Battle of the Carbs: Fruit vs. Rice vs. Potatoes

Before I start the argument of which I believe to be the best carb source for humans.  I want to offer some food for thought:

We are after a physical body that functions perfectly and effortlessly as nature intended.  This would include a high level of strength, energy, and endurance.  With little to no signs of sickness, colds, fatigue, aches and disease being present.  We want strong bones, teeth, and good eye sight.

With that being the goal in mind, let’s continue.

Fruit

If you had to pick a single food, to be qualified as the “natural food a man.”

As in, the closest food a human being was biologically designed and evolved to eat, it would be fruit.

This flies in the face of the mainstream who will tell you to have have a couple of pieces of fruit a day.  The mainstream is fat, sick, and nearly dead, you’d be better off reversing all of there advice.

Biologically, our closest relative is a chimp.  We have many of the same physiological facts that points to us being designed to eat fruit.

– We have the same medium length digestive tract (perfect for fruit, other mammals have long digestive tracts)

-We have thumbs and hands for grabbing, pulling, picking.

-We don’t have claws, or teeth designed for tearing.

-Our saliva, jaw structure, stomach size, digestive ability, all favors fruit and something easy for our organs to digest, thus increasing longevity and less wear and tear.

– We see in color, fruit is colored and attractive.  It actually TASTES good, by design we enjoy it.  God’s candy.

– It’s full of fiber which blunts the insulin release.  Most have a low glycemic load.  Which, by the way, you should throw the glycemic index out the window!  It is nonsense.   Eat all types of fruit.

NO ONE GOT FAT ON FRUIT,  EVER.  Don’t believe me, check out the banana consumption in tribal Africa.

Fruit is the easiest and quickest way to improve your energy because your digestive system processes it so easy.

I like to have a couple pieces in the morning and before training.  Later in the day I focus on meats, fats, and green veggies.

Fructose is NOT sucrose.  The “sugar scare” of the 90’s has trained everyone to think of carbs as a monolith.  They are NOT the same.

REFINED WHITE SUGAR = a empty food.  Fructose is NOT a empty food, it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Through the years our soil has been depleted of minerals, so the average commercial fruit lacks the vitamins and minerals it had 60 years ago.  For this reason, I recommend buying organic.

You don’t need to worry about pesticides, those who try to make this a case again fruit are the same people who chug a diet cola or ingest other artificial coloring’s and sweeteners.  So spare me the concern of the chemical sprays.    By as local as possible and you’ll be fine.

The Volume will satisfy you.

If you’re STILL scared that you’ll get fat by eating fruit, I DARE you to try it and see what it does to your body, actually TRY to over eat fruit!

Go grab a bowl of fruit, grab some apples, oranges, peaches, whatever… see how much you actually want to eat.  After a couple pieces you’ll be full.  2 Apples is usually very filling and they’re only 25 carbs a pop usually, that’s child’s play for the active person.

It’s the industrial seed oils, the hydrogenated oils, the trans fats, and the sugary white crap you’re eating that destroys your health, not fruit.

I’ve been keto, I’ve had tons of fruit, and I have had little fruit…and what has worked best for me is when I make fruit a majority of my carb intake and go less on other carb sources – I remove oatmeal, rice etc. and when fruit is high I literally feel amazing.

Fruit has a powerful cleansing effect on the body, when you shift this way you will feel better.  You’re likely getting tons more antioxidants than you use to have on the crappy western diet.

Eating majority fruit will allow your body to detoxify itself.   Chemicals and preservatives tend to accumulate in the body.  I’m a much better endurance athlete when I have more fruit in my diet.

Tip: Dried Fruit

The only good dried fruit is if it is Sun Dried.  You don’t want that sulfur chemical crap, it will say on the package if it is Sun dried.

Berries are my favorite and Avacado as an amazing fruit with good fat to help your hormone levels.

RICE

All rice is not created equal.  Rice, like many carbs, exist on a spectrum of good to worse.

The problem with rice for me is it naturally doesn’t taste very good.  Does anyone just eat freshly made rice with NO added seasonings? Butter? Salt? Sauce?  Usually it’s these things that make rice attractive.

Asian rices are way better than American rices.  Organic Thai Jasmine rices are more nutrient dense than any “instant” crap.

I ate only good organic rices (brown or white) for awhile, then when I bought a bag of brown bag instant rice (uncle bens) I wanted to puke!  You can taste the quality difference.

Rice should be used as a supplement to your diet, but not really a main staple.  Your body has to work overtime to break many complex carbs down.  For me, rice makes it to third place of my list of carbs.

Grains contain phytic acid in their outer layer of the brain. Phytic acid will block the absorption of calcium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc. Not good.

I can’t believe we have called grains “whole grains” for so long.  They are refined grains unless you buy top quality.  Go for quality with rice and complex carbs in general.

It’s best to buy rice that you have to cook for a long time, stay away from instant rice.

Potatoes

I give potatoes the second place trophy right before fruit for a food that biologically goes well with how our bodies are designed.  It’s quick energy and very very satiating.

I don’t discriminate between white or sweet.  Sweet potatoes will have more nutrients than white, but both are great for replenishing glycogen and easy to digest.  Remember that the foods that agree the most with our digestive ability, gives our body the energy it needs to repair and keep our bodies from breaking down because it can dictate more energy for repair.   The foods we eat will either take life span from us or add to it.

Potatoes are a starch.  I do believe through common sense practice that starches are great to use when building muscle or when performance is a goal.  Most athletes who are training hard have potatoes in their diet.   They’re full of fiber, B6, and vitamin C.

 

Notice here I did not discuss amounts.  I believe if eating the most nutrient dense, natural foods, your satiate will dictate when amounts are enough.  Obviously common sense is required.

Make room for healthy fats,  for some nutrient dense carbs, and make room for nutrient dense proteins.  Don’t avoid a single macronutrient.

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12 Week Year

Creating a compelling vision of your future is a must if you ever want to get to living your most desired life.

I’m reading the book, “The 12 Week Year” which helps you perform the execution needed to achieve 3 goals within 12 weeks rather than a year like most people do.

The idea is to get you to take massive action in 12 weeks rather than procrastinate by giving yourself a long timeline to achieve your goal.  Most businesses and personal goals are not really attacked with any effort until the end.

This plan does two things – helps him narrow down and focus on 3 things for 12 weeks that’ll have a big payoff towards your over all vision.  It gets you to commit and focus on execution on the daily tactics needed.  Your daily objectives are KEY to you reaching the life you want.

Execution is the key focus of this book, and it’s the key ingredient of success.  It’s not knowledge, it’s the ability to execute.  Many none intelligent people have become rich, in shape, and achieved pretty killer goals.

The system is simple.

  1. Create a compelling vision of the future.
  2. Plan what strategies and action steps will get you closer to that future.
  3. Measure your execution to keep yourself on track.

Simple in theory. Simple (but not necessarily easy) in execution.

I want to share my 3 areas of focus.

1. Increasing my savings income by $1,000 a month.

2. Hit a 550 pound deadlift in 12 weeks.

3. Perform the full splits.

I’ve written out the daily tactics that will lead me in this direction, and I’ve blocked off chunks of time to focus on these tasks.  2 days out of the week this involves waking up at 4:30 am in the morning to have my isolation time to focus.  I wake up early every day, but I’m waking up extra early on two specific days.

I’ll evaluate each week if I was able to stick to the weekly tasks, got them done, and if they’re translating into steps for the end of the 12 week goal.  Are they feeding it, or do I need to reassess if I need to do more or less or change course.

Drilling down on focus and executing is literally the path to achievements.  You can’t get around this.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress my friendly friends.

 

Talk soon.

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Losing Belly Fat

Anyone can get lean once, but staying lean and living a life at optimal health is another story.  Optimal meaning a healthy amount of bodyfat, some lean abs showing, strong in all your lifts, energy storage for different forms of cardio (you can sprint, and go distance).

I know many lifters, bodybuilders, and fitness nuts who get lean for a season and then there six pack abs goes completely away.  Check out Mike Chang the youtube legend from six pack shortcuts, he built his personal brand, made his millions on telling people getting abs was some secret sauce, and now he looks very different (less abs).

So what does a person focus on who remains in a lean, strong state, throughout the year do differently?

They focus on rebuilding a healthy and supportive metabolism.

This means not dieting or eating like a bird in efforts to stay lean.  If you’re not eating at least maintenance calories most of the year, you’re likely causing some issues and making fat loss harder.

When you have the metabolic flexibility to go have a cheat meal, and not look very different the next day, you’re on the right track.

Calorie counting shouldn’t be a lifestyle thing AT ALL.

Your metabolism should be able to up-regulate and clear out your crazy meal you ate.

This will come from having a physique with a decent muscular build.  This isn’t a bodybuilder, this is just a strong, spartan-greek looking physique.

Eyeballing portions should be livable -a meal being the size of your protein would be the size of your hand, your carb source would be a cupped palm full, and fat the size of your thumb.

Weight training and sprints are anaerobic activity.  You need glucose to do  this unless you’ve shifted your body to use ketones as fuel with a high fat keto diet (whichever you prefer, I don’t really care, but your body needs a fuel source to push your activity!)

Choose your source so you can support your metabolic and hormonal environment to support your activity.  For me, this is carbs.  I eat enough carbs to get a great pump and feel good.  I don’t need a calculator or follow some 2:1 ratio all the time.  I don’t need to worry about if I had 1 cup or 1 and a half of rice.

The old time lifters had an incredible ability to use common sense and gauge how they look and feel.  We seem to have lost that ability these days.

When you try to FORCE the fat off your body with deprivation diets, over doing cardio activity, you cause the body to down regulate metabolism, testosterone goes down, cortisol goes up, and this has nothing to do with lack of willpower.

When you try to COAX the fat off the body, it responds.  This means small GRADUAL changes.  Small diet tweaks, small cardio tweaks when you hit plateaus.  If you want to remove your stubborn belly fat you have to go slow.  Run from programs or teachers that tell you they can do something fast.

The body is never linear.  Fat loss or muscle gain is never linear.  Who always loses 1 pound or even half a pound every single week?  No one.  Who gains a pound a week every week?  No one.  Allow adaptations to take place through time and the gradual tweaks to set in.  Set deadlines, but don’t be a slave to them.

A slight caloric deficit is what you want, never, ever drastically slash your calories severely.  So if your needs for the day is 2,200 calories, you would do 2,000.

This is a coaxing strategy, forget diets, you either strategize to have a slight surplus or a slight deficit.

Hunger is a liar.  Very few people are hungry because they lack nutrients.  It’s usually for emotional reasons or psychological reasons.

It’s very normal to feel hunger.  Listen to it.  If you’re slightly hunger before you eat that’s perfect.

The father of fitness Jack Lalanne use to say, “I always left each meal with a slight sensation of still being hungry.”

The most aesthetic bodybuilder of the 70s, Frank Zane said, “I always waited to eat until I felt hungry and it became slightly intolerable, when I knew that feeling began I knew I was burning fat and I’d try to stay in this zone for a few minutes before having my meal.”

This is basic self awareness and it’ll be really hard to have a gut or belly fat with this type of sense.

 

 

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How to be both Ripped and Strong

Getting Ripped vs. Getting Strong – Be Both

Most people want both, but very few are both.  And if you’ve decided to be one while mentally excluding yourself from being the other, you’re lying to yourself.

For example, if you say “I only train for strength” as an excuse to justify weighting 330 pounds; or if you say “I only want to be ripped because girls like six packs” and that’s why you don’t bench, squat, and deadlift, you’re being a half assed guy.

As the legend Dave Tate says, “Abs on a skinny guy are like boobs on a fat chick, they don’t count.”

Why It’s Hard to Be Both Strong and Ripped

Despite what the internet or that dude-bro at the gym might say, you cannot get both super lean and super strong at the same time. They are goals that are diametrically opposed to each other.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you can’t be shredded and strong. There are lots of men out there who have 10% body fat and can deadlift and squat a ton.

You just can’t work on getting ripped and strong at the same time.

To get jacked and strong you need heavy training and a caloric surplus.  Muscle tissue is expensive (in terms of calories), the body needs to know it has a surplus to build extra tissue and that it isn’t going to waste its energetic resources on the endeavor.

I was the naturally skinny kid, and it took me years to realize just how much I needed to eat of quality nutrient dense calories to grow the muscle size I needed.   This goes hand in hand with heavy training.  If you’re “lifting for reps” or trying to “just be toned” you will never gain muscular size and strength playing it safe.

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Bodyfat slowly rising is a result of a caloric surplus.  There is always a caloric spill over and that will creep up in time.  You can calorie cycle, carb cycle, and try other diet techniques to stay this bodyfat gain off – but the equation is still the same, to build muscle you need calories.
Shedding body fat requires you to consume fewer calories than you’re expending so that your body uses your fat stores for energy.  When you’re in a caloric deficit, your body not only uses fat for energy, it also breaks down muscle tissue for the nutrients it needs to keep your physiological systems running. As muscle tissue cannibalizes, muscle mass and strength go down.

This is why you can’t get big and strong while you’re trying to get lean. Getting big and strong requires excess calories, while getting lean requires a caloric deficit.

Bodybuilders know this, they have an offseason where they eat more and allow their bodyfat to creep up as they know they’re concentrating on putting on muscular size.   Then they switch to cutting while trying to preserve as much as possible.

Where Most Go Wrong

They fully dive into one while forsaking the other.  For instance, gym bro-Bob wants to be shredded to the neck and he starts doing HITT cardio, Steady State Cardio, Lifting higher reps, cutting carbs, etc.
Notice anything?
Where is the demand from heavy strength training while in a caloric deficit that tells the body “Hey!  This dude is still trying to lift heavy weight!  Let’s preserve as much muscle mass as possible!”
ripped bro-Bob is removing and adding too many things that helped build and preserve that muscle tissue.  You can’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
You should still do strength and hypertrophy work – even when dieting to get ripped and adding in more cardio.

Go 60/40

Focus on your goal in seasons.  For 3 months being ripped may be your focus and so 60 percent of your fitness activities will be serving this goal, mostly from the nutritional aspect.  The other 40 and to still focus on getting strong as hell.

Flip this when focusing on getting strong as hell.

You’ll be eating more, lifting with more volume, but you still have no forgone any cardio and you still do hypertrophy work and not just pounding out sets in the 1-5 range.  You don’t stop training core like many guys do.

We often pick a goal at the exclusion of the other – and this is why very few guys are Strong and Ripped.  But the ones that are, are not excluding a bit of each goal.

They just prioritize one more than the other for a particular season.

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Where to start – If you’re Fat

If you’re above 18% body fat you need to focus on getting ripped.  Nutrient partitioning and insulin sensitivity will be better when your body fat is lower, as well as your hormones.  You’ll handle carbs differently at 12% bodyfat as opposed to 22%.  This doesn’t mean don’t lift heavy weights, DO.  Just prioritize having your diet in a deficit, cardio done 5 days a week, along with your weight training with short rest times.

You shouldn’t eat like a rabbit or else your performance is going to suffer. You want to consume about 250 calories less than what you usually eat to maintain your current weight.
A quick formula to find your calories is 11xyour bodyweight.

My nutrition advice is very similar along the lines of fitness legend Jack Lalanne, “If man made it, don’t eat it!”  That may sound too rigid, but if you aim in that direction you’ll be great.

Consider doing a Paleo-type diet in which you reduce or eliminate carbs completely and go heavy on protein and good fats (like you find in coconut oil, nuts, and avocados). If you’re dropping about a half inch around your waist each week while maintaining your body weight (because you’re increasing muscle mass), and you’re not noticing any decrease in performance (i.e., you can complete each of your workouts), you’re on the right track.

You may increase muscle size, but the only measurement you want to see go down is your waist size.

If You’re Skinny

It’s time to eat and eat bro-style.  Old school bodybuilder bro foods in a caloric surplus will do you good – steak, eggs, tuna, milk, cheese, oatmeal, etc.  typically old school bro stuff.  Healthy fats are your friends – cottage cheese, meat, eggs, avocado, nuts.

The only cardio you need to be concerned with is a couple HITT sessions for 10-15 minutes for hearth health.

Lift heavy, think POWER BUILER with 1-5 rep ranges on big compound lifts, and 6-12 reps on the isolation lifts.  Odds are you aren’t eating enough, protein not high enough, and your workout volume may be too low or you’re not focusing on the compound lifts – rows, presses, deadlifts, squats, pullups, dips.  Heavy and high volume -15-20 sets per workout.
Skinny Fat (15-18%)’

This is a tricky range but here’s what I’ve found in my coaching. If the client has been dieting for a few months, it’s time to bring their calories to baseline or higher and train harder. I’ve noticed they begin to drop bodyfat.

If the client has not been dieting, I will actually put him in a small deficit as we focus on strength work. A body fat drop happens here too.

What you don’t want to do with skinny fat people is pull their calories farther if they’ve been in a deficit, they’re only going to store more and chances are more aggressive training will elevate cortisol to a level that will make this a very stubborn process.

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What Your Calorie Calculator Can’t Do For You

Apps for managing nutrition are all the rage.  I remember the days of writing everything down with pen and paper, looking on the back of nutrition labels, memorizing food lists, and even purchasing huge nutrition textbooks with each food broken down for you to look up.

We’ve come a long way, and that is a blessing.  However, there’s some very important things your app, like MyFitnessPal, can’t do.

It doesn’t know where your body has been.

The app has no clue what amounts you’ve been eating in currently to bring your metabolism, hormones, weight to the place that it’s at.  It works on a mathematical formula predicated on your body weight.  However many things can bring you to that bodyweight.  A big one is under-feeding.   I know this is a hard truth to grasp – but most people are overweight from UNDER EATING caloric amounts.  If you doubt me, ask someone who is overweight how many meals their typical day consists of.  2-3 is a very common number.
If your calories have been too low for you baseline, a app telling you to eat lower is NOT going to help you lose weight.

This is where a coach beats a app.

Knowing the difference of where weight fluctuations can come from.

They can come from muscle gain, stress, lack of sleep, caloric cycling, a rebound from lower eating to higher amounts.  A coach can help you not freak out.  A coach can look at your workouts and where you’ve increased in strength to help decipher is this “weight gain” by numbers is actually anything to worry about.  Too many people think “fat” for gains and freak out – thus dieting harder.   There are very specific reasons why bodyweight doesn’t just flow linearly in either direction.  A coach can bring clarity to this.

An app can only function on one goal.

Weight Loss.  Weight Gain.

Body recompositioning – changing your muscle to fat ratio to look like a athlete or greek statue is another game that doesn’t care what loss or gain by mathematical formulas say.  When you plug in those numbers it doesn’t know if that’s muscle, water, or what.  An app can be an assistance, but if you’re goal is a certain “look”, an app is only going to help so much.

 

JM

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