I can’t lift weights with nobody,
And at this rate, we gon’ both die weak,
Got friends that just do cardio, knowin’ they won’t lift,
I tell ’em all the time their future health looks bleak.
– Kanye (probably)
If you wish, you can grab the N.W.A. Newsletter Playlist on Spotify here, all of the songs that have been featured in the newsletter are on the playlist.
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip of The Week
Last week, a follower asked me this question on Twitter.
(I put out daily content and always respond to questions on Twitter – you can follow me here if you don’t already):
It was a great question, and a common one.
There have been myths floating around about “protein absorption rates” for years, and I’ve been asked this many times.
First, when discussing myths, it’s important to understand the origins of some of these myths.
The “you can only absorb so much protein in one sitting” myth is one that stems from a poorly misinterpreted study that measured muscle protein synthesis rates after consuming various amounts of protein.
The study had different groups, and those groups consumed different amounts of protein (think 20 grams, 40 grams, 60 grams, etc), and then measured muscle protein synthesis after the meal was eaten.
Muscle protein synthesis is a fancy way of saying “your muscles are in an anabolic/growth state”.
Muscle protein synthesis measures the degree with which your muscles are repairing themselves, which allows for a faster rate of strength gains, and ultimately, size gains.
The study realized that the difference in protein synthesis was not statistically different between the groups, regardless of the size of the protein bolus.
And since there was no difference between 20 grams, 40 grams, 60 grams, etc, that caused everyone to start screaming “your body can only use 20 grams of protein, everything else is a waste!”
If you can’t see the issue with this dubious conclusion, let me make it a bit more obvious – muscle protein synthesis isn’t the only benefit of eating protein.
Protein is much more filling than the other 2 macronutrients, which helps you reduce hunger on a diet.
Protein helps you preserve muscle as well as build muscle, and not everyone has goals of being “huge”.
Protein provides a metabolic advantage over the other 2 macronutrients, and can aid in fat loss because of this (protein has a high “thermal effect” – 25% of its calories are burned off in the digestion process).
Protein is nearly impossible to convert to body fat – it can cause weight gain if eaten in excess, sure, but it will be nearly all muscle gain if protein is your main source of excess calories.
Just because your body doesn’t get an additional muscle building benefit if it eats more than 20 grams of protein in one sitting doesn’t mean the protein is “wasted”.
It still provides you with energy.
It still helps you feel full.
It still gives you a metabolic advantage over the other macros.
It still helps you gain more muscle overall versus the other macronutrients.
Anecdotally, lots of our coaching clients eat meals with way more than 20 grams of protein in one sitting.
Our clients have no issue with building muscle, as evidenced by the clear muscle building results we get for them.
I personally often eat meals with 100+ grams of protein in them, and I’ve gained muscle through the years just fine.
That being said, I do suggest tailoring your meal frequency with regards to protein towards your fitness goals.
Here is what I tell clients:
If your main goal is fat loss, disregard meal frequency entirely.
Eat however many meals per day that you prefer, and you find the most beneficial to stick to consistently (the most important part of fat loss – adherence).
Some people prefer to fast in the morning and eat just lunch and dinner, others prefer 3 “squares”, others like frequent smaller meals.
It doesn’t matter – all that matters is your overall protein and calorie consumption over the course of the day.
If your main goal is muscle gain, that changes…
Since you want to keep muscle protein synthesis elevated chronically throughout the course of the day, it’s best to split your protein up into smaller doses more frequently.
However, you don’t need to get neurotic about it and eat 10 meals of 20 grams of protein per day (that would be super annoying to try to pull off).
Your protein will be absorbed slowly throughout the day, and a 50 gram bolus of protein will last you for at least 5-6 hours or so (probably more).
If you are focusing on muscle gain, eat at least 25-50 grams of protein 3-4 times per day, depending on your overall protein goals.
You’re a man who eats 200 grams of protein per day.
Eating 50 grams of protein, 4 meals per day would be “optimal” (3 would likely be just fine as well).
One meal at 7-8 am, one meal at noon, one meal at 5-6 pm, and one meal at 9-10 pm would be perfect.
Let’s say you’re a woman who eats 120 grams of protein per day.
Eating 30 grams of protein, 4 meals per day would work for you (at the same times as the example above).
And of course, remember to keep your calories in line with your overall goals as well (very important).
You must be in a deficit if you want to lose fat, and you must be in a slight surplus if you’re looking to gain appreciable muscle mass.
I hope this clears up this very common protein myth, and helps to clarify things for you.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go smash a 16 ounce New York Strip… I promise you, my body will “use” every ounce of those sweet, delicious gains…
Nothing beats the customization and personalization of a 1:1 program.
When you have a hand created, tailor-made gameplan for success, and a Coach checking in on you and holding you accountable, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you make progress.
Think a 1:1 program might be something you’d be interested in this Fall?
N.W.A. Mindset Tip of The Week
I’m 42 years old.
I’m at the point in my life where if I look around at people my age, the divide between those of us who exercise and try to eat right, and those who don’t is striking.
Maybe when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, your main goal for being in shape is to be “thin” (or at least not be fat).
But when you’re in your 40’s and above, if you’re still thinking of exercise as a “way to be skinny”, you’re thinking about it in the wrong way.
Getting regular, vigorous exercise (and eating healthy) is one of the best things you could ever do to live a better life.
Does it help you lose weight?
But that is just a byproduct, and a neat feature of living healthy.
The true benefits are much more important than that.
You exercise to feel good about yourself.
You exercise to improve your mental health (vigorous exercise has been proven to be over 2x as effective as medicine and therapy combined for mental health issues).
You exercise to reduce your stress.
You exercise to increase your endorphins.
You exercise to amplify your sex drive (testosterone is important for both men and women).
You exercise to help you sleep better at night.
You exercise so your body continues to move the way it’s supposed to move.
You exercise to maintain and improve your balance as you age.
You exercise to strengthen your bones to prevent breaks.
You exercise to get out of your “head” and into your “body”.
You exercise to give yourself energy (you’re not tired because you need “rest” – you’re tired because you sit for 14 hours per day…)
You exercise to increase your self worth and confidence.
You exercise to become a stronger person (both physically and mentally).
You exercise simply because it’s good for you, and you know you should do it.
If you’re 40+, guess what?
You are a full-blown adult.
Forget the silly social media posts from people your age that say “adulting is hard”, and make jokes about wanting to remain in adolescence in perpetuity.
Let’s be real – odds are good you’ve lived over 1/2 of your life already.
Damn… that was tough for me to type… that’s a hard pill for me to swallow, too…
But the reason I’m being so blunt is to get this next point through your head…
Adults do the things they know they should do, and they do them because they will pay off in the future.
Adults know how to delay gratification.
They plan for their retirement and invest in their 401k’s.
They save for their kids’ college funds.
They eat their veggies.
They keep alcohol consumption minimized.
They stay away from excessive drugs, pornography, and other extreme dopamine hits.
And yes… they exercise regularly… because they know it’s good for them; that’s reason enough for a proper adult to take care of their body.
If you’re still thinking of exercise as some sort of a punishment for eating too many cookies, and dreading your workouts, it’s time to change your mental framework.
You exercise to be the best version of yourself you can be.
No other reasons are necessary.
And if you don’t take that seriously now, eventually you’ll be reminded of why it’s so important to take care of your future self…
If you’ve been struggling with your fitness regimen, and you want a clear path from Point A to Point B and the best of accountability with our cutting edge 1:1 programs, tap here to apply.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Things that won’t make a lick of difference to fat loss:
- The GI scale
- Fasting protocols
- When you eat certain macros
- Fasted cardio
- Ice baths
Things that make a HUGE difference to fat loss:
- A calorie deficit
- Protein intake
- Daily step counts
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.
This song will forever give me goosebumps. (NSFW – lyrics)