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Archives for November 2013

whats-the-correct-daily-protein-intake-for-fat-loss-banner

This is an evergreen question in the health and fitness industry. And it’s one of the most commonly asked questions in any fitness forum.

I want to provide you with my perspective.

Firstly, protein is very important for weight loss.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Top benefits of protein consumption
  • How lacking protein can prevent fat loss
  • Why you need protein to build muscle and lose more weight
  • How much protein you should be eating
  • Common protein mistakes

Protein Has A Number Of Benefits:

  • increases your metabolism to help you lose fat faster
  • essential for muscle growth and repair
  • stabilizes blood sugar
  • promotes a feeling of satiety

Consider a “couch potato” lifestyle. It’s recommended that someone who is sedentary consumes about 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight, on a daily basis.

Now, consumption should increase from there. When you exercise, protein stores are broken down and used for fuel. Without adequate amounts, your body can enter a catabolic state, which means it begins to use and burn muscle tissue instead.

I don’t want you to be alarmed – just aware.

This causes problems in both the short and long term, however, you really begin to see its effects long-term in your inability to lose weight.

How Lack Of Protein Prevents Fat Loss

Muscle burns fat. You’re number one goal should be to increase your BMR (basal metabolic rate), or otherwise referred to as your RMR (resting metabolic rate).

Your BMR refers to the number of calories your body burns/needs on a daily basis while at rest (not sleeping).

The more muscle on your body the higher this number.

Protein Builds Muscle. More Muscle Means More Fat Loss

If your goal is fat loss, then you need to build more muscle. When you do this, it means that you won’t have to work as hard to burn calories.

We all get old. Sure we can train to delay the effects of age but at some point, you will not be able to train as hard for as long as you do today.

So, having more muscle mass means that your body will burn fat during the day, even when you are resting. This is the ideal condition to achieve.

If you set yourself up for success now, even when you are able to do less you’ll be able to count on a higher BMR to help you.

It’s all about your BMR.

⚡ Related: BMR Calculator

Daily Protein Recommendations:

  1. Begin at 1/2g of protein per lb of body weight as an absolute minimum, and work up from there based on the intensity and frequency of your training.
  2. Ideally, I’d like you to work up to 1.2 – 1.5 if you are training 4 -5 times per week at an hour a session.
  3. Eat a portion of protein at every meal to help you hit your total daily intake.
  4. Supplement with a high-quality Whey. My recommendation is 1-2 shakes per day.

The Best Protein For Lean Muscle Gain

I personally use my own Morellifit Protein. I feel it is the highest quality protein on the market today. It’s all natural and comes from grass-fed cows, and if you’ve seen my videos you know I am very much in favor of whole foods from as close to nature as possible.

⚡ Related: Learn Why Grass-Fed is Better for You and the Cows!

With only 5 ingredients, not only is it really clean but really tasty!

Common Protein Mistakes

Lastly, do not get the protein in nuts, milk, cheese or yogurt confused with the protein that’s necessary to meet daily requirements.

Nuts = quality fats

Yogurt, Milk, Cheese = carbs

Examples of high-quality proteins are fish, eggs, chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey.

⚡ Related: Learn What the Best Plant-Based Protein Sources Are if You Are a Vegetarian/Vegan

Summary

Use the recommendation daily protein intake and track the results you start to see. You will notice more muscle and less fat as a result.

When I started to manipulate my protein intake, I began to notice quick changes in my physique. Remember, fat loss is all about your BMR.

What is the best time to consume protein? Click here.

Do you hate plateaus as much as I do?

If you’ve been working out for any length of time, then my guess is you do. And, for those of you who have just started working out or have been lucky enough to avoid them, it’s only a matter of time. Don’t worry they happen to even the very best athletes in the world.

However, when you are prepared for something it’s far less likely to affect you.

The following three tips will help you shake off just about any plateau you can think of. These are the same tips I use, over and over again with my clients, so I know they will prove to be successful if you follow them.

3 things you’ll learn in this post:

  • Why you should write down your workout
  • How to change up your routine
  • Why your diet matters

1. Write Down Your Workout

  • Stay prepared. Get into the habit of writing down your entire routine before setting foot in the gym, popping in that workout DVD, looking through your HIIT MAX™ Training Guide or gearing up for your training session. Include every detail; reps, sets, weight, and rest.

Not only will you train with laser focus and intensity, you will also get your workout done in less time, leaving you with more time to enjoy your other favorite activities.

⚡ Related: Learn If HIIT is Right For You

2. Change Up Your

Routine

a. Increase “Volume”

  • Increase the volume of your workout by training longer. Keyword “training”. Not walking around aimlessly. Again write down your workout.
  • I only recommend increasing the volume of your workout if you are training for less than one hour. Start with an increase of 15-20%.

b. Increase “Density”

  • Increase the density of your workout by doing more in the same amount of time.
  • Or by performing the same amount in less time.
  • You can always increase the density. I am a big believer in workouts with less rest built into them. That is essentially how you increase the density of any given workout. This is how you rev-up your metabolism too.

You can change up your routine; increase “Volume” and or “Density” by manipulating any one or more of the following:

  1. Time in between sets (rest)
  2. Reps
  3. Sets
  4. Weight

Adhere to the volume/density principals and you will be able to push through any barrier big or small. By manipulating your reps, sets, weight, and rest time you keep your muscles guessing.

And, if you have seen or heard me say in one of my other videos or eBooks, you know on the training side everything revolves around the “keep your muscles guessing, keep your muscles growing and changing” philosophy.

The last and possibly the most important tip revolves around your diet.

3. Take a Hard Look at Your Diet

  • Eliminate that one thing from your diet that you know needs to go.

We all have that one thing in our diet that’s very difficult for us to give up. For me, it was a cranberry orange muffin every morning with my coffee. I think I had this particular muffin with my coffee for 180 days straight. I was addicted. It was the very last thing to go. It was hard but so worth it. I found a substitute to take its place.

Protein bars are a great way to supplement your diet, but be sure you get a good one!

Moral of the story… Whatever your thing is, give it up for at least the next 7 days. You’ll be glad you did.

Summary

If you are stuck, maybe the scale isn’t tipping, you can’t put on any mass, or maybe you just can’t seem to get any stronger.

Regardless of the plateau, I can assure you by implementing these 3 things you will bust through your plateau in no time. It won’t even seem like a plateau.

What’s your biggest hurdle or plateau at the moment and are you prepared to flat out crush it?

As I always say, the weight loss process is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

I have given lots of diet advice on this blog already, but some people just want a meal plan to follow.

So, you asked, and I have answered.

Here is a meal plan for a single day. But first, you need to know about the…

Foundations of Eating For Weight Loss

Find your BMR – you don’t need to count calories but you do need to find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This refers to the number of calories you burn during the day – while you are at rest. You can use an accurate BMR calculator to figure this out.

Next, divide by 5/6 meals – when you have the BMR, divide the number by 5 or 6. This will give you the number of calories that you need to consume during each meal. This number does not need to be absolutely accurate. It should be an approximation.

Know which foods to eat – this is very important and will be explained below.

Prepare your meals 24 hours in advance – it is important that you always stay ahead of your schedule. If you don’t stay prepared, you are very likely to eat some junk food, or processed food, during the day.

Forget caloric deficit – this is not important at the moment. I don’t count calories, but I am aware of what I’m eating. Try to be conscious of your meal portions but don’t obsess over it.

Keep these 5 concepts in mind when reading the rest of this article.

The Meal Plan for Fat Loss

OK, let’s get into the actual meal plan (it is based on the 5 concepts above).

Avocado-Bacon-and-Eggs-500-6038-300x200Breakfast – eat your breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. This will rev up your metabolism and set you up for success for the rest of the day.

  • Best option: Aim for eggs, bacon, turkey, and avocado. This is the best way to get the high-quality fats and protein into your system.
  • Backup option (when busy): protein shake and fruit is the next best option.
  • You could also try gain-less granola and fruit. Or almond butter and fruit.

2nd meal (2/3 hours later)

  • Protein shake and fruit
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Almond butter
  • Protein bar
  • Nuts seeds and fruit

3rd meal (2/3 hours later)

  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp salad
  • Sweet potato
  • Veggies
  • Steak
  • Fruit
  • Almond butter
  • Avocado and nuts
  • Small amount of white rice

NOTE: all of the foods listed above (the first 3 meals of the day) are interchangeable. You can mix them around to your own tastes.

4th meal (2/3 hours later) – You need to eat leaner foods as you get closer to bedtime.

  • Protein shake without fruit
  • Almond butter with celery
  • Veggie sticks
  • Macadamias

5th meal (2/3 hours later)

  • Salmon and veggies
  • Seafood
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Avocado
  • A little dark chocolate
  • Glass of red wine

6th meal (2/3 hours later) –this is the last meal of the day. It should be very lean (protein and fats only)

  • Lean meats
  • Veggies
  • Handful of almonds

That is a sample meal plan that promotes fat loss.

Notice that the meals are very lean closer to the end of the day. This will keep your metabolism charged up without storing any fat.

The Most Important Takeaway Message

If you look at the foods listed above you will notice a few commonalities. These include:

NoGrain-1-300x215No processed foods. No refined carbohydrates. No sugar. No grains or wheat.

You will also notice that all the foods are listed are whole foods. This is very important and the best way to get started.

Counting calories is not as important as many people imagine. If you eat only whole foods, you will start to lose weight. As you do this over the weeks, you can then begin to focus more on a caloric deficit and get leaner still.

However, to begin with, don’t get hung up on every calorie. It will just cause stress and lead to cortisol in the body.

If you follow the 4 principles above you will certainly lose weight.

This is exactly how I lost 30 pounds of fat in under 120 days.

Use the principles, and the meal plan, above to ignite your fat loss efforts and feel full and energetic.

This is just an example of one day, but you can’t eat the same thing day in and day out. You can now have one of our expert nutritionists create a Custom Meal Plan just for you, so you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be eating day today.

Calories are obviously important in controlling your weight.

However, calories are not the only thing that you need to pay attention to. Good weight loss foods are not only low in calories. They are those foods that charge up your metabolism and help with hunger cravings.

As such, you will stay full for longer and not be tempted to eat processed foods.

Here are 7 of the best foods to choose when you are trying to lose weight.

  • Nuts

Health-benifits-of-almonds1-300x296There are a number of weight loss reasons for eating nuts.

Firstly, studies have shown that eating more nuts between meals means people will not eat as much later in the day. However, you need to eat the right types of nuts.

Stay away from peanuts.

Aim for walnuts, almonds, and pecans. You should also eat sunflower seeds, macadamias, a moderate amount of cashews, and pistachios. These types of nuts contain lots of antioxidants and vitamins. Perfect for weight loss and health.

  • Soups

Soups should be used as a starter before your main meal. They will help to curb your appetite and fill you up. They are also very low in calories, providing you eat the right types of soup.

Eat vegetable soups, but avoid cream-type soups, as they contain a high level of calories and are usually processed.

  • Beans

Beans can be used to add to a number of different meals, as they can be combined well. They are low in calories and have a high protein content. This is perfect for weight loss goals.

Beans are also high in fiber, so they are digested more slowly and will give you the feeling of being full.

  • Eggs

Eggs are one of my favorites and I have talked about them many times on this blog. I always recommend them as they are the perfect food source for weight loss (and building muscle).

High protein foods help you stay full for longer, and will prevent snacking. Eggs can be made into many meal choices. You need to be eating eggs.

  • Almond Butter

Almond Butter is one of my favorites. I love to eat it with celery (for the fiber, vitamin K, and protein). It will help you to feel full and energized during the day. You can also spread it on apples, for a fun snack.

  • ruby-grapefruit-300x221

    Grapefruit

Grapefruit has been shown to increase the metabolism in people who eat it. It can be eaten whole or juiced and is assimilated very easily by the body.

It doesn’t have magical powers as some people claimed in the 1980’s (the infamous grapefruit diet), but it will fill you up and add plenty of soluble fiber.

  • Fish

Fish is a great food to eat for weight loss. It is tasty, can be cooked in many different ways and can be served with many side dishes. Fish can be eaten many times during the week and made to taste completely different each time.

It is very high in omega 3, which will increase the flow of blood to the muscles (great for maximizing your time in the gym). Omega 3 will also help your body’s enzymes to function in an optimal manner.

Summary

Adding good weight loss foods to your current diet, or by getting a Custom Meal Plan, will help you to lose fat and add variety to your current meals. Keeping your meals delicious and interesting is all part of the weight loss journey.

If you don’t look forward to the food you eat, then you are less likely to stay on course. Use the ideas above to add variety and keep losing weight each day.

What’s your favorite one of these weight loss foods?

There are always new diets being created and advertised online.

One of them is called the fruit diet weight loss plan. I wanted to make some comments about this diet plan.

It is advertised as one of the quickest ways to lose weight while eating healthy foods. This is only partly true.

Fruits should be eaten in a normal meal plan, as they are very healthy (lots of antioxidants) and can help you to drop weight and feel great very quickly (if people have been eating lots of processed foods).

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How to lose weight and flush out toxins
  • What is a fruit diet?
  • How to know what fruits to eat

Here are some of the benefits of eating more fruit:

Lose weight and flush out toxins

Eating lots of fruit is good for more than just losing weight. Here’s why: fruits are one of the best detoxifiers for the human body. It is these toxins that lead to diseases and fat gain over time.

It has been shown that many of the toxins found in the body come from the fat in the body. Toxins are also found in the build-up of unprocessed foods in the intestines. By eating more fruit, this material can be flushed out, which leads to detoxification.

And during all this time, your body is being flooded with high-quality nutrients and vitamins (from the fruit).

What’s involved in the fruit diet? 

Simply stated, you can eat fruit whenever you want to. This means anytime you feel hungry, you can grab a piece of fruit. There is no limitation.

Many people don’t consider fruit a meal, but you may be shocked at how quickly you feel full. And your hunger pangs will soon disappear.

It is very important that you drink plenty of water on this type of diet. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water each day.

Which fruits should I choose?

Firstly, start your day with a glass of warm water, with 2 tablespoons of honey and half a freshly squeezed lemon.

From there, fruits such as apples, strawberries, watermelon, and any kind of citrus fruit are the best to choose. Aim for lots of citrus fruits as they are low in sugar and come with lots of fiber (great for a smoothly running digestive system). The grapefruit is one of the best to choose.

Choose apples also, but aim to buy the smaller ones first. These are better for you as they contain pectin, phosphorous and potassium. The pectin is an oily substance found on the intestine wall. This keeps your bowel movements regular.

Why I don’t endorse the “fruit diet weight loss plan”

Fruits are very important for optimal health. And they are perfect for losing weight and cleaning out your system. You will feel lighter, have more energy and a smaller waistline if you add fruits as part of your weight loss program.

However, fruit should never be the only food group that you consume. Your body requires protein, fats, and carbohydrates to function as it should. I encourage you to read my article on how I ate to get to 8.3% bodyfat.

The other foods groups are needed to lose weight (in fact, they are essential).

So, you should certainly eat raw fruit, make fruit salads and snack on fresh fruit during the day. Variety is important.

But you also need to eat lean meats, veggies, eggs, nuts, berries and so on. For more snack ideas, see my post on 7 snacks that ignite your metabolism.

The best way to get the foods you need to reach your individual goals is to sign up for a Custom Meal Plan and let us customize a nutrition program specifically around you.

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