Episode #32: Food Cues

Each day we encounter environmental food cues almost everywhere we look. The effects of food cues may have a subtle but powerful influence on our decisions regarding what to eat and drink. The smart packaging, the clever logos, and the catchy jingles all serve to remind us of the enjoyable experience of eating certain foods in the hopes that we will buy and eat more of it.

Cues can be visual, mental, auditory or even olfactory (smelled).

Imagine you get a whiff of your favorite food and then find yourself feeling hungry, the food’s smell is serving as the unconditioned stimulus and your feeling of hunger is the unconditioned response. This stimulus-response pattern is considered “unconditioned” because it doesn’t have to be learned; it’s natural.

Cues do their job: they make us want to eat food. And unfortunately, if you are overweight or obese, they may be even more effective. So be aware of your cues.

Episode #31: Changing Too Many Variables At Once

Changing too many variables at once is just not a good move in my opinion. Making a lifestyle change is challenging enough. Most of the time we have a lot of things that we need to work on. Transforming too many things at once can add stress rather than decrease it. Lifestyle changes are a process that takes time and requires support. Once you’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is committing and following through. Today's podcast dives into what we think about changing too many variables at once and how you should combat the temptation of going down that path.

Episode #30: Pros and Cons of Different Training Programs

To continually make progress, you must develop a set of training principles that keep you moving forward. The number of principles that make up a sound training program are few. In today's podcast we dive into the pros and cons of different programs and what you should be aware when it comes to training with a specific goal in mind. 

Episode #29: Stay Out Of Your Own Way

There are a lot of things that get in the way of your health and fitness goals. 

Today we dive into some of the things we often see happen and ways to get out of your own way so you can create a better version of yourself. 

No matter what happens, it’s the way it is, and you have to keep going. And that is where the optimism lives. If you truly believe that you can do it no matter what, you’ve got this. To be able to get through, you need to have optimism. Every day is hard, and all you have to fight it in the end is yourself.

Episode #28: Should You Be Doing Cardio

Cardio training is exercise with the purpose of developing cardiovascular or aerobic fitness. Cardiovascular fitness is a good measure of the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.

Cardio training plays a vital role in human health and performance.

Whether your goal is to gain or reduce weight or for that matters simply stay fit, it is essential to include cardiovascular exercises in your fitness routine. Swimming, running, walking, bicycling, cardio machines, and aerobics classes are all forms of cardio exercises. Choose a cardiovascular exercise which you enjoy doing, and include variations in your routine to avoid boredom.

Cardio workouts can contribute to all your fitness goals. The benefits of cardio workouts are abundant, and they can contribute a lot in improving the quality of your life.

In today's episode we dive into the ins and outs of cardio programming. 

Episode #27: Setting New Year's Resolutions

Many of us set goals,  and new years resolutions. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is we typically end up not in a celebration of reaching them. Far too often we are way too close to an epic face-plant from failing. We want to achieve goals that could vastly improve our lives, but we usually don’t. Eight percent. Only eight percent of people successfully achieve their New Year’s resolution. So, that’s depressing. 

In today's podcast me and Zac dive into some of the reasons why we feel people don't reach the goals they set out on and how to combat these issues. 

Episode #26: Should Everyone Weight Train?

Your mind may actually be your biggest hurdle to staying fit and athletic well into your 80s and 90s, especially if you buy into the myth that you've got to spend your afternoons siting in a rocking chair once you reach 75. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Not everyone has to become a world class athlete to stay in shape. Exercise can be a part of your life no matter what your age, and, in fact, becomes only increasingly important as you get older. There's an overwhelming amount of evidence confirming that physical exercise is a key player in disease reduction, optimal mental, emotional and physical health, and longevity.

In today's episode we dive into special considerations for all ages when it comes to weight training. 

Episode #24: What Is Your Appetite Telling You

Hunger strikes big in moments where you are going through a calorie deficit to lose body fat. The body doesn't know you are only temporarily going through a few months of cutting your calories back to lose fat or starving to death. It sends the alarm of starvation which is why that hunger signal is so loud and can be overwhelming to you.

Cutting your calories back to lose weight is not sustainable and it's not supposed to be. It is a state of deprivation. Expect it to be uncomfortable. Expect it to be hard work. In order for you to reach your goal it must be done. Your nutrition becomes comfortable and sustainable after you reach your goal. When you reach your goal of weight loss then you make a shift into maintenance. That is when your nutrition becomes a lifestyle and should be comfortable. 

In today's episode we dive into what your hunger might be telling you. 

Episode #23: What Is The Best Strategy For Building Muscle

Building muscle is no easy feat. But the majority of information out on the internet makes it seem like you can look like Hercules in 6 weeks. 

You’ve probably been lured into reading a magazine article with a headline that says you can gain muscle quick, fast and in a hurry. These types of claims are the norm rather than the exception in social media and fitness websites. The promise of a Holy Grail workout routine that will maximize your muscle development is an enticing prospect to say the least. 

There are no cookie-cutter prescriptions for getting big, gaining muscle and getting stronger.

There is no “best” muscle-building program; only a best program for a given individual.

In today's episode we dive into the best strategies for building muscle. 

Episode #22: Staying On Track During The Holidays

Is there a trick to making good food choices during the holidays? Managing your nutrition during the holidays can be tough but only because we go into it without a plan.  

Many of the people I know fall apart nutritionally during the holidays. They say, "I can't be healthy this week because I have so many places to go for the holidays and they all involve loads of food". 

Of course when you are thrown into the unknown things will be challenging. I know it will not be easy for you to stay on track with nutrition but it is doable.

You have to remember that this lifestyle is SIMPLE not EASY. 

Episode #21: Mindset Talk

A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations. Our mindsets effect the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. Our mindsets help us spot opportunities but they can trap us in self-defeating cycles as well.

In today's episode I dive into how your mindset can can either propel you in the right direction or hold you back from reaching your goals. 

Episode #19: Myth Busters #2

The misinofrmation floating around the internet can be confusing at times. Everything is so black and white to some people because they feel the need to take a side. Then it becomes sort of like tribalism where they launch out a full on attack against anyone who doesn't believe what they believe. Listen, in health and fitness the answer is always somewhere in the middle. On today's episode we talked about a few myths that we often hear and wanted to just give our insight into what we thought about them.

1) Is cardio the best exercise option if my goal is to lose weight?
2) Should I go vegan?
3) Do I need to drink protein shakes if my goal is to lose weight?
4) Should I be concerned about gut health?
5) Do I have to eat breakfast in order to improve my health?
6) Are low carb diets best for weight loss?

Episode #18: Is Soreness A Good Thing

If you are reading this then you have experienced soreness at some point and time after a hard workout. Do you remember those times when your legs were so sore that you made a stink face getting out of the car? Or when it was hard to sit in a chair? What about the time your arms hurt so bad that doing anything to your hair was just pure agony? 

This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). If you’ve been exercising long enough, you’ve probably felt it. Some lifters relish this pain as an indicator of success, but is that really true?

The “No pain, No gain” theory is wrong! At least when it comes to muscle growth. 

Soreness can provide some insight, but don’t use it as a marker for a good workout. High levels of soreness show that you have exceeded the capacity for the muscle to undergo repair. Soreness can alter the ability to train safely, and it may decrease motivation. DOMS is the main cause of reduced exercise performance. This includes decreased muscle strength and range of motion for both athletes and non-athletes. 

So be careful next time you think it is a good idea to push it to your maximum potential just because you think being sore is a great notion. 

Your P.E. teacher lied to you. 

Episode #17: How To Vary Your Workouts

Individuals should consider varying their exercise routines for two fundamental reasons: to prevent boredom associated with doing the same things workout after workout and to consistently progress and not remain stagnant. Research has shown that adding variety to an exercise program can improve adherence.

Keep in mind that doing the exact same workout, day after day is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people enjoy a predictable, consistent routine. They don't mind the possibility of experiencing a training plateau and are content to maintain their health and fitness levels with a comfortable exercise habit. However, many individuals need to push themselves to new levels and try different activities to stay enthusiastic and excited about their workouts. By varying their exercise routines, individuals can not only stay physically challenged but mentally stimulated as well.

Episode #16: The Weekday Dieter

The weekday dieter.

That is actually a real thing. I can't tell you how many times I have met someone who eats good on the weekdays and throws everything healthy out the window on the weekends.

If you can only stick to a your diet during the weekdays then you need to rethink your strategy.

Dietary adherence is the most important determinant of weight loss success.

There is no magic formula out there that is going to elicit some special result. I know that there are pills, powders, formulas, and potions out there that some people claim to be weight loss guarantees. But the truth is they don't exist. The one thing that is proven to give the best results is consistency.

Episode #15: How Important Is Rest & Recovery

Inadequate sleep doesn't make you tough, but it certainly affects your efforts in the gym. While you may be able to "function just fine" on a few hours of sleep, doing so still short changes your body composition goals.

Your rest and recovery is just as important as your daily physical activity. In today's episode we discuss how important recovery is and what you can do to improve it. 

Episode #13: Life Lessons Learned Through Fitness

I love lifting weights. Anyone that knows me and Zac understands that we enjoy our time in the weight room.

It’s not only you versus weights but also you versus your mind and excuses. Each training session not only improves your physique and increases your performance but defines your character as well. Every rep brings you one step closer to getting stronger, both physically and mentally. Lifting weights can teach you a lot of important lessons which apply not only to sports but to life in general. In this podcast, we share with you life lessons we have learned through fitness. 

Episode #12: How To Set Fitness Goals

I think we can all agree that goals are important. Setting goals is proven to help you achieve more because goals help you strategically pick the right actions, help you put in more effort, and keep you motivated over time.

Having good fitness goals can help you push through feeling too tired to go to the gym or feeling uncomfortable because you aren’t sure what to do. It keeps your 'why' at the forefront of your mind in the tough times that you will face. 

But goal setting isn’t actually about the goal. Coming up with random numbers or ideas is one place where goal setting can go wrong. It’s more important to know your vision: the way you want your goal to change your life.

Good fitness goals are about how you want to live. Today's podcast talks about how to set fitness goals. 

Episode #11: What Is NEAT?

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and even fidgeting. 

If we are having difficulty losing weight and blaming it on our metabolism but our blood work and hormones are actually in line, then we have to start thinking about where the problem really lies. Your basal metabolic rate can make up for 60% of your calorie expenditure. NEAT can account for as little as 15% of energy expenditure in the very sedentary and up to 50% in very active individuals. 

In today's episode we discuss the importance of NEAT and how to improve it in your life.