About John Schaefer

John is a professional personal trainer with a degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University. He has trained and counseled hundreds of people over the last 15 years in fitness and nutrition. Founder of Cut Method, John specializes in changing the way people view fitness and nutrition as a whole to create rapid and lasting results both mentally and physically.

Is your protein making you…sick?

protein brands and your health
Probably, yes.

Fat loss is intimately tied to what you put in your body.  As we say here at Body Do Over: “You get strong in the gym and lean in the kitchen”.

By now, most people have a good idea of what is or isn’t healthy when it comes to fueling their bodies. Simply avoid the fried, processed foods and get more of the all-natural, organic whole foods like meats, fish, fruits and veggies.

A big factor within the idea of getting clean, whole foods is ensuring the body gets enough protein in order to build lean muscle tissue, promote an elevated metabolic rate and burn bad fat.

The solution seems so simple.

In recent years, the supplement industry has exploded with a large variety of protein powder options in an effort to fill in the gaps and ensure people get enough of the muscle building macronutrient.

Unfortunately, the protein powder industry is largely unregulated and, in an effort to continually increase profit margins, the big protein companies sneak unnecessary and harmful ingredients into their powders.

These Supplement Companies Have a Secret – Hiding in Plain Sight

The majority of protein drinks and powders you see in the big box retailers, gas stations and gyms contain ingredients that simply shouldn’t be put into your body. These ingredients are doing more harm to your body than good and will lead to health issues if you don’t do something about it.

Read the Ingredients

The ingredient panel on the back of any protein drink is very revealing. Right there, hidden in plain sight, is a shocking secret these supplement companies don’t want you to know about.

See, most people are busy, and just skim over the ingredient labels. They assume “If a product is sold by a Health Supplement Company, it must be healthy, right?”.

Labels are overcomplicated and tough to read but you really only need to look at a few key points – ingredients, protein, carbohydrate (sugars) and fats. For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus solely on the ingredient list.

When it comes to reading through the ingredient list, just ask yourself the question, “Do I recognize these ingredients?”

The unfortunate answer on most products out there will be, “No, I certainly do not.”

If you can’t understand (or pronounce) the ingredient list, neither can your body. Harmful, foreign, chemically altered ingredients will harm your body over time and have no place in your nutritional regimen.

Remember that your health journey should be about the internal health markers as much as the external transformation.

protein brands  that make you sick

Ingredients to avoid that will literally poison your body over time:

1. Invisible GMOs – The US’s anti-GMO labeling policies make it easy to forget many of these ingredients don’t belong in your protein. Here are a few:

a. Sodium Ascorbate
b. Citric Acid
c. Ethanol
d. Artificial Flavorings
e. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
f. Sucrose
g. Monosodium Glutamate
h. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on

2. Hydrogenated Oils – This is another commonly used filler ingredient. The ingredient is made by reacting vegetable oil with hydrogen, which produces trans fats.

Trans fats are directly linked to cardiovascular health issues, nervous system problems and diabetes.

3. Artificial Colors – Artificial colors are added to products just to make us “feel” like we’re eating something healthy and attractive. These additives have been linked to cancer, ADHD and Autism.

4. Sodium Benzoate and BHT – Q: What do you call a preservative that can damage human DNA and cause bladder and gastric cancer as well as create liver issues?

A: You guessed it, sodium benzoate and BHT.

This toxic junk is added into proteins to increase shelf life of the product. These unscrupulous companies care more about their product’s shelf life than about your physical wellbeing.

5. Added Soy to Boost Protein Counts – There are many reasons you should be avoiding soy, far too many to list here. In fact, we dedicated an entire show to the topic on our Body Do Over podcast on iTunes if you’d like to get the full story.

Soy is higher in phytoestrogens than just about any other food source. These phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the human body.

Extra estrogen has been directly linked to low libido, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis and infertility. NO GOOD!

That was the bad news. Now here’s the good news!

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself by doing a quick Google search on the top ingredients in your protein powders and drinks. You’ll think twice about putting those toxic cocktails in your body again.

Now, where does that leave you? How do you ensure you’re getting enough protein to keep your body strong and healthy?

The solution is here.

Since you know what NOT to look for, you also know what you should look for. I’ve used all natural, grass-fed options protein powders for years and I regularly recommend them to my clients.

But unfortunately, they all tasted like chalk.

To solve this problem, my team and I created an all natural, grass-fed Body Do Over whey protein to provide healthy, whole ingredients to give your body a healthy source of protein – that tastes good too.

bdoCTAProftein
Body Do Over’s All Natural, Grass-Fed Whey Protein is the best tasting grass-fed protein on the market.  Don’t take me at my word; go take a look at what our customers are saying.

Oh, did I mention we guarantee our protein and if for any reason you’re not happy, I’ll personally see that you get your money back? With that in place you have NO risk and everything to gain.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this – I do what I do because I have seen the profound effect that taking care of yourself can have on your life and the lives of everyone around you.

Even if you don’t want to go with our product, I sincerely hope you’ll take this information to your healthy heart and put it to use.

This is what the big brand name proteins are trying to hide from you! (disgusting!)

secret brands of protein powder
Imagine a world where what you always knew was healthy for you was actually the polar opposite, causing your body harm and pushing you away from your goals. Unfortunately, this is not a plot pulled from a J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi flick but the true story of the protein powder industry.

The protein powder industry is BIG business and, to this day, still largely unregulated.

This means that in order to increase margins, these huge, name brand companies are certainly taking liberties with what they’re putting into their products and, in turn, what they’re putting into your body.

I won’t name names but these are the protein powders and drinks you see in every gym, every gas station, every supplement store and pushed the most in advertisements. Buyer beware.

If you’ve been using these mainstream, well-known protein powders (heck, I used to), you may want to sit down.

First of all, have you ever tried to read the ingredients on the bottle? “Are these ingredients or part of an algebra problem?” There’s a rule when it comes to eating or drinking anything – if you can’t understand the ingredients, neither can your body.

Foreign chemicals DO NOT react well in the human body and can lead to digestive problems, increased cortisol levels (the body’s main stress hormone), increased body fat and, worst of all, major health issues over time.

So what exactly are they hiding?

Well, let’s just say I cannot believe I ever put this stuff into my body.

dishusting secret fat protein

1. Whey from Corn Fed Cows – Let’s be real here. Whey protein is derived from dairy. Dairy comes from cows.What the cows get, you get. It’s as simple as that. The big producers have been feeding their cows corn and corn byproducts (yuck!) for a while now which is a completely unnatural food for cows, all to increase profit margins.

To put this in perspective, it takes grass-fed cows 4-5 years to reach the proper weight and size where it takes corn-fed cows only 5-6.  Additionally, these corn-fed hybrids carry a much higher body fat ratio and, due to the unnatural diet, have much higher acidic PH levels internally.

The increased acidity levels are toxic to cows, so they are then put on antibiotics to counteract the effects.

This stuff is scary, very real, and almost everywhere you look. Google it!

2. Hydrolized or Denatured Protein – The building blocks of natural protein have a very specific shape and function that allows them to efficiently and safely absorbed by the body. When protein becomes hydrolized or denatured, it changes shape, setting off a horrific domino effect that wreaks havoc on the body.

These processing methods give rise to aspartic acid and glutamic acid which both carry toxic profiles.

3. Artificial Sweeteners – Again, foreign foods and chemicals are guaranteed to cause you harm over time. Fake sweeteners like Aspartame and Sucralose have become so commonplace everywhere you go that they’ve almost become acceptable.

Yale has concluded that the obesity pandemic is directly correlated with the burgeoning inclusion of artificial sweeteners in the global diet.

A recent study by the Health Professionals Follow Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study looked at evidence spanning over 20 years and, without a doubt, concluded that aspartame (and like artificial sweeteners) caused cancers such as myeloma, lymphomas and leukemia.

I swear, this stuff should be illegal.

4. Spiking Protein with Fillers – Driven by another attempt to increase margins, big protein companies are cutting the actual amount of protein they put in their products and filling it instead with substances like creatine, gluamine or taurine which cause the product to “appear” to have more protein than it actually does.

The worst part is, as of now, this is completely legal. Make sure you read the labels with any new product. As long as there are certain “protein markers” within a product, there is no clear line on what producers can’t put in your body.

The list goes on and on and, even with just a few points, you can see how detrimental this stuff is for you.

The reason I’m writing this article is not to create a fear of all protein powders, rather to educate and open your eyes to what is actually going on. As with all stormy skies, there is a silver lining and a better way to get what you need.

When I initially learned about everything that was wrong with most protein powders, I wasn’t only disappointed, I was angry.

How was this being allowed to go on??

Instead of sticking my head in the sand, I decided to first look for a better option. I began to look to grass-fed proteins to fill the gaps in my nutrition. Though I was able to find several options, they all tasted like vanilla flavored chalk.

Given my background and experience with fitness and nutrition, I said “enough is enough!” .

And decided to create our own all-natural, grass-fed whey protein. Body Do Over whey protein is built against the grain of everything you’ve just learned.

Our cows are 100% grass-fed, happy cows.

The milk is cold treated so as not to denature the proteins (which you just learned about.) We use stevia as a sweetener which is 100% organic and plant based. We happily highlight all our ingredients and amino acid profile on our bottles and, to top it all off, this is the best tasting protein I’ve ever tried.

Don’t believe me? Check out what our happy customers are saying.

I feel so strongly about this topic that even if you don’t give us a try, I truly hope you’ll take this information to heart and opt for a better option moving forward.

That being said, why wouldn’t you give us a try? Our protein is 100% guaranteed.

If it doesn’t meet your expectations, simply let us know and I will personally see that you get your money back.

Cheers to a happier, much healthier you.

5 “Celebrity Secrets” the Stars use in Their Daily Workouts

bdoBlogHeader2

I get it.

Celebs seem to make getting and staying in top shape STUPID easy.

Here’s the lowdown though, they’ve got access to the best facilities, ready-made nutrition and top personal trainers in the world. And it just so happens… that I am one of those personal trainers and whether I’m helping one of my actors drop fat for a shirtless shot on TV or adding some lean muscle to the Marvel Universe, time is of the essence.

Typically, we have 4-8 weeks to get the job done paired with very hectic shooting schedules.

Though each client and goal is different, there are key components I put in place for every client.

Whether you want the body of a star or just lose a few extra pounds here’s the inside scoop on how to train like a star.

1 – Frontloading – Most people cruise at a steady pace and intensity through their workouts with an ambitious few pushing extra hard at the end of the workout.Alas, there is a better way. Instead of waiting till the end to push the turbo button, flip it around and focus on pushing as hard as you can at the front of the workout. The first 15 or 20 minutes (after warm-up) should be high intensity and filled with your big, multi-joint movements like the squat, deadlift, push-ups and pull-ups. Keep rest periods to 30 seconds or less and utilize combination movements like the squat to press, for example.Frontloading your workouts will make the entire workout more efficient from a calorie burning standpoint. You’ll get more done in the same amount of time.

2 – Protein before Workout – Here’s a secret most people don’t know – the majority of physical change happens outside the gym.That being said, it is an absolute must to gear up nutritionally before every workout. If the goal is fat loss, the stars keep carbohydrates low or ditch them completely and opt for about 30g of protein 30-60 minutes before hitting the weights.Think of protein before a workout as an insurance policy for fueling your muscles, increasing fat burning over the following 24 hours and increasing protein synthesis which is key for muscle building (just be aware of what’s actually IN your protein).If you’re going to push yourself through a grueling workout, you might as well make the most of it, right



3- Multi-joint movements – Sure, machines are great and have their place within your routine but they shouldn’t be first place. Free weights trump machines because they force the body to stabilize through a multitude of different planes of movement.If you have an impending deadline for a set goal, I recommend spending at least 75% of your time in the gym focused on multi-joint movements such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, rows and overhead presses.These movements recruit the maximum amount of muscle fibers thereby stimulating important fat-burning hormones while creating greater breakdown. In a world where fitness fads and bells-and-whistle workouts come and go, stick with the tried and true basics for best results.

4- HIIT – High intensity interval training – If you’ve tried it, you probably just rolled your eyes and if you haven’t, you’ll appreciate the joke later. HIIT at its simplest is a period of very high intensity followed by a period of very low intensity.The goal is to spike the heart rate, recover and repeat over a period of about 20-30 minutes. This method can be applied to cardiovascular exercises like sprints, jump rope, stairs, swimming or plyometrics and has been proven to be far more efficient at fat burning than its steady state counterpart.Think of a sprinter’s body and compare that to a distance runner’s body. That, my friends, is HIIT versus typical steady state (slow go) cardio. The proof is in the pushing.

5- Supplement to fill the gaps – Schedules can be hectic and it seems like the world keeps spinning faster every year. Though it is important to focus on getting the majority of your calories from whole food sources, supplements can, and should, be used to fill the nutritional gaps.The stars lean on a high quality, grass-fed protein powder to ensure they’re keeping protein levels high day in and day out. Supplementing with a top quality protein ensures they’ll keep muscle building and fat burning in high gear, energy levels high and recovery times optimal so they can continue to train at high levels.If you’re interested in using the EXACT same protein I give my clients, you can get it for yourself at www.BodyDoOverProtein.com.

Whether or not you’ve got silver screen ambitions or simply want to take your body and your life to the next level, you can put these tips to use right away.

Push yourself in the gym and above all, do not skimp on nutrition!

No matter how effective my tips are, they won’t get you anywhere without backing it up with the right foods and supplements.

If you’d like to work with me personally, I invite you to visit me at www.BodyDoOver.com to get started today!

The Top 10 Mistakes You Are Making in Your Diet Today 
(and that most fitness “gurus” aren’t telling you)

bdoBlogHeader

This article was not written as horror.

But I guarantee you that you will be HORRIFIED at what most fitness gurus are telling you that’s actually hurting your ability to drop those extra pounds.

And even worse… you won’t believe some of the mistakes that you are making with your diet. But, don’t worry it’s not your fault.

There is far too much misinformation backed by far too many health “experts” and “gurus” to get it all straight. I’ve personally worked with hundreds of people over the years who have successfully dropped the weight and kept it off!

Whether I’m getting a client ready for a shirtless shot on TV or helping a client drop 100lbs for her wedding, there are certain nutritional rules and guidelines I have them all follow.

Seeing results becomes a whole lot easier once you’re able to create a clear, easy to follow path.

Let’s create yours now, shall we?

    1. Undereating (Not in the way you think!) – Though calories matter, they’re not the end-all-be-all that the media has led you to believe. Macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats and you need all of them in certain quantities in order to drop fat and build lean muscle.

      The vast majority of well-intentioned fitness hopefuls are underdoing protein. Protein is the building block of muscle tissue and should be placed as top priority nutritionally.

      As a general guideline, aim to consume between 1g-1.4g of protein per pound of bodyweight. This step alone will lead to body composition improvements in a relatively short amount of time.

    2. Avoiding fats – Luckily, mainstream media (Time magazine) has recently reversed its thought process on fats. For years, the clear message was “avoid fats at all costs!” but the truth is your body needs good fat to burn bad fat. 1 gram of fat comes packed with 9kcal (more than double that of proteins and carbohydrates) so a small amount will help you feel full and more satiated throughout the day.

      Additionally, fat helps boost testosterone levels in turn helping you build more lean muscle tissue.There are too many benefits to adding in a moderate level of good fats to list here but the take home message – Don’t be afraid of fats!

    3. Not getting enough water – This is the first point I address whenever sitting down with a client to go over her nutrition plan. Keeping your body hydrated allows for a much easier fat loss or muscle building process.If you’re even mildly thirsty, your body has already been dehydrated.

      A dehydrated body does not run efficiently and can affect energy levels, metabolic levels, sleep, mood, muscle soreness and the list goes on.

      Start your day with 20 ounces of water as soon as you wake up and aim for a gallon of water by day’s end. It may sound like a lot now but start working your way up and I guarantee you’ll be in better shape 30 days from now by doing so.

    4. Eating too frequently – The idea of eating 6 small meals every 3 hours has been perpetuated by the fitness industry over the last several years. If you’ve looked around, you probably seen it everywhere.> Your body expends energy breaking down food so it’s logical to believe the more you eat, the more energy you’re expending to do so.

      However, recent studies have proven that whether you eat 2 meals or 6 meals a day, the energy expenditure is the same if the caloric content is even.  Additionally, spacing your meals out further apart increases insulin sensitivity which is stellar for fat loss.

      You’ll still want to hit your target caloric and macronutrient requirements just through less frequent, larger meals.

    5. Avoiding carbohydrates – Carbohydrates have gotten a really bad rap regarding fat loss over recent years.  The truth is, not all carbohydrates are bad.  It’s the processed, refined carbohydrates that deserve the brunt of the hostility.

      Good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, fruits and vegetables are all beneficial to your body and your fat loss goals.  They’ll help fuel your workouts, aid in muscle recovery and keep your brain functioning at high levels.

    6. Opting for DIET sodas – I get the logic. “It’s sugar free and has NO calories? Great!”

      They sound great and good but it’s important to heed the yin and yang here.

      Though these drinks don’t have any calories, they’re often packed with chemicals and artificial sweeteners that can have negative effects on metabolism and fat loss as well as potential future complications down the road.

    7. Going “whole grain” – Just because the label reads “gluten free”, “whole grain” or “whole wheat” doesn’t mean it’s a food you should be regularly turning to.

      No matter how healthy they may sound, breads and pastas are processed foods.  Processed foods aren’t broken down as efficiently by the body and, in this case, are packed with starchy carbohydrates.It’s OK from time to time but if your goal is to drop the weight, keep your eye on the prize and opt for some of the other options I listed in #5.

    8. whole-grain-pasta

    9. Drinking fruit juice – Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit and there is definitely a place for it in your day. That being said, fruit juice will do you no favors in dropping fat.

      Fruit already comes with a good amount of natural sugars but juicing them tends to elevate their blood-sugar-spiking effect by removing the fiber. Eat your fruit, don’t drink it.

    10. Bad supplements and short cuts – Supplements are great and necessary at points but don’t get carried away. Far too often people get sold on the magic bullet idea with supplements.

      The truth is that the majority of supplements on the market are so filled with chemicals, artificial flavors and fillers that they do more harm than good.From pre-workout drinks to protein recovery drinks, you should be able to confidently recognize the ingredients you’re putting into your body.

    11. Picking the wrong protein (Don’t do this!) – Protein powder is by far the most popular supplement on the market and for good reason – it can help fulfill macronutrient requirements in a quick, convenient way.  However, it is absolutely imperative that you don’t trade short term convenience for long term health.The bulk of the protein market is rife with artificial flavors, GMOs, artificial colors, and acid-treated milk that comes from grain fed cows.

      I’d bet the house you can’t even recognize half the ingredients in your current protein.

      Putting garbage like this into your body over time will create havoc and can lead to major health complications down the road.I became extremely frustrated with the lack of options on the market and created our all natural, grass-fed Body Do Over Whey.

      I’m proud to say our protein has 5 ingredients and it’s the same one I use personally as well as with all my clients.

      I believe so strongly in this step that even if you don’t go with ours, I urge you to find something like it to better yourself now and for the future.

    So there you have it.

    I can guarantee you’ll see new progress by adapting some or all of these into your nutritional routine.  If you need a complete overhaul, don’t feel like you need to implement everything at once.

    Focus on taking small steps forward every day. Slow progress is good progress. If you’d like to learn a bit more about our protein you can get the facts at www.BodyDoOverProtein.com and if you have questions or would like to work with me directly, I’m just a click away at www.BodyDoOver.com.


    Learn more about the Body Do Over Protein:

    We created Body Do Over GRASS-FED Whey Protein when we saw how many people were dealing with the pains of being overweight from low quality nutrition, chemicals, hormones, refined sugars and other filler junk put into common everyday supplements and meal replacement shakes. And judging by all the feedback we’ve already gotten, we’re quite confident it can help YOU too.

    You see, we’ve created this so that you can lose those last few pounds permanently and do it… FAST.

    With over 30 servings per container, you have a super cost efficient, money saving, meal which gives you high quality macro nutrition (see detailed information to the left) and ensures your energy stays stable throughout your entire day.

    Plus, it saves you time in your day as you add a meal that keeps your metabolism cranking and burning fat fast.

    Interested in trying our Protein? Learn more about it here.

    Since we are using true, GRASS-FED Cows, and never factory farmed, hormone injected Cows, we are not able to carry a huge stock of GRASS-FED Whey Protein. we highly recommend you order now while product is available and before we run out.

Green Tea – Take 2 of These and Call Me in the Morning

Green TeaOver the last several years, green tea has emerged as a key player in aiding fat loss as well as countless other health benefits.  I don’t have time to write a book today, so I’ll stick to the basic reasons on why you need to include green tea in your daily regimen.

Green tea has been proven, time and time again, to have a thermogenic (fat burning) effect when consumed in liquid or pill form.  Green tea contains EGCG (see link below), which stimulates metabolism and leads to fat loss.  The potion also has caffeine for an energy boost and (wouldn’t you know it?) burns fat.

As a general rule, have a cup of unsweetened green tea about half an hour before your daily workout.  Doing so will increase the amount of fat you burn during your session.  Personally, I will not work out unless I’ve had green tea beforehand.  I figure if I’m going to be working as hard as we do, why not burn the most fat possible?  I’d recommend starting your day off with a cup right before breakfast.  Remember that the goal is to get your metabolic rate up right from the get go.  This will help.

Like just about everything else in the fitness and nutrition world, green tea is not the magic bullet for fat loss (see: Shake Weight – kidding!).  However, adding 2-3 cups a day is guaranteed to speed the process of getting you into bikini or Speedo shape.

I could go on and on, but let’s start with the basics.  For more information, click on the link below to read further on health benefits and fat burning effects.

http://bit.ly/gtfatloss

As always, feel free to share with those you know, love and care about.  Go get ‘em.

NUTRITION 1,001!

It all matters:  What, When, Why and How Much to Eat? These are the basic building blocks and principles for nutrition. If you have questions about specific types of macronutrients not listed here, let’s talk.

 WHAT

Strictly Proteins, Protein + Carb Foods, Protein + Fat Foods, Carbohydrates (Complex and Simple), Greens, Fats, Almost No Calorie Foods, Liquids

Strictly Proteins:

Chicken, Eggs, Fish, Lean Red Meats (90% or better), Pork, Tofu

Protein + Carb Foods:

Beans, Milk (1% or 2% fat)

Protein + Fat Foods:

Nuts – Primarily Almonds, but can have small portions of all types, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter

Carbohydrates:

Complex: Bulgur, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes/Yams, Steel Cut Oats, Millet

Simple: All Fruits, Corn, Peas, Carrots, Onions

Greens: Spinach, Mixed Greens of any kind, Romaine Lettuce, Green Beans, Broccoli, Kale

Fats: Olive Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Avocado, Low Fat Cheeses (1% to 2%)

Almost No Calorie Foods: Celery, Mushrooms

Liquids: Water (shoot for close to a gallon a day – you’ll easily achieve this by sipping water throughout a normal day), Coffee (black, no sweetener), Tea – Green, Black or White (no sweetener), Milk (at the proper times)

Nutrition

 WHY

Adopt the phrase “Eat to live, don’t live to eat” and you will be forever changed.

I strongly encourage, no, demand that you eat whatever you want 3 to 5 times a week.  Let that put your mind at ease and understand that this is not a diet.  This is not temporary. I am a foodie.  I do occasionally live to eat!  I believe, with every fiber of my being, that God gave us taste buds for a reason.  You can eat your favorite foods and drink your favorite drinks for the rest of your life and have complete control over the way you look and feel.

The Why – You absolutely have to do this for two reasons.   The first and possibly most important reason is the mental alleviation it provides.  If you know this as you’re putting all of your lifestyle pieces together, there is really no pressure.  Don’t think about the color red! “Oh wait, I just did.”  The instant we tell ourselves a certain food or drink is banned from our lives is the nanosecond that first domino is tipped and everything we’ve built is ruined.  This problem is completely alleviated because you can eat whatever you want 3 to 5 times a week.

The second reason is physical, as we’re eating “clean” and often the calories per meal and overall caloric intake will be less than our bodies are conditioned to handle.  These caloric spikes brought on by the 3 to 5 meals a week let our bodies know they’re not starving and it’s OK to continue to burn off excess fat.  I won’t get scientific here, but there is endless scientific evidence supporting this.  It works.

Eat small and eat often.  Depending on what your schedule allows, eat as often as possible, every 2-3 hours, and DO NOT make excuses!  “But I’m at my desk all day long and I just don’t have time.”  …And then there was Tupperware! Make this your first priority and it will phenomenally affect not only your body and energy levels, but every other aspect of your life.  How much is enough?  As a general rule, you shouldn’t feel full or lethargic after a meal.  You should feel energized and have enough energy to carry you through the next few hours to your next meal.  You’ll have to feel this out.  If you are starving at 2 hours, up your portions.  If you aren’t hungry at 3 hours, you’re portions are too big.  Adjust accordingly!  Of all the minutiae that comprise fitness as a whole, nutrition is at least 75% of the picture.  Of that 75%, I’d conservatively say that consistency, both in timing and quality of components, counts for almost all of it.  This is important.

 

The Why – Think of your body as a furnace.  The goal is to keep the fire roaring from the time you wake up until you go to sleep at night.  If you only fed the fire morning, noon and night (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner) there would be severe lulls in the heat produced and output of the fire (i.e. slowing in fat burn and in severe cases leads to fat storage.)  Try it for 2 weeks and watch the fat go and energy soar.

Drink a gallon of water a day – Everyday.   I know, I know.  It sounds like a lot.  The truth is you will easily hit the gallon mark if you sip water throughout the day.  Tip: First thing in the morning, drink 20 oz. of ice water before breakfast.

 The Why – The more hydrated you stay, the more fat you burn.  Downing enough water ensures your body is primed for burning fat and eliminating toxins.  The liver plays a major role here and without water, everything comes to a halt.  Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.  By that point, you are already dehydrated.  We could venture further down the physiological rabbit hole, but let’s keep it simple.  Staying hydrated = Fat loss.

Make sure to have protein at every meal.  Regardless if you are a man or woman, trying to gain muscle or lose fat, this rule is universal.

The Why – On top of building muscle, protein acts as a “buffer” against spikes in insulin levels.  Spikes in insulin or blood sugar levels throughout the day leads to fat gain!  You don’t have to take down a steak every 2-3 hours, but make sure you are including protein somehow.  To take it one step further, eat your protein portion first, and then move onto the rest of the meal.

Timing is critical.  This is probably the most overlooked chapter in the Great Book of nutrition and fitness. 

 The why – Food is fuel.  The fact of the matter is all food is not created equal.  Different foods and different food categories (proteins, simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates and fats) all have different effects on your blood sugar and energy levels.  We went over what happens when your blood sugar levels change (remember: fat gain.)  Yes, fruits and vegetables are good for you and an essential part of your eating regimen, but to say you can eat as much of these as you want, whenever you’d like is wrong!  One could eat the healthiest foods on earth at the wrong times with the wrong portions and gain weight!  Don’t be scared, we’re going to go over all of this and simply explain why this is the case.  The important thing here is that you understand the principal.  We’ll go over exactly when to eat what soon.

Calories count, but don’t count calories. 

The why – I’ve personally trained hundreds of people and I’ve watched thousands more embark on fitness journeys.  Those that have structured their efforts to focus on the big picture rather than obsess over every little detail have stuck with their programs far more often than their counterparts.  Granted, there has been the occasional number cruncher who is able to keep up the calorie counting, but whipping out a calculator at a nice restaurant just doesn’t seem right.  It’s OK to do a bit of research and understand which food types are more calorically dense, but do not over do it.  The whole thing is supposed to add value and enjoyment to your life.  We must set ourselves up for success with principle-backed knowledge.  If you’re eating the right foods at the right times with the right portion sizes, you will be just fine.  By the time we’re done, that part will be easy.

Nutrition

HOW MUCH TO EAT 

If you’re eating the foods we’ve already gone over, (also staying away from fried foods and just about anything white) you’ll be just fine in your quest for fat loss.  This means that even if you ate absurd amounts of these foods and stuffed yourself at every meal, you’d still have to try hard to gain weight.  Keep in mind, that we are not eliminating any of your favorite foods and with all the great choices to choose from, you are set up to finally succeed.   There are a good number of “experts” who are OK with stopping there.  Not us.

We’d all like to see results as quickly as possible.  When results come quickly, whatever you’re doing usually sticks.  That’s our goal here.  In keeping in line with everything else we do concerning fitness, we’ll keep it simple.

As stated in the “Why we eat” section, calories count but don’t count calories!  Insisting on counting calories dramatically complicates the process and sooner or later (read: sooner) you will quit.  It does not need to be difficult to get this right.

Here’s the big secret: Eat enough to get you to your next meal.  Since we’re eating approximately every 3 hours, this means you’re starting to get hungry right around that mark.  If you’re hungry at 2 hours, increase your portion sizes.  If you’re full at 3 hours, cut back on your portions.  It’s that simple!

The POWER of Setting GOALS

The-POWER-of-Setting-GOALSGoal setting is your most underutilized tool in creating change. We’ve all seen the 30, 60 or 90 day “miracles” – People that have literally transformed their bodies and lives in a matter of weeks. Maybe you’ve even been watching the commercials and questioned whether or not this stuff is real. Is it even possible? How can people do what’s taken you years (and still not quite achieved) in a matter of days? Of course, the answer lies in the title of this post.

One of my favorite quotes is No pressure, No diamonds. Leverage can be a powerful ally when it comes to doing something you’ve never done before. Leverage moves society, it makes the world go ’round. We are leveraged by others every single day. So why not apply it where you probably need it most? It is so easy to get comfortable with the way things are. It is easy to tell yourself that you work hard and you deserve that extra piece of pizza or dessert all while trying to block out that distant, tiny voice in your head that demands the best of you. It is nice to think about doing something great or even bring it up a time or two in casual conversation, but that won’t do it for you.

Once you truly commit to something on the deepest level, your potential is limitless. So, how do you really commit to something rather than falling into the “January 1st Gang” like so many others? There are a few factors that absolutely have to be there in order for this time to be the time you actually follow through. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The-POWER-of-Setting-GOALS

John Schaefer, Co-Founder at The CUT Method

 

1. Why? Why are you setting out to drop this weight or gain the muscle or any other goal under the sun? The reason has to run deep within you. Typically, if it’s a superficial reason revolving around something you’d “like” to do it won’t stick. Whenever I start working with someone for the first time, this is a step we take some time on. If the WHY is strong enough, the rest of the journey will unfold before you. It may sound a bit cliche, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my own goals and those of my clients.

2. Form your cocoon. We won’t get into some ethereal butterfly talk here. Instead, what I mean is that you must surround yourself with a positive, nurturing environment. It’s so important to set yourself up for success. Tell your family, your friends, your co-workers, your Meet-up groups – anyone and everyone in your immediate circles about what you are doing and going to accomplish. Of course, not everyone will provide the positive response we hoped for, but overall you’ll find the support you need. Make sure to set your homepage on your computer with something that inspires you. Subscribe to a few great magazines or an amazing website (ahem!)

3. Make public commitments. These commitments become especially effective when it’s something you can’t back out of. A great idea if your goals are fitness related is to set up your “after” shots with a photographer well in advance – and pay in advance! Again, the idea of all that money going to waste may provide some additional positive leverage and help you stick to what you set out to do when times get tough (they will get tough at points.) Once you’ve done that, go ahead and tell your circles that you’ve set up these pictures and will be posting them once taken. From here, you can really take it as far as you’d like. The point is to increase the amount of accountability you feel in every way possible. Is this comfortable? Absolutely not! Our lives begin to get exciting when things get a little uncomfortable.

4. Know that it is inevitable. The most successful athletes, businessmen and women, musicians, you name it – all knew what was coming before there was tangible evidence their goals would be achieved. Envisioning your goals becoming reality and allowing yourself to feel the feelings that come along with it is one of the most important pieces to achieving anything. The power of the human mind and spirit is phenomenal and I’m confident in telling you that you haven’t even scratched the surface of your potential.

5. Model your actions. Find someone who has done what you are setting out to do. 99% of the time, these people exist within your circles, have published books about exactly what they did or exist on the magical world wide web. Study what has worked for those before you and ASK QUESTIONS! I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m continually asking questions and studying what others I respect in the industry are different. If you’re continually open to new ideas and information and can place the ego aside, the world opens up to you and progress and change are yours.

6. Keep your goals short-term. Especially when starting out, make sure that your goals are 4 to 6 weeks out at a time. As humans, we need to continually build confidence, see results and gain supporting references that we CAN do what we set out to do. Keeping and meeting your short-term goals strengthens your resolve and allows you to truly believe in the process.

To sum it up, goals should be recognized as the powerful asset they are in helping you create change in your life. Apply as much leverage as you can with the tools we went over above and set yourself up for success. Remember that this is why we formed The CUT Method in the first place so please keep us in mind when you’re approaching a roadblock or can’t figure out how to push past a certain point. Keep your questions coming and I look forward to hearing about your goals and watching your progress along the way.

Alcohol Damage Control: How to Booze and Only Slightly Lose

Alcohol Damage ControlBelieve it or not, I get more questions about drinking alcohol while keeping with a training routine than just about any other topic. You know what? I’m happy that people ask as everything we teach at The CUT Method is built to adapt to your lifestyle. A lot of my close friends and family are surprised to see me at Happy Hours on the weekends or enjoying a few glasses of something good here and there. So how do I do it and stay lean year ’round? What are the key points to balancing alcohol intake with a healthy lifestyle?

Let’s be real. At the end of the day, alcohol generally does nothing good for your body. Sure, a glass of red wine or two does pack some health benefits, but alcohol as a whole does cut into overall fitness progress. Essentially, alcohol slows muscle recovery and metabolism which are two of the main components to achieving your fitness goals. If you’d like to know more about exactly what effects alcohol has on your body, there are a lot of sad, draining articles all over the web. Remember, at The CUT Method we’re all about getting your exactly what you need to know without delving into a science project.

All that being said, there are a number of simple ways to minimize the damage while continuing to enjoy a few alcoholic drinks, keep up with your social life and make progress at the same time. Amazing! Here are several key points on how to incorporate alcohol successfully:

– Keep volume as low as possible

This is a pretty simple idea, but most people don’t follow it. Liquor, as opposed to beer or wine, typically packs more of a punch per ounce. Since most of us drink to get a buzz, it’s logical to switch out the beer and wine for liquor. Honestly, I’ll typically have a couple shots and then 1, yes 1 beer. That usually does the trick and I’m able to keep my volume very low. It’s also nice avoiding the sick, hungover feeling that usually accompanies higher volumes.

– No more sugary, sweet drinks! (Ahem, ladies)

I’ve definitely seen many a fella holding a Cosmo or another sugary drink of choice but I’ve found my female clients over the years to find this a little more challenging overall. The goal here is damage control so we want to keep overall calories to a minimum. All alcohol has 7 kcal per gram. Contrary to popular belief, there are no zero calorie alcoholic beverages. That being said, vodka & soda with lime or whiskey & diet with lime are two great options to minimize calories. Feel free to choose your own unique combination but try to stay away from tonic, honey, sour mix (the worst!) and juices added to your drinks. On a similar note, wine falls into this category as it is made from grapes and has a lot of sugar.

– Understand that drinking does not have to go hand in hand with pizza/nachos/gluttony

The truth is that this is where the real damage is done. If you were to have a few margaritas or vodka & cranberries but continued to eat clean once a week, the damage would be minimal and you could theoretically continue on your merry way. Typically that is tough for most people to do as after a few drinks homemade grilled chicken salad just doesn’t sound as good. The key here is setting yourself up to survive if you know ahead of time you’re going out for drinks with friends. It’s probably not the best idea to meet for drinks at an Italian or Cuban restaurant as the “good stuff” there is heavily starch-based. Since judgement is impaired/weakened/sometimes non-existent when paired with drinking, it’s best to avoid sitting down at spots like this if you’re really serious about keeping progress moving forward.

Everything is about moderation and incorporating everything we talk about here so it adapts to your lifestyle. If you fall off the wagon every now and then it is really NO BIG DEAL if it’s every once in a while. What we want to avoid is having this happen routinely as that will severely start to cut into overall progress.

We continue to get question after question on this so please feel free to fire away any specific questions you may have by posting here or by finding us at The CUT Method on Facebook. Cheers!

Cardio or Weights: Which to Do First?

When it comes to fitness our natural instinct is to think more is better. “The more cardio I do, the more fat I’ll lose. The more weight training I do, the more lean muscle I’ll add.” This is simply not the case and that’s a great thing if you look at it through the right lens.

We’ve discussed the importance of quick, to-the-point cardio bouts in the article on HIIT so we already know that sprint-like cardio burns more fat than its Steady State counterpart. Even with that knowledge, the common question is when to add cardio into a routine.

Cardio or WeightsThe answer: After. Your cardio routine should always, always be done after your weight training workout and the reasoning is as follows.

Our bodies have a very finite amount of stored energy at any given moment. The primary source of energy are our glycogen stores. The amount of stores built up depends on the amount of rest we get, water we consume and food we eat. The goal with cardio and weight training is to utilize these energy stores to burn as much fat as possible.

Fact: A great cardio workout will burn fat for about 3 hours whereas a great weight training session can burn fat for up to 3 days. With that being said, where do you recommend we spend our energy to train as efficiently as possible? You’ve got it! Weight training burns fat while actually training, stimulates muscle growth and additional fat burn by the release of key hormones and with proper rest, leads to new lean muscle growth. The more lean muscle we have, the higher our resting metabolic rate and the more efficiently we burn fat.

It is very important to understand that less is more here. A lot of clients we see want to go through a weight training session and then a whole cardio session. Again, it’s natural to think the more you do, the more you’ll burn. Once we’ve burned through the initial reserves of energy, the body will turn to burning muscle tissue for additional fuel. Less muscle leads to a slower metabolic rate.

The ideal program for most people looking to burn as much fat as possible is simple and is as follows:

  1. Weight train for 40-45 minutes as intensely as possible.
  2. Cardio for 10 -15 minutes maximum after the weight training session

Fire away with questions. Add this in to your CUT Method today and take another step toward the leaner, meaner you in less time.

How to Get Started – The ONLY Way It Will Work for You

Starting LineThere are far too many “How to’s” out there, especially on how you should get started with a nutrition or training routine. The problem is that these “expert recommendations” are far too generalized. What may work for you may be a horrible idea for someone else. Over the last 15 years, I’ve watched thousands of people from all walks of life start their programs. Sadly, I’ve watched the majority revert to their old habits and completely fall off.

However, fantastic news comes from the other group – those that got started, stuck with it and made revolutionary changes in their lives and the lives of those around them. So what is the secret?! Start smaller than you think you should. Let me explain.

Too many good people, with great intentions jump into a nutrition and training program written up by people that have been training and eating a certain way for years. How does that make sense for someone who hasn’t worked out for years or may have never worked out before? It doesn’t.

One of the cornerstones at Body Do Over is that fitness and nutrition shouldenhance your life, not be your life. It may sound like a minor distinction, but sometimes little things lead to monstrous results. That being said, if you’re coming from a place of eating fast food and sitting at your desk, in your car and on a couch, you’ll need to start really small – and that is perfectly OK! In fact, that is the only way you’ll really be able to see this through.

Make 1 or 2 incremental changes a week. For example, most people don’t drink anywhere close to a gallon of water a day. Did I just hear you gasp? That is the response I get from most of our first-time CUT Members on the initial sit down. Maybe the second change will be to get a complex carbohydrate and protein rich breakfast everyday. A lot of the time, this will be more than enough to keep someone brand new to making changes busy. Depending on your level, maybe a few walks around the block will round out the first week. Hopefully, you get the idea.

We are here to help you figure out what early changes can be for you to ensure that you finally make this happen. Congratulations on being here, reading this and making the decision to take control of your life little by little, one small change at a time.