the list, I've also included some good resources you can take advantage of to help you eat better.

Rule #1 - If your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it, don't eat very much of it

Many of the highly-processed pseudo-foods weren't around 50 years ago. Food was more "real" back then and it's an ideal you should strive for now. This basically means choose foods that are less processed and closer to their natural state. Notice I didn't say "don't eat it"...which leads me to Rule #2...

Rule #2 - No food ultimatums

The moment you say "I will never have pizza again," you will immediately start thinking about how much you miss having pizza, even if you hardly eat pizza to begin with. It's like telling somebody not to think about just did it, didn't you :). Same idea with food. That's why I never tell myself I can never have something...if I've got a specific goal and that food won't help me achieve it, I just say it's not on my list right now and I can have it later. No big deal.

Rule #3 - Don't keep junk in the house

And don't tell me you need to have junk food and sweets in the house "for the kids." If it's really for the kids, lock it up in a closet and give your kids the keys so you can't get at any of it then tell me if it's for the kids. Here's the other thing...your kids don't need that junk either!
Anyway, off on a tangent there - that's one excuse that gets me really whipped up. Bottom line is this...if you don't have it in the house, it takes a lot more effort to eat it. If it's in the house, it'll get eaten. If it's not, it won't. Simple.

Rule #4 - Multi-course meals will wipe out your digestion

The more different foods you eat in one meal, the harder it will be for your body to digest it all. Different foods and nutrients require different enzymes to combining too many foods in one meal, you will overload your digestive system and make it less efficient. If you frequently have digestive issues when you eat, try something radical and eat just one food per meal and see what happens. This is especially true of fruit and dairy. Fruit is best eaten separately and by itself.

Rule #5 - You don't have to eat 6 meals a day

That "small, frequent meals" rule you may be familiar with is actually based on a study that showed a very small increase in metabolic rate when a person eats a meal. This evolved into the idea that eating a bunch of small meals helps increase fat loss and nutrient utilization.
Naturally, this was immediately seized upon my supplement manufacturers who promoted the idea that you can't possibly eat FOOD that many times a day, so you should take our meal replacement supplement for those extra 3 meals.
Here's the study has ever confirmed that it's more efficient to eat 6 small meals as opposed to 3 big meals (or even 2!) in terms of body composition results. ZERO. Think about this...if you're constantly supplying your body with food, why would it need to burn bodyfat for energy then?

Rule #6 - Try to eat organic whenever possible

It's true...eating healthy can actually be pretty expensive. Unhealthy foods are generally cheaper because they can be manufactured in large quantities. Healthy foods are more expensive because they are more labor-intensive.
The payoff is that you won't die as soon when you eat healthy foods as opposed to unhealthy foods. I know that's putting it bluntly, but it's true. And you won't suffer from all the food-related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and MANY others (honestly, the vast majority of diseases and conditions being treated by doctors today are entirely avoidable with a good diet).
So when it comes to eating organic, just do the best you can. Get it when you can and realize this...when a food is of higher quality, it's more digestible and you're going to get more nutrition out of it and you can eat smaller servings (at least that's what I keep telling myself when I eat grass-fed beef...DANG is that's hard not to eat twice as much of it).

Rule #7 - Take supplements intelligently

I judge supplements primarily on their nutritional value, not for how many bolts of lightning appear in their magazine ads. The majority of the supplements I take are there to help support my nutritional state, not to muck with my physiology.
I take a multivitamin, protein, vitamin C, vitamin D3 (for immune system function - VERY important in the winter!), magnesium, krill oil, fish oil, BCAA's, K2, calcium, and a few other things, depending on my current goals. All that exotic garbage you see ads for in the magazines is mainly just that...exotic garbage. You don't need it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will Fruit Make You Fat?

By Nick Nilsson

Learn the truth about it the diabolical diet-killer it's
sometimes made out to be or is it just fruit
and actually pretty good for you?!

The answer to the question of whether fruit can or will make you fat isn't as simple as yes OR no...because the answer is yes AND no.

Sound confusing? It's not so bad!

There have been studies done on fruit sugar (fructose) and how it's metabolized in the body and liver, which I'll get into in a bit, but I'm also going to talk about fruit from a practical standpoint.

First, here is why it WON'T make you fat...

Fruit is a fat-free (with rare exception, like avocados) and fairly low-calorie, high-fiber food. It's going to be hard to eat ENOUGH fruit to result in an excess of calories, resulting in noticeable fat gain...hard, but not impossible.

You would have to look long and hard to find somebody who ate a lot of fruit and had gained a lot of fat because of all the fruit they ate. Fruit roll-ups, fruit juice (with 10% real juice), Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops...maybe not so hard, though I do have to say high fructose corn syrup is NOT a fruit just because it has the word "fructose" in it, so that doesn't count.

And I don't know about you, but I have yet to hear of somebody sitting down in front of the television and not realizing they ate an entire bag of apples or saying their doctor told them they need to lay off the bananas!

"Real" fruit actually contains a lot of water, nutrients, fiber, etc...healthy stuff...stuff your body NEEDS. It's generally when we start mucking around with fruit that we start to run into problems.

In the words of Homer Simpson..."This jelly donut has purple stuff in it. Purple is a fruit."
That being said, there ARE metabolic issues with fruit and fat.

Yes, it IS true that the body has certain limitations processing fructose (the type of sugar found in fruit).

Fructose can only be stored as glycogen (glycogen is the carbohydrate storage molecule in the body) in the liver, not in the muscles. Muscle cells lack the proper enzymes to convert fructose into this storage molecule.

So that leaves the liver for storage...

When liver glycogen levels are full and your body can't store any more carbs in the liver, fructose IS easier for the body to convert into fat than other carbs because of its molecular structure.

This fat is NOT immediately converted into bodyfat, however. It becomes free fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream. If they're not burned, they CAN be stored as bodyfat.

But the OTHER good stuff you find in fruit, notably the fiber and vitamins and minerals, outweigh the "dangers" of storing a little extra fat.

And here's the point that a lot of people miss, especially when they hear that fruit has the potential to work against fat loss when on a diet...

If you're dieting, you should be in a caloric deficit. This means that your liver glycogen levels should very RARELY be full. You're in a deficit after all!


1. The fructose should have little chance of being converted into fat.

2. If some excess fructose IS converted to fat, chances are good it'll be USED by the body soon after being converted to fat because you're in a caloric deficit.

Granted, just like ANY other carbohydrate, if you eat too much of it, it can be stored as fat. If you're a competitive bodybuilder peaking for a competition, you MAY have to watch your fruit intake to be sure you come in at your leanest.

But for the average person looking to drop bodyfat, fruit is not something I would be too worried about (unless you're on a low-carb diet, in which case you're watching ALL carbs anyway).

I would be FAR more concerned about a person drinking too much of that diet soda garbage while dieting before I'd even be slightly concerned about them eating an apple.

Bottom line, my stance is this...DO NOT feel guilty about eating fruit, even while dieting. Treat it as you would any other food with calories in it and simply be aware of your intake because ANY food has the potential to make you fat, especially if you eat it when your body doesn't need any more calories for that day.

If you want to minimize the impact of fruit on your fat-loss diet, eat it in the morning when liver glycogen levels are naturally at their lowest point. This will help ensure fructose won't be converted into fat.

Honestly, there are MUCH more important things to worry about when it comes to fat loss...your training and overall nutrition are much more important than worrying about eating too much fruit.


Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 18 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick's 30-day "DirtyLittle Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST," 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barbell-Bench Transition Planks for Core Strength, Dynamic Stability...and a Tighter, Flatter Stomach!

By Nick Nilsson

If you're interested in flatter abs and a stronger core, the plank is one of the key exercises you should be doing. Once the normal abdominal plank gets too easy, you've got a variety of options to make it more challenging, more interesting and more effective.

This is one of those options!

This is nice variation of the plank that involves dynamic transitions between two different plank positions...forearm and straight arm planks. The benefit lies in the moment of transition between the two positions.

You can do this type of dynamic plank on the floor, but I prefer to do it on a flat bench and a barbell set in the power rack (or another bar set at the right height, be it Smith machine or even the handle of another machine). I'll tell you why this is effective once I show you the exercise.

So first, set the bar a little above the level of the bench and set the bench about four or five feet away from the bar. Where you place it will depend on how tall you'll need to adjust it to get the spacing right.

Set your forearms on the bench then hook your toes over the bar, keeping your body straight and stiff.

Now, the reason I use the bar is I find that when going the plank on the ground on the toes, it increases leg/hip flexor contribution to the stabilization of the core. When you hook the toes over, it takes some of that away and focuses more on the core for the stabilizing tension.

This will immediately make the plank harder to do.

The next step here is to transition to a straight arm plank. Lean over onto the right arm then set your left hand on bench. Straighten out your left arm then set your right hand flat on the bench. At multiple points in this transition, you're basically planking on one arm.

Then just repeat on the opposite side, setting your left forearm on the bench while bending your right arm. Now you're back with your forearms flat on the bench.

Repeat the maneuver until you can no longer support your body in the plank position.

Now, this one sounds simple but it's actually surprisingly tough to do. The transitioning with the majority of the tension go through one side while your toes are hooked over the bar instead of set on the floor puts a whole different tension on the core.

If you're new to the plank, this is not the version you should jump in and start with it. If you're already familiar with the plank, you're going to really enjoy this variation and how it targets the obliques and deep transverse abdominus muscles with the dynamic repositioning of the arms.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sex, Aging and Longevity

Can Sex Increase Life Expectancy?:

Sex (having more sex) may increase how long you live. Sex releases several hormones in the body, increases intimacy and bonding, and works against loneliness and depression. Staying sexually active has physical, stress relieving, social and mental benefits. According to theRealAge books, frequent orgasms (about 100 per year) can increase life expectancy by 3-8 years, however, keep in mind that the science on this is somewhat spotty. Studies show that men with a high frequency of orgasms have a 50 percent reduction in mortality risk

Have more sex, live longer - Video abc News
How great sex can help you live longer

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Your Waistline

Shorten your rests between sets in the weight room to 60 seconds or less.  Lifting faster stimulates the production of growth hormone, which, in addition to building muscle, siphons lard from your fat cells, says William J. Kramer, Ph.D., director of the human performance laboratory at Ball State University.

So you get a big chest and a slim waist from the same workout.

Who could complain about that...

Resolutions - Achieving Success

Were you one of many who made a New Year’s Resolution?
Have you made them in the past?
If so, did you achieve what you set out to achieve?
If you did, could you have accomplished more?


When you have decided what and how you would like to improve yourself, your life, or whatever your goals you have in mind - create a floor not a ceiling.

What I mean by that is, do not create a stopping point. Many times we set out to do things and find out that we could do so much more yet we stop and praise ourselves because we accomplished what we set out to do.

Give yourself a floor, a goal you can achieve that is obtainable. You certainly don’t want to fail before you even begin. Now, the sky is the limit!

If you have more than one goal in mind, prioritize them from short to long term and set some realistic dates you think are achievable for you.

Write down your goals in a place you will see them every day. Each day you look at them, tell yourself what you will do to accomplish them and chose the most direct path that will get you to your goal. If you’re unsure about a timeline or unsure of how to get there look at the end result and use backward planning. See yourself there -  now work backwards. What steps were involved to make that happen?


Have a clear vision of exactly what you want.  See your goal as a target, let go of everything else and focus all your attention on your target. Choose the straightest path using the least amount of energy (don’t bring a knife to a gun fight), stick to that path and hit that target!

Energy is a funny thing; if you were a meat cutter you wouldn’t go to work with a wooden spoon and expect to make any great accomplishments. Focus the least amount of energy to make the greatest results, thus giving your more time for other important things in your life.

Track yourself and your accomplishments. Give yourself praise when you are progressing and getting closer to your goal.

Believe in yourself, see yourself where you want to be and you will soon be there.

You are the GREATEST! You are the BEST at what you do! You can! You will!
Now repeat that in the morning and every night starting with

“I AM”

Wishing you a successful and prosperous New Year!

Waco & Rikki