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In this episode, we begin by talking about the origin of Flexible Dieting (1:49), the Bodybuilding.com forums, and Dr. Joe’s “Pop Tart Diet” (4:10). We then take a deeper dive into If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) and touch on when/where it came into fruition (5:25). With the education gap amidst all of the ever-changing fad diets, it’s important to understand the “why” behind each of them (7:40). There are a plethora of rules and guidelines in place that you’re told to blindly follow, yet you may not even know why.
Lastly, we explain what Flexible Dieting really is (8:43) and provide you with some research that we’ve gathered to help further your understanding (10:49). Then to wrap things up, we discuss how tracking your macros could potentially affect your relationship with food (17:05).
- 1:49 - Where did Flexible Dieting come from?
- Bodybuilding.com forums
- 4:10 - Dr. Joe’s “Pop Tart Diet”
- 5:25 - Where/when IIFYM came to fruition
- 6:27 - Why does a meal plan work?
- 7:40 - Education gap with nutrition
- Understanding the “why” behind all of the “rules” and “guidelines”
- 8:43 What really is Flexible Dieting?
- 10:49 - Research on Flexible Dieting
- 17:05 - Tracking macros and your relationship with food
In this episode, we explain the nutritional hierarchy of performance pyramid (2:05). At the base, you have your calories (7:37) followed by your macros (7:37), which consists of your carbs, fats, and protein. You may have heard of some debate around carbs vs. fats (18:59) so we not only wanted to touch on that, but explain the difference between what’s necessary vs. what’s optimal (20:36). Moving on, we talk about fiber (24:23) and it’s importance in your diet. It’s possible to under and over eat on fiber, so you want to make a conscious effort to pay attention to that number. Then to wrap things up, we discuss the ever-so hot topic of alcohol (27:26). You may be wondering if you can go out for a few drinks and “stay on track” or what the best way to go about social situations surrounding alcohol is. If you’re curious and looking for an answer, be sure continue listening for our tips!
- 2:05 - The nutritional hierarchy of performance pyramid
- 7:37 - The Base: Calories
- 12:58 - Next layer up: Macros
- 18:59 - The “debate” of are carbs vs. fats?
- 20:36 - Necessary vs. optimal
- 24:23 - What about fiber?
- 27:26 - What is alcohol?
- 28:30 Macro Distribution of Foods
In this episode, we start off by briefly recapping how you figure out your calories (2:25). We then walk you through those steps with an example (10:08). Once you know what your calories should be, depending on your goal, you can move on to setting your macros (15:43). We understand that this may be a little confusing and even overwhelming, so we’ve included a link to a PDF that lists out these steps for you! Lastly, to wrap things up, we touch on protein. More specifically, whether or not you should be eating less or more protein if you are in a gaining vs. dieting phase (27:28).
- 1:13 - Macros Made for You PDF
- 2:25 - How do we figure out our calories? Recap from episode 2.
- 5:52 - How to figure out your calories
- 10:08 - Female example
- 15:43 - Figuring out and setting your macros
- 27:28 - Less or more protein in a gaining phase
In this episode, we talk about the possibility of tracking your macros incorrectly. To get right into it, we explain what happens if you simply eyeball or just don’t track what you’re eating (2:56). This then leads us into the discussion of how you can track accurately and whether or not you need to use a food scale (4:45). We’ve gotten a few questions on why you can’t just use a measuring cup instead, so we make sure to explain that as well (5:04).
Once you have a general understanding on tracking your food, we take you through how to use and navigate MyFitnessPal (9:08). From tracking foods with labels (10:40) to foods without labels like fresh fruits/veggies (10:57) to weighing your meats raw vs. cooked, we have you covered. And if you’ve ever scanned a label that doesn’t match what the app populates (17:08), keep on listening for what to do! Now that we’ve covered the basics, we walk you through how to track those foods (i.e. meats, rice) that you cook in bulk to meal prep (18:41).
After you’ve been tracking for quite some time, it’ll become like second nature to you. Not only will you be able to guesstimate (22:45) different foods, but eating out (26:32) or even enjoying a drink or two (30:45) won’t be as stressful. Lastly, we know that not everyone around you will understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, especially weighing and tracking what you’re eating. So to help you with these conversations and situations, we give you our best advice after going through it ourselves (36:01).
- 2:56 - What happens if you don’t track your macros or are simply eyeballing?
- 4:54 - How do I track accurately? Do I need a food scale?
- 5:04 - Food scale vs. measuring cups
- 6:45 - Visual aids on how to track macros and see the serving sizes of different foods
- 9:08 - MyFitnessPal
- 10:40 - Tracking foods with food labels
- 10:57 - Tracking foods (fresh fruits and veggies) without food labels
- 12:27 - Tracking raw vs. cooked meats
- 14:21 - The ratio
- 16:45 - Link a graphic of cooked vs. raw meats
- 17:08 - What do you do if you scan a label and what you see isn’t what’s on the food label?
- 18:41 - Cooking and tracking food that you cook in bulk
- 22:45 - Tips and tricks for guesstimating your macros
- 24:33 - Under vs. over estimating depending on your goals
- 26:32 - Eating Out Guide
- 30:45 - How to track alcohol
- 36:01 - Feeling self conscious about tracking around family/friends
In this episode, we talk about all things Keto - from what it is (5:43) to what your macro proportions should be if you’re following this approach (10:02) to whether or not you should vary your protein intake depending on your training levels (13:02). Moving on, there’s been some debate on whether Keto is high fat or low carb, so we make sure to answer that for you as well (16:21). Then to wrap up part one of this two part episode, we discuss Keto and Intermittent Fasting (24:34).
- 5:52 - What is Keto?
- 10:02 - Macro proportions for following a Keto approach
- 13:02 - Training levels and varying protein intake
- 16:21 - Is Keto high fat or low carb?
- 24:34 - Keto and intermittent fasting
In this episode, we dive straight into insulin (1:33). We explain the difference between chronically high glucose levels and acute glucose levels (2:00), the role of insulin itself (3:59), and even give you an analogy to make the concept easier to understand (4:41). Moving on, we explain insulin resistance (9:07), as well as the cause of Type 2 Diabetes (9:44).
When it comes to our bodies, we create new “storage” areas (11:11) and that’s where the weight regain problem (12:20) comes into play. To further this discussion, there are two models of obesity and weight gain (13:42) that we touch on.
Now that all-things Keto have been covered, we go into detail as for what each of our pros and cons are (Zach - 16:01, Miguel - 20:05). Then to wrap up this episode, we talk about why and how people are losing weight (23:40) eating Keto, as well as choosing your carb sources wisely (26:49).
- 1:33 - What is insulin?
- 2:00 - Chronically high glucose levels vs. acute glucose levels
- 3:59 - The role of insulin
- 4:41 - Mother to insulin analogy
- 9:07 - Insulin resistance
- 9:44 - The cause of Type 2 Diabetes
- 11:11 - Your body’s creation of new “storage” areas
- 12:20 - The weight regain problem
- 13:42 - Two models of obesity and weight gain
- 16:01 - Zach’s pros and cons of the Keto diet
- 20:05 - Miguel’s pros and cons of the Keto diet
- 23:40 - Keto and weight loss
- 26:49 - Choosing your carb sources wisely
In this episode we talk about what “healthy” really means. But before we begin, we need to explain what the definition of “healthy” is (5:03).
Once we have this general understanding, we talk about those healthy foods, our hunger cues (6:29), and the benefits of eating more wholesome, minimally processed foods. We then take a deep dive into the difference between processed and unprocessed foods, as well as the different types of processed foods (13:15).
It’s important to know that you cannot see foods as “good” or “bad” (15:08) but need to realize that the two have different goals. Additionally, when you hear people saying, “I don’t want to eat chemicals” (17:29), understand that this statement stems from a lack of understanding of basic chemistry. We won’t go into detail here but provide an example or two in the episode itself.
Moving forward, we have the the topic of organic (vs. non-organic) foods and which is better? First and foremost, we need to define what “better” actually means. Is it in regards to a food’s nutrient content or its beneficial impact on an individual’s health. Then to wrap things up, we explain what categorizes a certain food as organic.
In this episode, we pick up where we left off in part one and dive right into GMO’s (0:35). Since the beginning, we’ve been genetically modifying our food. The only difference now is that we can be more selective by picking and choosing those genes. As for those arguments against GMOs, research has proven that it’s safe to say that there is no harmful impact of GMOs on human health (3:12).
There are studies out there that have taken a sample of individuals who shop GMO vs. those that do not (4:08), which have resulted in the findings that there is no real benefit to not eating GMO (6:23).
Moving forward, we discuss the vegan diet, which has been deemed as “superior” to all other diets (7:02). Whether you’re a vegan or not, we take a deeper dive into what few things should be taken into consideration in regards to food choices (11:05).
Last but not least, we touch on following If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) and eating highly processed foods (17:40), as well as explain the study behind the Twinkie diet (18:05) to tie it all together.
In this episode we talk about everything around meal timing. From “Intermittent Fasting” to eating 6 times a day to understanding what’s happening at physiological level and how can you modify it to put yourself in the best position to succeed. We first cover the definition of meal timing (3:05) on both a daily and weekly basis.
After discussing the basics, we go into the biggest debate of macro-nutrient timing (3:57) and how you can focus on meal timing in respect to your metabolism, as well as how it can be used to gain muscle mass (4:38).
Moving on, we explain macro timing (5:00), what’s happening from a caloric stand point, and arguments around the different eating windows. Alongside that discussion, we help further your understanding of the thermic effect of food (6:27). This leads us to answering the question of “is there a benefit to eating 6 times a day so your body can turn into a metabolic thermis?”
Once we’ve answered and explained our thoughts on that debate, we talk about what Intermittent Fasting really is (8:35) and if it’s really a “diet” or not. Additionally, we go into depth on whether breakfast really is the most important meal of the day (11:13) because we’ve all heard that before!
Lastly, we talk about the two hormones that help regulate our hunger levels (14:05) because this will truly help you understand what’s going on with your body. And to wrap up this episode, we circle back around to Intermittent Fasting and autophagy (21:06)
In this episode, we continue with our conversation on meal timing and building the perfect eating schedule for you. We start off by going into detail about the study of the guy who fasted for 379 days (0:30), as well as explain why Intermittent Fasting works for some individuals but is a “bandaid” for others (3:50).
As you listen, you’ll understand why it’s so important to get to the root of why you are choosing to intermittent fast and the impact it can potentially have on your day-to-day life. We then go into a discussion of overweight, more so obese, individuals and the difference in their hormone levels (9:39).
To further our level of understanding around meal timing, we talk about protein distribution (13:57) and how it can help maximize muscle growth. There was a previous study done by Murphy (15:19) that compared a balanced protein diet, of 3 meals with 30g of protein each, to a standard “western diet.” The finding was that those individuals who ate more of a balanced diet of frequent protein feedings had greater protein synthesis than the latter. So ideally, 4 meals per day about 3-5 hours apart can help you increase muscle growth.
We then dive into the benefits and timing of both pre and post workout meals (17:37) since we all want to make sure we make the most out of our training sessions. Lastly, we explain what happens if you “break your fast” (19:15) with say - coffee and a little bit of creamer. Then to wrap things up for this two part episode, we touch on what we call “starvation mode” and metabolic adaptation (12:02).
In this episode, we talk about supplements. We start off by explaining what supplements are and how they’re regulated (1:23). Keep in mind that there are a lot of false claims floating around.
In regards to what health supplements we’d recommend, a fish oil (7:12) is at the top of our list followed by Vitamin D3 (13:33), then a multivitamin (20:37). With all of this talk around what’s necessary, we wanted to explain whether or not it’s possible to overdose on a supplement (18:13) and which supplements you want to be careful not to take too much of.
These next two recommendations are going to be geared towards vegan athletes (23:56) - Vitamin D12, which can have an effect on your mood, and iron since it is mainly found in meats. Lastly, we discuss the ever-growing popularity of green supplements (25:37) and whether they a necessity or not.
To wrap part one of this two part episode up, we talk about the placebo effect (28:53). What this means is that if there’s no research backing a certain supplement but it made you feel better, that feeling was not an effect of the supplement itself.
Fish Oil Recommendations:
In this episode, we’re going to get right back into it. Glucose disposal agents (0:40) are the last health supplement we want to talk about. They’re often marketed as the supplement that will help push those extra carbs (i.e. that you consume from say a “cheat meal”) to the right places. However, what we’re finding is that there is little to no effect of this for the average/healthy individual. While you’re listening, keep in mind that nothing you take will fix everything; it’s an all encompassing approach.
Moving on, we talk about our top two recommended performance supplements (5:42). The first is creatine monohydrate, which will help improve your performance in the gym. You have the option to take 20g per day for a week, then just 5g daily afterwards or start with 5g a day and take that consistently - both will lead to the same results. Continue listening if you want a more in depth explanation. Next, we have caffeine (19:11).
Caffeine can help improve your cognitive performance, strength output, and overall workload capacity. Because each individual has different tolerance levels, you’ll have to find the dosage that works best for you. You also want to keep in mind that caffeine does have a half life of about 8 hours, as well as the easy possibility of taking in too much and overdosing on it (23:05).
To finish out this episode, we discuss citrulline malate (28:24) - a supplement that isn’t backed by science but is used by most individuals to help get a “pump.” Lastly, we touch on beta alanine (33:07). For those of you that are familiar with this one, it makes you feel tingly and like you’re skin is crawling. We explain both of these in more detail in the episode, so be sure to listen until the end.
In this episode, we talk about how to smash weight and fat loss plateaus. To begin, we define what a plateau is (1:24) and explain what happens when you first start losing weight (2:22). You’ll learn more about this in the episode itself but at the beginning, your first initial drop can be pretty significant due to losing water weight. However, after that, you’ll see more consistent progress (3:20).
Next, we move on to a few compounding variables that can make a difference in your weight loss (4:57). These can include but aren’t limited to - sleep quality, overall stress levels, and whether or not you’re able to go to the bathroom. In terms of stress, we dive deeper into cortisol (12:53), which is the stress hormone can have both beneficial and negative impacts on your body. Remember that you have to earn the right to lose fat and that your body will fight you. So if you’re chronically stressed out, you won’t lose the weight. Then to wrap this episode up, we explain how high stress training (18:02), as well as high sodium levels (18:47) can impact your weight.
In this episode, we pick back up where we left off with dehydration (0:23). Water is arguably one of the most important things in our body, so you can see an acute spike in your weight if you’re drinking too little or too much water. Females should aim for roughly 3 liters per day and males, 4 liters. And when it comes to weighing yourself, you want to do this first thing in the morning (preferably) after you use the restroom.
Moving on, let’s talk about the menstrual cycle for females, which will also cause water retention. The majority of the female population will say they feel bloated and watery for the time being; however, depending on the individual, there is a large variability in regards to how much weight will be gained. For example, one female might gain 3 lbs but another, 10 lbs.
Now that we’ve talked about a few of the compounding variables, let’s discuss how to determine if you’ve truly hit a plateau (6:54) and if you have, what you can do about it. The first thing is to look at your weekly average. Instead of looking at your weight from just one day, compare two weekly averages to each other. If you’re not seeing a change, reduce either your carbs or fats somewhere between 5-10%. Another option is to implement a refeed or diet break (6:54).
One is more of a calculated approach while the other is seen more as a “cheat day.” To learn more, be sure to listen to the entire episode where we take a deeper dive into what each approach entails. And to finish up this two part episode around smashing plateaus, we explain how you can find your new maintenance level calories after dieting for X weeks (17:43). To reiterate, remember to look at your weekly average of weigh-ins (20:45).
In this episode, we talk about metabolism and why yours isn’t broken. Before we start, we define what metabolism is (1:30). And once you have a better understanding, from a scientific perspective, we dive into detail of what your metabolic rate is made of up (1:58).
First, we have your basal metabolic rate, which is the energy you need to stay alive. For example, the energy you’re going to expend just laying down. Second, we have your non-resting energy expenditure (3:30), which is the energy you expend when you’re not at rest.
There are two parts to this: your physical activity/movement and your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Within the fitness community, there’s an interesting conversation around this topic (4:33) and that includes those NEAT liars (7:34). Third, we have the thermic effect of food (8:42) and that’s the energy required to digest the food that you’re eating.
Now that we’ve talked about what your metabolic rate includes, let’s look at a few variances (9:03). The biggest one here is going to be tied to NEAT (10:04). If you want to hear more, be sure to continue listening. As we wrap up this episode, we answer two questions. The first is whether or not your metabolism really is broken (15:42). Because there’s a discrepancy between people underreporting what they’re eating while over reporting their energy expenditure, they think their metabolism is broken. And the second, does your metabolism slow down as you age (25:50)?
In this episode, we discuss the ever-so popular debate of your calories vs. your hormones. To start things off, we talk about what is actually happening (2:01). In one corner, you have calories in vs. calories out and in the other corner, you have the hormone model. The hormone model, which is also known as the carb model, says that you get a spike in insulin when you eat carbs. However, research shows that insulin doesn’t have the role that people believe it does (6:13) and that it will raise whether coming from a carb or protein source. This is because your body sees nutrients as nutrients and nothing less or more (8:50).
Moving on, we explain fat storage and the process of how your body stores body fat (9:30), as well as how our hormones affect our metabolic rate (14:49). The punch line here is that not only are your hormones are important, but will impact your hunger levels (19:13). Yes, your hormones can cause you to burn less energy but if you want to lose weight, you can drop your energy intake. Remember that you need a certain amount of dietary fat to produce those life giving hormones that are necessary to put you in the best position to succeed (22:28).
In today’s episode, we’re talking about artificial sweeteners, what we actually know, and giving you an unbiased opinion to what they actually are. We start off by explaining what artificial sweeteners, also referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners, are (1:21) and what the biggest advantage to consuming them is (2:43). Keeping everything we’ve talked about thus far in mind, it’s important to understand the nutritional hierarchy of importance - calories in vs. calories out (3.58).
Since we’ve covered the basics of artificial sweeteners, we go into explaining the three different types. First, we have aspartame (5:56), which is the most common sweetener in diet beverages and is made up of 2 amino acids. The maximum amount that the FDA says can be consumed is 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. However, this recommendation is 10x less than what they actually think is the maximum dosage and that is to protect themselves (7:56).
Second, we have sucralose (10:15). Sucralose is made to imitate table sugar in its taste and is used in the majority of your protein powders, bars, etc. The FDA recommends no more than 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, but keep in mind that “per day” is over the span over a long period of time. And lastly, we have stevia (17:43), which is an extract from the stevia leaf. Stevia is sweeter than sucralose and the FDA has approved 4 milligrams of killiograms of bodyweight per day.
At the end of the day, your body doesn’t see the various artificial sweeteners differently (21:52). In fact, it has no idea what specific ones you’re consuming so it is okay to have them in moderation (23:33). Now to wrap this episode up, we explain what meta analysis (25:04) is and dive deeper into detail in regards to the studies done on artificial sweeteners, as well as discuss what we know about artificial sweeteners in the microbiome (34:05).
In today’s episode, we’re talking about my nutritional journey. Miguel kicks things off by asking me what led me to start caring about food and nutrition (5:02). Although I was extremely active - surfing during the day and playing basketball all night, I didn’t know what a vegetable was. Instead of thinking about what I was eating, I ate whatever I wanted until 20 years old. That was until I suffered from a career ending injury and, after speaking with my mentor, realized things needed to be turned around (11:10).
So in late 2011, I searched “what is the best diet” in Google and came across the Paleo Diet. While this approach led to weight loss, it also led to me having an all out “cheat day” every 7 to 10 days (15:10).
After following the Paleo Diet for over a year, I decided to get my PN certifications and start learning from other, highly respected individuals within the industry (18:28). This was when I came across macros and started tracking my food. However, this approach didn’t better my relationship with food since I was solely trying to fit in all of those “junk” foods. Once I realized that I was overeating almost every single day, that’s when I decided to start remaking those foods to be more macro friendly. Now, years later, I’m at a point where I look at each day as a whole and how nutrition can help me live my best life (22:15). Continue listening to hear me talk about why I chose to continue learning more about nutrition after I recovered from my injury (25:27), as well as whether or not I was controlled by wanting to maximize food volume (30:30).
To wrap things up, I dive into my thoughts on body dysmorphia (35:17). When you get to a point where you’re seeing results, it’s so important to be careful to not become too obsessive. Remember this - when you look in the mirror, your natural inclination is going to be to point out what you don’t like about your body and what you want to improve.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about concrete ways to improve your relationship with food. Miguel starts things off by explaining where he came from and how he views food (2:45). After we hear from Miguel, we explain how coming from a place of restriction, whether that be from food choices and/or calories, gives your body a response of “I want more food/calories,” which then leads to a “let me get it out my system” mindset (6:15).
Once you get to that point, it’s no longer about food (8:40). You’ve created this narrative that you’re a failure. For example, if you eat more Oreos than just the one or two you planned on having, you think that you might as well eat the entire package. Therefore, if you aren’t able to change your mindset that food X is a trigger food, you’re giving it all the more power to destroy you (9:31). This then leads into our conversation around what we call, confirmation bias (10:04).
Confirmation bias happens when we not only tell ourselves a story, but want to make sure that we prove ourselves right. However, it’s important to remind yourself that you have the choice to fit in the foods that you want but you don’t have to (12:05). So if you’re dieting, as you get leaner, know that your body is going to give you the response that it wants more food but that food will also taste better (13:23).
Moving on, we discuss your body fat set point, which is also known as your body’s fighting weight (15:23). This is where you feel your best and that isn’t where you’re extremely learn or huge. Then to wrap up this episode, we talk about cheat days (19:28). From Miguel’s perspective, he’d go out to eat a bigger meal but it’d never be out of his control. As soon as he finished his meal, that was it. Because you’re being restrictive when you’re dieting, you’re eating alone more often than not. Therefore, you aren’t partaking in a lot of the experiences people have when going out and sharing a meal. This leads us to the point that food provides us with an escape from reality, especially from the parts that we aren’t happy with (22:14). So what happens is that food, for example, is something that people can enjoy that takes away that feeling of deprivation.
In this episode, we pick back up where we left with improving your relationship with food. If you can get happier in other aspects of your life, you won’t feel like you have to try and find an escape (0:29). Also, if you can get out of a stressful situation, whatever it may be, the chances of you grabbing food X are less than if you were highly stressed. However, if you are going through stressful times, try not to have the foods in your house that you know you’ll automatically gravitate towards (1:15).
With all of this being said, keep the Law of Diminishing Returns (2:21) and behavioral economics in mind. While the first one or two oreos Oreos will taste pretty freaking good, as you continue eating more, they’ll start to taste just alright. It is important to note though that food will only get tastier (4:48). For example, the difference in taste between a side of broccoli and any kind of dessert will only get bigger. This is when you have to remember that not only do you have a choice, but that you are in control.
Moving on, Miguel asks what advice I’d give to someone who says, “I want to have Oreos in my house so I can eat them in moderation, but I can’t” (7:02). This is all about changing the narrative you tell yourself, being aware, and knowing that situations like this are case sensitive. Case sensitive meaning that the chances of you overeating on Oreos is dependent on whether or not you had a satiating meal prior to going for the Oreo. And for me personally, instead of eating an Oreo as it is and as the end-all-be-all, I like to use it as a topping. Now, let’s dive into the topic of conversation around my thoughts on cheat days (13:12).
First, when you label a meal as a “cheat meal,” you’re already telling yourself that you’ve failed. So instead, I prefer to use the word “untracked” or “free.” The biggest thing you can do when it comes to taking an untracked/free meal is to reframe the situation and shift your mindset. Understand that there are going to be times where you’ll eat more food than less food but to also look at your calories/macros on a weekly vs. daily basis. Most importantly, just be smart. And to wrap things up, we walk through a scenario with you. Say you’ve been eating normally throughout the day when one of your friends, who’s in town visiting, asks you to meet for dinner - what do you do (18:35)? You first want to ask yourself, how close of a friend is this person and are you being guilted into going out? If this friendship matters to you, then go and enjoy that meal. If not, then don’t.
In today’s episode, we discuss the debate between “macro friendly” foods and the “real thing.” Once you align yourself to one viewpoint, not only do you see every other perspective as wrong but you’re also not willing to listen to what the other side has to say. After being on and experiencing both sides (3:20) though, I’ve come to realize that the magic is in the middle (5:55). What it comes down to is you making a rational decision based on where you’re currently at. For example, are you going through a dieting phase and looking for more low calorie, macro friendly foods to help satisfy your cravings while hitting your macros? If you are, then it’s okay to go for those foods. However, if you can be a little more flexible and eat the “real thing” then do that - if you want to. At the end of the day, it’s about what’s going to help you reach your goals while living a sustainable lifestyle.
Now that we’ve heard my thoughts, Miguel talks about his (7:02) and what to take into consideration when making a decision. A lot of times, it comes down to taste vs. food volume, so ask yourself how much of a difference there is between the two sides and how important one factor is over the other. At the end of the day, remember that the decision is yours and is all about balance. Moving on, we touch on tracking your macros while eating out (11:55). When you’re out at a restaurant, you can’t focus on eating until you’re full like you would if you were eating the macro friendly version. Instead, you want to eat until you’re satisfied and your craving is crushed. And to wrap up this episode, we emphasize the point that you and your goals are more important than the opinions of others (14:02).<p?
In today’s episode, we’re talking all about meal plans. To kick things off, Miguel explains the research behind meal plans (1:35). There are two main types of meal plans. On one hand, you have a rigid dietary restraint and that’s the idea that you have a meal plan where you’re either “on” or “off” with no in between. On the other, there’s a flexible dietary restraint. This is where you understand that certain foods and calories can be switched out. So what are the benefits to having a meal plan? Probably the most important being that it provides you with structure. With structure comes the ability to reverse engineer your day (5:37).
There are going to be moments throughout your day when you can’t or don’t have the time to think about food. For these times, you have two options. You can either eat a typical meal that you know you enjoy or you can plan out your food/macros the night before. While you’re creating structure, you know that nutrition can be thought of as a dimmer switch. The goal is to track now, so you don’t have to for the rest of your life (9:03).
Moving on, we discuss society’s weight gain problem. If you follow Layne Norton, you’ve heard him say, “we don’t have a weight loss problem, we have a weight gain problem” (13:57). People can diet and lose weight, we see that. The problem is when people stop dieting and go back to their old behaviors like not moving as much or not thinking about their cravings. Diets aren’t some sort of a reset button. Something has to change in order for you to maintain your weight, new shape, etc. With that being said, the people that find success with dieting are those that incorporate their new behaviors into their life, for the rest of their life.
And now, to wrap this episode up, we touch on why we promote Flexible Dieting (19:55).
In today’s episode, we dive into calorie cycling. To start things off, we explain that your diet is not ruined after indulging in one high calorie day (1:45). Our body notices trends, recognizes feedback, and is always working to get back to an equilibrium state. So if you’re in “flow” during the week doing what you love, it’s okay to eat lower calorie on those days and a little more on the weekends (7:47). It’s about figuring out what works best for you and your schedule, as well as finding overall consistency.
Moving on, we talk about why don’t you have to force feed yourself at the end of the night if haven't hit your macros (9:27). There are going to be days where you’re either in constant flow or just get busy and before you know it, have barely eaten anything. If you’re hungry, eat but if you aren’t, it’s okay to just call it a night. By not forcing food, you’ll possibly lose just a little bit of weight and/or you’ll have more calories to play with that week. On the other hand, if you overeat by 100 calories, more times than not, you won’t have to eat 100 calories less the next day (12:49).
This is because when your body gets a small influx of extra food, especially in a dieting phase, there’s a good chance it’ll give you the physiological response to move a little more the next day. However, if you eat an extra thousand or so calories, your body will only burn a greater percentage of it off. Now to wrap things up, we harpe on the importance of listening to your body (15:38). Remember that your body isn’t happening to you but for you - it wants to survive and live a long life.
In today’s episode, we’re going to walk you through how to build your own calorie cycling plan. First and foremost, you’ll want to look at your week as a whole (0:39). Most people are typically busier during the week with more free time during the weekend. Once you know that, the next step is to figure out your weekly total. To do that, multiply each macro goal for the day by 7.
Now that you’ve done that, you have to decide whether you want to start with your weekday or weekend calories then reverse engineer from there. The biggest thing you want to remember is not to eat less during the week to only overeat over the weekend. You’ll also want to keep protein constant, so play with just your carbs and fats. Another option you have is to taper your calories (3:54) and slowly add in more calories throughout the week.
Now that I’ve talked through how I’d approach setting up my game plan, Miguel walks you through his (5:29). Start by taking the average amount of calories you want to eat for the week, then reduce that number by 10-15%. Once you’ve done that, add those calories to the day where you want to have more food to play with and will be eating a little more. It doesn’t matter which method you use, as long as you have those checks and balances. To wrap up this two part episode, we touch on the difference between calorie cycling and carb cycling (8:45) so be sure to continue listening if you want to learn more!
In today’s episode, we’re going to take you through our top macro friendly food options, tips, and tricks. Before we begin, we define the term “macro friendly” (0:30) as those foods that give you a lot of volume and doesn’t take up a lot of your macros. It’s important to keep in mind though that this word is relative to each individual. If you’re familiar with me, you know where I stand in this space. However, Miguel is the opposite of a foodie. He uses food volume in a dieting phase to fill him up by adding in and eating a lot of vegetables (3:00). Your stomach has these sensors that tell you when you’re full, but these sensors do come with diminishing returns (5:02). So, you want to be strategic and desensitize your stomach when you’re bulking and don’t need as much voluminous foods for when you do.
Now I’ll go through a list of various foods, with a few tips here and there, that are macro friendly (7:08). First on the list is rice cakes (7:28). You should think of rice cakes as a vessel that you can make sweet or savory. Second, we have canned pure pumpkin (8:42). You can mix this in with your protein powder, nonfat greek yogurt, and pudding mix and even spread it on top of a rice cake. Third, I like to add Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (9:37) on top of my rice cakes with a little bit of seasoning and a whole egg. Before I go on, I want to mention that it isn’t a bad idea to pair your macro friendly foods, like a side of vegetables, with your not-so macro friendly foods (10:15). Also, when you’re dieting, it’s all about finding the minimum effective dosage (12:15) because you’re trying to solve a craving. When it comes to cooking vegetables (12:45), you want to cook them properly so be sure to listen for how I cook and flavor mine. And when it comes to cooking, in general, use cooking spray instead of oil to save yourself a lot of macros.
Miguel and I talked about this previously, and it’s something we wanted to bring up in this episode. When it comes to a product like Walden Farms (19:24), we both agreed that it’s okay to use but you don’t want it to become a crutch. The same thing goes for diet sodas (23:26). I drink two Zevias a day while I’m cooking to help me hold off on grazing until I’m finished cooking my meal entirely (23:57). With this being said, it’s important to not wait until you’re 100% hungry to eat. You want to be proactive, drink your water, and not put yourself in a position to overeat (25:23). Moving on, I explain how to build a salad (26:14) and my thoughts on fat free cheese slices (30:01). And to wrap things up, I provide a few tips on how to incorporate the following foods into your meals (31:20) - plain nonfat greek yogurt, puffed cereal and mini chocolate chips as toppings, coconut flour for baking, frozen berries, popcorn, unsweetened cashew/almond milk and Stevia drops, and protein powder.
In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about “diet breaks.” Diet breaks are a short period away from your diet and usually lasts for about 1-2 weeks (1:43). The goal is to eat at maintenance for that duration of time to not only give your body permission to recover, but to also feel safe. While trying to understand what made a person quit their diet, researchers discovered that those going through a dieting phase were better at adhering to their diet when given a diet break (2:10). Per the time spent dieting, a diet break can make your diet more efficient, therefore you’ll be able to lose more fat (4:02). A few reasons as to why this is the case includes a decrease in your metabolic rate, a decrease in NEAT, and a decrease in your body’s leptin levels. So at the end of a diet break, taking all things into consideration, your body will be more effective at losing fat.
Moving forward, we’re going to discuss when to implement a diet break (8:24) by giving you three different scenarios. The first will be someone in a contest prep, the second will be an everyday individual, and the third will be someone who’s obese. For someone in a contest prep, meaning that this individual is going to extreme levels of dieting, Miguel recommends dieting for 4 weeks and taking a 1 week diet break. For an everyday individual, who’s aiming to lose somewhere between 10 and 20lbs, he’d suggest either a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio. And lastly, for someone who is obese, a 6:1 ratio. This is because if someone is obese, s/he has more energy available since fat is stored as energy, therefore, there’s not much risk of muscle loss. No matter what type of dieting phase you’re going through, whether it be extreme or not, a benefit to a diet break is to teach yourself how to have healthy eating habits for when you’re not dieting (20:46). To wrap this episode up, we take you through how to implement a diet break and how to find your new maintenance calories (23:33). If you’re unsure and need a little guidance, be sure to continue listening.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about reverse dieting. Reverse dieting is the process we go through to reverse the effects of our diet, which is going to look different for different people (3:01). One of the reasons we go through a reverse diet is because at the end of a dieting phase, our actual metabolic rate is lower than our predicted metabolic rate (3:20). Therefore, we want to slowly add calories back in so our body realizes that it doesn’t need to be as conservative as it was before. This isn’t something “magical,” which some people tend to believe. Like we previously said, this is just to get our bodies back to a level of intake that makes sense for our body weight and composition at the time.
Moving forward, let’s discuss the biggest thing to consider prior to entering a reverse dieting phase (9:05) and that is that you’re going to be expending less energy throughout the day. Since you’re moving a smaller body, you’re going to need less energy to maintain that weight and you most likely won’t be able to eat like you did before. Taking that into consideration, you’ll have to recalculate your maintenance calories. The first step to doing that is to get a conservative estimate of what you’ll need to eat and when you get there, know that it’s okay to put on a little bit of weight. The second step will be to wait until your weight stabilizes for a little while, then increase your calories some more. Let us preface this by saying that some people will have a higher response to more food, so you’ll want to check in with yourself constantly. Reverse dieting is a slow, planned out process.
Now to wrap this episode up, we take you through two different examples. The first being a male (18:33) and the second being a female (26:57). With each example, we take you through what it’ll look like, as well as how and when to increase calories. The process and numbers will be slightly different because females have smaller bodies than males do. One of the biggest things to remember is that you don’t need to increase your calories on a “schedule” because everyone’s going to go through a different process (38:05). Don’t think you need to match other people’s intakes because you don’t.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about placebo. The word originally comes from one that means “I shall please” (1:49). However, fast forward to today, it’s an intervention that has no true physiological effect but has such an effect on your psychology. Back in 2004, a study was done with two groups of people with advanced Parkinson's disease, which Miguel makes sure to discuss in more depth (4:23).
Moving forward, let’s go into the topic of supplements and placebo (8:15). More than 95% of the supplements on the market are placebo benefited, which means that people taking a certain supplement thinks it is doing more than it’s actually doing. CBD being a prime example (9:00) because of the conditions you have to keep in mind that are susceptible to placebo. Those conditions include things that are chronic, highly subjective, lack physiological symptoms, and have fluctuations - anxiety, digestives, and headache to name a few (10:45). Going off of these conditions, Miguel explains that it is the expectation that an individual has from a certain treatment that induces the placebo effect (11:47), as well as having a diagnosis of the condition you have. For example, if you have gut problems or a sleep disorder, a strong diagnosis will significantly improve your symptoms, even if it’s the wrong diagnosis (12:40). If you’re in pain and you’re given a solution, you want it to work, even if it doesn’t.
Previously, a study around chronic pain (17:09) was done where people were told they were getting a placebo effect, yet those people still felt reductions in their pain levels. This study just goes to show that a sense of hope and a vision of better times are so powerful. To wrap up this episode, Miguel dives into a final animals vs human study - taking placebo out of the equation (21:52), the effect on the outcome of the treatment based on the individual giving it to you (25:20), and the complexity of/your adherence to the treatment itself (30:39)
In today’s episode, we are continuing the discussion on Counter Diets. How in our nutritional world, counter diet’s are super popular because it makes an easy distinction between each diet. Makes the rules very simple and leave very little to now overlap. Creates a war between the two diets.
In today’s podcast we go deep into three very popular counter diets:
IIFYM vs Clean Eating (1:00)
No Carbs After 6 vs Carb Backloading (10:30)
Low Fat vs Low Carb (16:40)
Check out Part 1 for:
Vegan vs. Carnivore
Intermittent Fasting vs 6-8 Meals Per Day
In today’s episode, we’re talking about Counter Diets. How in our nutritional world, counter diet’s are super popular because it makes an easy distinction between each diet. Makes the rules very simple and leave very little to now overlap. Creates a war between the two diets.
In today’s podcast we go deep into two very popular counter diets:
Vegan vs. Carnivore (2:30)
Intermittent Fasting vs 6-8 Meals Per Day (13:33)
Check out Part 2 of this episode for:
IIFYM vs Clean Eating
No Carbs After 6 vs Carb Backloading
Low Fat vs Low Carb
In today’s episode, we’re talking all about dairy with a focus on cow milk (1:15). Cow's milk is made up of two proteins - casein and whey. The biggest difference between the two is that casein, due to its chemical structure is slower digesting than whey. When it comes to dairy consumption, a lot of people think that it’s bad and is the cause of a variety of issues like inflammation (3:50). This may be the case for those people that are lactose intolerant but not for all.
To dive a little deeper, Miguel explains the importance of dairy (4:17), as well as the benefits of consuming it (8:32) such as bone mineral density. For females, more so than males, it’s important to consume enough calcium and vitamin because it is not something you can “make up for” later on in life. Additionally, the enzymes needed to digest dairy are highest when we’re first born, since we rely on it to survive, but are lost as we age. Now that we’ve covered why you should consumer dairy, if you can, Miguel talks on a few of the different myths (14:17). If you’re curious to hear more, be sure to continue listening. What you want to remember is that dairy isn’t inherently bad for you and is actually a high quality protein source (22:19).
To wrap up this episode, Zach tells a little bit of his personal story about how he went from being lactose intolerant as a kid to not (26:07) and Miguel answers the question of whether consuming one or a few protein shakes a day is good or bad for you (31:47).
In today’s episode, we talk all about how to build your training program. It’s important to understand that while nutrition is the main driver for fat loss, your training is the main driver for muscle gain (2:01). The first step is to figure out the correct amount of volume (3:33). Traditionally, volume has been referred to as the total (reps x weights x sets) amount of kilos you lift during a training session. However, recent research shows that you can actually quantify the amount of volume just by looking at your sets. How much volume you perform is going to depend on your experience levels (5:15). For example, beginners will want to work towards 5-10 sets per muscle per week while a novice/intermediate athlete will be between 10 and 20 sets. More advanced athletes, though, will probably train with lower volume. At the end of the day, you want to ask yourself, “what’s the minimum amount of volume that’ll give me the changes I want in muscle growth?” The second step (10:19) is to figure out how much you’ll be lifting. Studies have shown that it doesn’t really matter, as long as you come close to failure. Be sure to continue listening if you want to learn more about this, as well as the concept of effect reps. Zach then brings up the idea that people have of generating a lot of total volume by sprinkling in various activity and movement throughout the day (11:51).
Moving forward, Miguel gives a few recommendations on how to approach your training if you don’t like to lift heavy (14:50). The third step is to figure out frequency (16:40), which is how often are you going to train each muscle group. The latest research shows that 2 times per week is better than 1 time per week, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a benefit going 2+ times per week. This will come with trial and error and figuring out what you like best. For example, one person might like a push/pull/legs split while another prefers an upper/lower body split.
So, what causes muscle growth (23:00)? The answer here is mechanical tension, which ties into progressive overload. Progressive overload is a way to increase the tension placed on your muscle fibers in an appropriate way. Over time, you’ll want to slowly increase volume. With that being said, there’s this common misconception that this needs to happen from session to session. In reality, you just need to increase your training volume over time, which will depend on your training age. There are two ways to increase your training volume (26:27). The first is called a waveload progression - for those big, compound movements, and the second being a double progression. To wrap this episode up, Miguel dives into the rest-pause concept (36:57) and exercise selection (46:59).
In today’s episode, you’re going to be taken through the steps of building out your training program. To kick things off, we explain how to time your training in a way to make sure your body has enough time to recover (0:40). If you are a natural athlete, your body is inefficient at building muscle. Therefore, you have to be more calculated with your approach and realistic with how much muscle you’re going to gain. When you first start training, your body is going to have a “steroid” response (2:49) but once you get to a certain point, your body will say “we’re good.” The reason being that our bodies are always monitoring what will give us the most ROI to simply survive.
Moving forward, we talk through a few different ways to structure your training and recovery time (3:52). The amount of time your body’s going to need to recover will depend on how much work you put into the previous session. Additionally, know that the more days you train per week, the more flexibility you’re going to have. However, at the end of the day, you have to make sure your training is personalized for what fits you best.
We don’t dive into too much detail but touch a little bit on cardio (13:18). The biggest thing to remember is that you don’t want your cardio to take away from your training. So if you can, you want to train and do your cardio on completely separate days. However, since that isn’t ideal for most people, you’ll want to make sure you’re completing the two at different times (i.e. mornings and evenings) of the day. If that doesn’t work for you either, save your cardio for after your training. And to wrap up this two part episode, we answer the question of whether or not weight training is necessary for fat loss (15:09).
In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about an underrated topic - sleep. We start off by discussing the effects of sleep on both appetite and energy levels (2:00). Sleep is not only important for when you’re lowering food, during a dieting phase for example, but also for when you’re managing your calorie intake. Research has shown that a lack of sleep causes a decrease in leptin levels and an increase in ghrelin levels, which results in you being hungrier. Therefore, getting a solid night’s sleep each night will help reset those hormones and get them back in a normal range (4:43). Additionally, you want to take into consideration that a lack of sleep can reduce your ability to have inhibitions like saying “no” to a slice of cake (5:43). After realizing this, a lot of professional athletes have started to increase their hours of sleep per night to better their performance.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, Miguel walks through a few different studies. He starts off with a 2018 study done around a commonly held belief that you can “catch up” on sleep and still get the benefits of a full night’s sleep (10:48). A lot of people think that because they feel fine, their body is performing in an optimal state but that isn’t the case. It’s almost impossible to erase a, for example, 15 hour sleep deficit that accumulated over the work week over the weekend. The result of this study showed that while both groups lost the same amount of weight, the people who got less sleep during the work week saw more than an 80% loss of lean muscle mass.
A second study (19:05) compared a group of people who slept 8.5 hours and another group who slept only 5.5 hours per night. Similar to the first study, this one proved that a lack of sleep will lead to a decrease in muscle mass. Miguel covers a third and final study in this episode and the results of this one shows that sleep restriction leads to a suffering of those bigger compound movements such as squats and deadlifts (26:10). To wrap things up, Zach reiterates how important getting enough sleep is, especially if you want to stay on track while eating intuitively. Additionally, Miguel drives home the idea that if you aren’t tracking your caloric intake, you’ll most likely be eating more than you should (32:01). Therefore, your weight loss will be a loss of lean mass and not fat loss.
In today’s episode, we take you through a 10-step process to build your perfect night’s sleep.
- Building your sleep sanctuary (1:50).
- Your morning sets the tone for a great night’s sleep (5:26). Miguel touches on your body’s melatonin and cortisol ratio and how you can keep these levels in balance with one another throughout the day.
- Caffeine intake and its half life (10:35).
- Working out and the timing of it (14:43). You want to ask yourself, “how can I build a training regimen so I can fall asleep as soon as I lay down at night?”
- Food intake (18:24). Some people can go to sleep with a full stomach and others cannot, so you’re going to have to figure out what’s best for you; this is relative.
- Water intake (22:55).
- Blue light glasses (25:52) to limit the amount of blue light we’re exposed to, especially closer to the time you’re going to sleep.
- Decreasing your overall technology usage prior to going to bed (26:12).
- A consistent pre-bedtime ritual (27:49).
- Supplementation (30:47). This is the last thing you should be worrying about.
To wrap up this episode, I take you through my sleep schedule (35:37), then Miguel (40:38) walks through what his.
Today’s episode is a little different than what you’re used to hearing. I was asked to be a guest on Jean and John Glaude’s podcast, Work for Change, to help educate their audience on how they can eat the foods they love and enjoy it. I share my story, my opinion on diets and nutrition as a whole, explain how I built The Flexible Dieting Lifestyle, my passion and vision for the future, and so much more!
In today’s episode, we take you through the process of how we created the FindYourMacros app and why we approached it the way we did. We start off by explaining the purpose of a macro calculator (2:45), then walk you through the equation we followed to calculate these numbers for you on the back end (6:30). It’s important to remember that these numbers are an estimate, as is the equation itself.
After you’ve tracked your macros for a little while, your goals may or may not shift. If they did, you’re going to want to adjust those initial numbers. Be sure to continue listening because Miguel goes explains, step-by-step, how you’d go about it (26:57). To wrap things up, we dive deeper into the alcohol tracking portion of the app, as well as touch on alcohol metabolism (30:41). Sine alcohol has calories, we want to make sure you understand how to correctly substitute your drink of choice for your carb and/or fat intake for the day.