1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…. it’s the 10 Gym Commandments WHAT…
– Biggie (probably)
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Each Friday’s N.W.A. Newsletter will have 3 parts:
- A Nutritional Tip to help make your diet healthier and easier to stick to.
- A Workout Tip to help make your training sessions more effective and fun.
- An Attitude/Mindset tip to help you strengthen your greatest asset – your mental toughness.
I will also give you my single favorite piece of social media content from AF over the past week and link to it on either Instagram or Twitter.
Without any further ado… let’s get started, shall we?
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip Of The Week:
Eating a high protein, low carb diet can be a solid way to lose body fat.
I don’t suggest going zero carb or Keto; I’ve written about the reasons why in the past.
But usually carbohydrates are the first macronutrient you manipulate when dieting.
You never touch your protein; eat high protein every day, no matter what.
Fat *can* be altered if you have wiggle room.
But altering your carbs just makes sense.
Carbs are in abundance in our diets, so that’s the area we can make the most “noise” with, so to speak.
When you start to lower your carb intake, your carbohydrate choices should change as well.
It’s important to know not all carbs are created equally.
Some carbs are nutritious, healthy, and should be eaten on a daily basis.
And other carbs… well… not so much…
Let’s break this down so you have an idea of what you should be eating for your carb sources if you’re currently low carb dieting.
First, let’s get this out of the way…
I will NOT be discussing the following foods:
- Delivered/Take Out Pizza
- Ice Cream
- Potato Chips
- Baked Goods/Cookies
Contrary to popular belief, these foods are NOT “carbs”, even though they’re the first foods you think of when you think “carbs”.
These foods all have just as many calories from fats than they have from carbs.
There’s a word for these foods – “junk food”…
Combinations of carbs and fats are hyper-palatable.
Meaning, they’re easy to eat and taste great.
And they’re also loaded with calories.
It’s usually best to avoid them when dieting.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive in…
God Tier Carbs:
- Rice (brown or white)
- Potatoes (white or sweet)
The 5 foods on this list are healthy, nutrient dense, low in calories, and should be the staple of your carb sources when dieting.
Hell, they should be the staple of your carb sources even when you’re not dieting!
You’ll notice one thing about these foods.
They are all “single ingredient carbohydrates”.
They are very close to how they appear in nature, with minimal processing.
Be sure to eat these carbs daily.
Oh, one more thing – don’t stress the details.
If you like white rice, eat white rice!
If you like white potatoes, go for it – you don’t have to eat sweet potatoes because you read on some blog about the dangers of “starchy carbs”.
Those fears are overblown.
I eat white rice and white potatoes almost every day – they’re simply my preference.
I have no issues getting lean while eating them, and neither do AF clients.
Mid Tier Carbs:
These carbs *can* be eaten regularly, but some people have issues with them.
In some individuals, these foods can bloat you and/or cause some mild inflammation.
If you have gluten issues or sensitivities, they may not be the best choice for you.
You may be able to argue beans should be on the God Tier of carbs.
But they are a bit more calorie dense than the rest of the God Tier items, so I put these on the Mid Tier.
It’s best to use your own personal judgement with Mid Tier Carbs.
If you can enjoy them without digestive issues, and not overeat them, there’s no reason to fear them.
No matter what “Wheat Belly” and “Grain Brain” told you in the past… (both are popular but biased books on ‘carb fear’ and the ‘insulin hypothesis’).
Peasant Tier Carbs:
- Sugary Candy/Treats
These carbs should be eaten sparingly, if at all.
No, they don’t directly cause fat gain – only being in a calorie surplus will do that.
That being said, they don’t provide much, if any nutrition, and they contain a LOT of calories for what you’re eating.
When you’re dieting, you want to look for nutrient dense foods, not calorie dense foods.
And no, honey isn’t some “superfood” – it’s just another form of sugar, nothing more, nothing less.
The carbs on the Peasant Tier should be seen as “treats” and avoided for the most part.
Never Go There Carbs:
- Sugary Drinks
- Energy Drinks
- Fruit Juices
Drinking your calories is a horrible idea in general.
Liquid calories are your enemy if you’re trying to lose weight.
They offer little or no nutrition and next to no satiety.
Drinks like mocha frappes from Starbucks are just milk shakes marketed to be “coffee drinks”.
They’re a terrible idea to drink, and honestly, they shouldn’t be consumed – ever.
Fun fact – there is only *one* food I tell people to never, ever eat no matter what the circumstances are: Energy Drinks.
They’re loaded with horrible chemicals and can cause adverse reactions when you drink them.
I haven’t had a single energy drink since 2009.
I went to Vegas with friends and my first night, I was jet lagged from the 3 hour time difference.
I sat down at a blackjack table and when the waitress came over, I ordered a Sugar Free Red Bull and vodka.
As the night progressed, I had about 5 more of them.
This was not a good idea…
The Vegas trip was from Friday to Sunday, and I did not sleep one wink.
I laid down in my bed on both nights, and just stared at the ceiling with my heart racing.
It even happened on Saturday night, too, and I hadn’t had any Red Bulls at all that day – the effects from the night before were still lingering.
If a drink has so much bullshit in it that your sleep is affected for that long, it can’t be good for you.
It’s best to avoid them altogether.
Carbs get a bad rap.
In reality, they’re perfectly fine and healthy for you.
Especially if you choose wisely.
Save this issue of the newsletter and refer back to it often, and it’ll help you make better carbohydrate choices moving forward.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
The phrase “bodybuilding” has a negative connotation.
I blame Planet Fitness and their (stupid) commercials mocking bodybuilders.
Which is ironic coming from a “Judgement Free Zone”, but I digress…
In reality, you should train and eat like a bodybuilder.
Think about it – bodybuilders are trying to do 2 things:
1. Gain Muscle
2. Lose Body Fat
Inherently, these are both VERY good things.
Bodybuilders train to get strong – it’s a requirement of the sport.
You might argue they train to make their muscles bigger, and not necessarily for strength.
However, gaining strength is a requirement if you want to gain muscle.
Sure, they might not be trying to be powerlifters or anything, but they’re still using progressive overload each time they get into the gym.
Strength correlates with a high quality of life, and a high life expectancy.
Being strong will protect you against falls, slips, and make your bones stronger as well.
There ain’t no downside to being strong, that’s for sure.
Bodybuilders also train to create muscle tissue.
Muscle tissue is metabolically advantageous – people with a higher rate of muscle mass burn more calories throughout the course of the day.
Once you hit 30 years of age, your muscle starts to deteriorate.
If you don’t lift weights, by the time you’re in your Golden Years, you will be frail and lacking the muscle mass required to live life to its fullest.
There are *zero* downsides to gaining muscle.
Side note – training like a bodybuilder won’t make you “bulky” unless you’re using anabolic steroids.
Nobody became Arnold overnight just because they did some squats…
Muscle is universally a good thing, and training intently to build muscle is an excellent idea for you.
And lastly, bodybuilders diet to maintain a low body fat percentage.
Otherwise, you’d never be able to see the muscle they’ve built.
It’s rare for a bodybuilder to be over 15% body fat (for men) and 20% body fat (for women), even in the “off season”.
These body fat percentages are good goals to aim for.
They’re tough to achieve, but ultimately doable if you stay consistent and disciplined with your workouts and diet.
So, if bodybuilders live a lifestyle that causes them to gain strength, gain muscle, and lose body fat… isn’t that inherently a good thing?!?
I would argue those goals are all GREAT things!
If you have preconceived notions about what “bodybuilding” is, let me assure you, training like a bodybuilder is one of the best things you can possibly do to improve your health, increase your lifespan, and live your best life, hands down.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Don’t EVER settle for mediocrity.
A friend of mine lost a good amount of weight and has gotten much healthier as a result.
He’s an AF client as well, and he used Full Access: Anyman Fitness to lose 5 inches off of his waist.
He looks and feels much healthier.
BUT he still has a ways to go to reach his ultimate goals.
He was struggling for a few weeks, and he texted me a progress picture.
He was asking how to beat a “plateau” he was convinced he was having.
I started asking him some questions on how closely he was sticking to his diet.
It was clear he was “kinda, sorta”-ing his diet, and he was splurging a bit more than he should.
This is very common, and it happens to many people.
When you first start a fitness regimen, you’re gung ho and motivated, ready to conquer the beast.
But over time, often you’ll start “slipping” just a bit.
What was once a laser-like focus becomes a bit sloppy.
You start eye-balling portion sizes and sneaking a few treats here and there.
Or you get a bit lazy and stop meal prepping in favor of take out food.
No judgement – I’ve definitely been there before.
But when I gently told him I thought he needed to double down and get back to the basics, he replied with:
“I’m just a bigger guy, man, I’m never going to be able to get really lean – it’s just not possible for me.”
He shouldn’t have said that… because oh boy, did that hit a nerve with me… (the word “triggered” comes to mind lol)
I won’t lie, I kinda went off on him a bit (he’s been my friend since we were 5; I don’t suggest this doing this unless you really know the person).
I told him his mindset was bullshit.
He was giving up before he even started.
And I ain’t no spring chicken, I’ve been a fitness coach for a decade.
I could see the future – his progress plateaus, he gets a defeatist mindset, and within a few weeks, he’s stopped exercising and training right, and the weight all comes back.
It happens more frequently than I’d like to admit.
Don’t EVER think you can’t do something.
I don’t care WHAT it is.
You have to always think “if I have enough time, I can figure this out” when you’re faced with a challenge.
People who don’t meet challenges head on are only scared of one thing: Failure.
If my buddy stick with it, I’m positive he’ll lose every pound he wants to lose.
But even if he sticks with it for a full year, and he doesn’t reach the ‘magical scale number’ he has in his head, does that mean he’s an actual failure?
He will have over a year of living life with healthy habits under his belt.
Do you think that will raise his chances of making those habits permanent from here on out?
Training hard and eating right is simply what you should do.
And the results will get better and better over time if you do.
You never know how far you can take something.
One of the biggest problems most people face with fitness is the old “start, stop, gain it back, start again, stop again, gain it back again, start for the third time…” loop.
But what if you just stopped stopping?
And you kept with your regimen from here on out?
How amazing do you think you’d look in a year?
In 5 years?
Never use excuses or crutches.
You are not destined to be “the bigger guy” or “the bigger girl”.
YOU are in control of what you eat and how much you exercise.
That is an absolute FACT.
So take responsibility, and get after it.
Nobody’s going to do the work for you, no matter how much you wish it to be so.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
You gotta check this out – this video was super fun to make.
I see so many Before and After pictures from other fitness professionals out there on social media.
Many of them are (obviously) manipulated by lighting, angles, and hydration.
Check out how crazy the difference is between the 2 pictures in this video below.
In the first video, the picture is taken with bad lighting and no pump.
And in the second video, the picture is taken with optimal lighting post-workout.
The 2 pictures were taken about an hour apart…
Really makes you think, doesn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
The intro to this song will never not crack me up… (NSFW – lyrics)