Thursday, Apr 7, 2016 9:33 AM

How You Can Have the Body You Desire Without a Complex Plan

Let's be clear about something...

Counting calories just isn't sustainable over a long period time... unless your OCD... sorry OCD folks, but it's true. ;)


Calories are important from a sense that not getting enough is almost as bad as getting too many. Click here to read my last post about finding your optimal caloric intake.   

Now that's out of the way, let's get down to business!

Here's 2 Tips to get you on the right track.

Tip #1
This book is based on the science of how certain foods impact our physical health and mental health.  

By eating more foods that make us healthier and avoiding foods that make us less healthy, we can dramatically improve our health in a short amount of time.

Food is a very emotional thing for a lot of people.  By breaking these chains it opens a whole new world of health and vitality.  

At the end of the day, we are what we eat. I've tested thousands of people over the past few years and one thing is as true today as it was from the beginning...


If you train so you can enjoy some of the finer things in life, I'm ok with that.  We're all human and I'm pro cheat meal one or two times per week.  

In addition, when it comes to nutrition, I'm not comfortable with the term "Diet".  Check out this article from my friend Kevin Kwan, the owner of Athlete Inside Performance in Calgary, on 4 Reasons Why Diets Fail.

Tip #2
  • Sign up with a gym that does group training or get a personal trainer. 
Reason I suggest this is because you don't have to think about creating your own work out program. Most people aren't sure where to start so they do nothing.

Let the professionals handle the programming.  All you need to do is show up on time and bring your gym bag.

Ideally getting to the gym 3-4 days per week would elicit some nice results in a short amount of time in partnership with a healthy eating plan. 

In case you missed the first part of the article, there's only 2 basic concepts you need to create the body you desire:
  1. Eat More Clean and Nutritious Foods, Avoid Foods That Make You Less Healthy
  2. Regular Physical Exercise 
That's it.  

There are no pills that will magically shed body fat or build muscle.  You have to do the work.

That being said, some supplements can be a great addition to your training and nutrition programs.  If you want straight facts and no bull on what works and what doesn't, call our friends over at Bond Nutrition.  Some of the most knowledgable and straight up people in the biz.

What gym in your area would you recommend to other people looking to get started with a good group of people?

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 11:21 AM

Here Is a Method That Is Helping Thousands to Improve Their Fat Loss

It all starts with one thing that is extremely personal to you...

Your Metabolism.

Most people know the term and understand the concept, but not how it directly applies to them as an individual.


Metabolism refers to the processes that the body needs to function.  Some of these processes are breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve function and contraction of muscles to name a few.

Basal Metabolic Rate then means the amount of calories your body needs to survive at complete rest, per day.

So why is that important?

This is the first step in discovering what your personal daily caloric requirements are based on your activity level.  

We use the Harris-Benedict Formula when helping our clients determine what their optimal caloric consumption should be on a daily basis.  

Here's a break down of the formula:
 Little to no exercise  Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.2
 Light exercise (1–3 days per week)  Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.375
 Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week)  Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.55
 Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week)  Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.725
 Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts)  Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.9

As an example, we can use my BMR which is 1841 kcal per day.  I work out 4 times a week which is considered moderately active.

  • BMR of 1841 x 1.55 = 2853 kcal per day 

Keep in mind that I wouldn't lose any fat eating at this caloric range. I would maintain my current weight.  

If I were looking to lose more fat mass, I would want to eat at a deficit from this number.  

Ideally we're looking to have a deficit of anywhere between 200 and 500 calories per day from this number.

  • 2853 kcal - 500 = 2353 kcal per day Goal

This would be enough calories to fuel my performance and at the same time optimize fat burning.

In fact I always err on the side of more calories than lower.  In this situation I would go up to 2400 calories.

Is this an exact science?  

No it isn't.  

Every person has different requirements but it does put us in the ball park.  

The best thing we can do to dial in our caloric consumption is to listen to our bodies.

Common symptoms of people not getting enough calories are:
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Poor mental clarity
  • Poor performance at the gym
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Increased grumpiness
  • Your friends might not be calling you as much....
You get the picture.  :)

When we prescribe a caloric target, we need our clients to do it for a two week period.  We all have shitty days so you can't fly off the handle and blame it on the food or lack of it.  

By monitoring how our body feels, we can start to dial in the caloric range to meet your specific needs.

If any of those symptoms apply regularly for the two week period, we simply add 100 to 200 calories per day and go through the 2 week process again.

With all that said, I'm not talking about cheese burgers and chocolate bars here.  

When it comes to calories, I'm always talking about lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits.

Give us a call and schedule your Resting Metabolic Rate test and we will run through this exact process with you.  

Click HERE to get started.

Do you know roughly how many calories you're consuming on a daily basis?  

Is that enough based on your BMR and your activity level?

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2016 8:43 PM

What Everybody Ought To Know About Body Mass Index (BMI)

I have to go on a bit of rant here so I apologize in advance....

Lately I've been hearing a lot of talk from my clients about BMI or Body Mass Index.  

Some are concerned about not having a "healthy" BMI.  

Some know it doesn't mean anything but aren't sure why.  

Some have a "healthy" BMI but are far from healthy.
Here's the formula and what each of the classifications are:

BMI = Weight,kg/(Height,m) squared
  • Below 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5 to 24.9 = Ideal
  • 25.0 to 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30.0 and above = Obese
For those of you that don't know, BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian, Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet.  He was a mathematician, not a physician.  He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources.

Right out of the gate we're on the wrong track.  

One major flaw is that it doesn't even take in the circumference of the waist which is clear indicator of obesity.

I'll give you 2 clear examples of why BMI is misleading and actual results from clients I've tested myself.

Subject #1 - A Male Body Builder - Lifting heavy weight regularly, consumes large amounts of calories daily.
  • Weight - 203 lbs
  • Height - 5' 9"
  • BMI - 30 - Which would be classified as Obese
  • Body Fat % - 8% - Healthy is 10-20% in men
As you can see, this client has a lot of lean muscle mass and very little fat mass.  Would you consider this man to be unhealthy based on his BMI?
Example High BMI Low BFP_copy
Subject #2 - A Middle Age Women - Never lifted weights, consumes too little calories daily based on her Basal Metabolic Rate.
  • Weight - 127.6 lbs
  • Height - 5' 3.6"
  • BMI - 22.0 - Which would be classified as Ideal
  • Body Fat % - 33.7% - Healthy is 18-28% in women
Based on the BMI standard, she would be considered healthy.  When we look below the surface, we can see that she's at risk for two major reasons.
  1. Having a body fat percentage above 28% in women (20% in men) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  2. With her lean mass so low, she is a prime candidate for osteoporosis, a serious condition which decreases the strength of our bones.
I know this isn't politically correct or a very nice comment to make, but I'm sure most everyone has heard the term "skinny fat" before.  This is an example of the results we would see in a person with this body type.

Example Normal BMI High BFP

What's really sad is that I don't think the BMI standard will ever change if the insurance industry has anything to do with it.  They make lots of money charging premiums to people that have higher BMI's regardless of if they're obese or muscular.

Check out the link below to see more reasons why BMI just doesn't give us the full picture.

Click here for a great article on the Top 10 Reasons Why BMI Is Bogus

Rant over.  Thanks for reading! hahaha

So what's your BMI story?  When did the light bulb come on for you when you realized it didn't mean anything about you?

Tuesday, Mar 1, 2016 4:04 PM

Are You Prepared To Sacrifice Your Future For Poor Food Choices

What comes to mind as reasons why people choose fast food over real whole foods?

Most people will come up with the following two reasons:
  1. Too Busy... with work, family, etc.
  2. Pure Laziness
It's not very surprising in a world where all of us are in a hurry to get from one event to the next.  Getting the kids to school, to sports, birthday parties plus your own social calendar to boot.  If you actually have one and have kids please let me know how you do it in the comments section! :)

We try to cram so much into our days that getting a nutritious meal can be extremely challenging.  

Not only this, but instant gratification has become the bane of modern society.  It seems more and more common where people aren't willing to put the work in to get a desired result.

Don't get me wrong though because I'm no saint.  I've been know to hit the drive through at Tim Horton's and grab a breakfast sandwich.  When I have to be testing in Calgary or Edmonton at 8am that means I'm on the road at 5:30am and grabbing something quick.  My food for the day is always packed though.

It's fast, it's convenient and there's a time and a place where it fits in.

That time isn't every day.  

The biggest problem I see is that these small, seemingly inconsequential decisions turn into habits.  In a year of eating fast food and not working out you might put on 5 to 10 lbs.  That may not sound like much but it can sneak up on a person pretty damn quick if you don't catch it.

Lets take a longer view of this.  Even on the low end of adding 5 lbs per year, over five years you could be 25 lbs heavier ...  ten years and we're looking at 50 lbs ... twenty years it could be 100 lbs.  

Don't kid yourself because this happens all the time and I see it every day.  Each of us knows someone who this has happened to.  

Now I'm not picking on people that are obese.  I don't believe that people intend on letting this happen.  Like I said it sneaks up and BOOM!  You don't even know what happened and there you are.... 50 lbs heavier.

One caveat I'll make is that some people have serious medical conditions that make it extremely difficult to lose fat.  That's a whole other discussion that we won't cover here.

What kinds of things can happen to our body as we age and put on fat?
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Some cancers
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma.
*Check this link on WebMD to get the full list and details of each disease.

What kind of future do you think the person that has these kinds of diseases looks like?

Are they going to be able to play with their grandkids?

Are they going to be able to walk up and down the stairs?

Are they going to be able to get off the toilet?

Think about this....

Is the majority of your food moving you towards a future of health and vitality?


Is it moving you towards a future of disease and disfunction?

What kind of future are you going to create?

Let us know in the comments section.

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 12:23 PM

What Scares Me Most In The Health & Fitness World and It Should Scare You Too

We've been in the testing and tracking business since 2013 and have tested literally thousands of people.  Want to know the number one thing that scares the hell out of me?

When people have a low amount of lean muscle mass.  

Sorry Beliebers

- Sorry Beliebers...I couldn't resist. :)

I'll get into why lean mass is critically important in a minute.  The #1 thing that impedes the growth of lean muscle mass is....

Not eating enough calories to sustain your daily activities and lifestyle.

To be honest, about 70% of the women we do body composition testing on don't eat enough.  

How can we tell?  

The tell tale sign in both women and men that have not been eating enough calories for most of their life is low lean mass and higher fat mass levels. (see Lean Body Mass and Body Fat Mass in test results below)
Low Lean Mass Example_copy

So what happens when you don't eat enough calories to sustain your body?

"Oh, oh!  I'm starving here.  I'm going to save my fat stores for last because it's the best concentrated source of energy we have. I'm going to cannibalize my muscle mass first and save the fat reserves for last." - a message from your hungry body

You're body needs those calories regardless of how many you're taking in.  Since fat is the best fuel source our body has, it's going to save those calories for last. 

It sounds counterintuitive but you need to eat more to lose fat.  Now I'm not talking about chocolate bars and cheese burgers here.  I'm talking about lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and some fruits.

Why is having higher than average muscle mass healthy for you?
  1. Muscle is what fuels our metabolism - the more muscle we have, the easier it is to lose fat
  2. More directed to women - the best defence a women has against osteoporosis is lean muscle mass
These are two pretty big reasons to start build some lean mass.

What can you do to build lean muscle mass?  
  1. You need to lift heavy weights - sorry those 5 lbs dumb bells aren't going to help.  Safety first obviously.  If you don't have any experience in the gym, hire a trainer.  
  2. You need to eat! - how can you expect to build muscle when you're not eating enough calories to even sustain your activity levels?
Hopefully you understand by now why eating enough healthy calories is important to growing and maintaining your lean muscle mass.  

Here's the tricky part...how many calories are enough?  

The first step in finding out is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or how many calories your body needs to survive at complete rest.  

I'll dive into BMR in another post in the near future.  Just for the sake of getting you on the right track, use this BMR Calculator.  It's not 100% accurate because there are critical variables that this calculator doesn't factor in.  

Regardless, if someone is telling you to eat at your BMR or below for any long period of time, find yourself a new trainer or nutritionist. 

I'll sign off with an action for you....plug your numbers into that BMR Calculator and let us know in the comments section how many calories you consume on average compared to the number it comes out with.  It can be a real eye opener.

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