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Archives for October 2014

Since having my kids, a holiday that is becoming a firm favorite of mine is that of Halloween.

I mean, how often do I get to dress up as one of my daughter’s favorite characters from Sesame Street? Oh, if you want to see WHO, then just watch my video below.

Anyways, Halloween is nearly always associated with candy. And cookies. And cakes. And chips. It’s a carb minefield! A common question I get asked is ‘what do I do over the holidays? Well, I’m going to tell you…

And keep reading after the video to learn…

  • How to set up a 3-day carb cycle
  • How to make your carb cycle work for you

So, what we are going to do is actually use all those tasty candy bars and treats, and use them in a ‘mini-carb cycle’. This will not only help us survive the night – but allow us to continue to cut body fat.

So how do we set up a 3-day carb cycle?

In this instance, we are going to use Halloween (Friday) as our base point, and work from there. I am going to break it down day by day so you know exactly what to do, and what not to do, so you don’t gain any unwanted weight over the holidays.

To get set this up, we need to be sure that there is a day either side of our ‘cheat day’, so in this case, it’s going to be Thursday and Saturday.

  • Thursday

This is where we cut our carbs, and we are going low carb. Now, what does low carb actually mean? Well everyone is different, and variables such as training, body weight and daily activity all come into play. But I’m going to make it really easy for you.

All I need you to do on this low carb day is take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two. That’s the maximum number of carbs you are going to have today. Sure you can do less, but definitely, don’t do more than this. Make sure you have eaten all of your carbs in the AM, as you need to keep the PM carb free

  • Friday (Halloween/The ‘cheat day’) 

Now by Friday, your body is going to be starved of carbs, and its basically going to be begging you for some. This is where we cheat. And we cheat hard!

 I want you to do one thing for me, though – I DON’T want you to feel bad for it.

Now as I mentioned above, everyone is different. You might be the kind of person that cheats by going crazy with carb-filled treats all day long, and that’s cool. Me personally, I like to keep most of my meals healthy then go nuts over a couple of meals and have everything I want.  Personally, I find it gets better results but whatever works for you is fine with me too.

  • Saturday

This one is the easiest to describe but can be the hardest to do, because when I say no carbs. I mean none. Nada. 

If you have been following me for some time, you will know I normally have two Quest bars on my low-carb days, and one on my no-carb days. But, after eating like crazy the day before, you have to be strict with yourself today.  Otherwise, the carb cycle just doesn’t work.

You have to starve your body completely of carbs on Saturday. The neat thing is that when you get to Sunday you will realize: ‘wow, this is what carb cycling is all about’. You will feel great and look great.

This is just is a 3-day version of what I go through in-depth with my new carb cycle-book – ‘Carb Cycle Max’ – which is coming out in a week or two.

What else do you need to know to make this work?

Well firstly, on your low-carb days you still need some energy. We are going to get that energy from fat. Not much, about 20-25 grams of fat max. You don’t want to go over this number as otherwise the carb-cycle won’t tap into those body-fat stores and you will undo all your hard work.

Secondly, on the no-carb day you might be a little bit more tired and have slightly less energy than usual; that’s totally normal.  Personally, I don’t find it too hard as, well, I’m a coffee drinker!

So there you have it, my definitive guide to cheating in the holiday season. So, go and carve that pumpkin, grab some candy, get dressed up and get lean too!

I understand that it can be frustrating to figure out what you should and shouldn’t be eating, especially when you want to begin to carb-cycle, so why not let us take care of that for you? Check out our Custom Meal Plans and let a Morellifit expert nutritionist design a nutrition program designed for your specific needs.

Michael

Curious to know what supplements are REALLY worth your money? One of the most common questions I get asked is about supplementation. While we don’t need supplementation, certain supplements can really be beneficial to our overall health by helping our bodies run more efficiently, whether that be with digestion, exercise performance, or detoxification, just to name a few.

This list provided here should give an insight on the supplements that I recommend and what I think is really worth taking.

Health-Promoting Supplements:

Okay, first we’re going to talk about the products I believe will support proper health. By nature, they will also support your performance and body composition goals because both of these are easier to achieve when you’re healthy.

These are all natural products that will work with your body, rather than against it.

  • Whey Protein

First, we have whey protein.  Now, I always recommend you get as much of your nutrients from real food whenever possible. But, that said, for those who have higher protein requirements, this can be a challenge.

A protein supplement can be helpful.  If you are going to use a whey, try your best to get a grass-fed product. This is the most natural and healthy option available. This is why I stick with Morellifit Protein as my protein powder of choice. The reason this one is better is that it is made with few ingredients, is 100% natural and is sourced from grass-fed cows

Consuming protein will help you enhance your peak performance and endurance, recover from your workout faster, and it supports muscle development. It will help you burn calories throughout your workout and get you to your goals faster, whether you are trying to put on lean muscle or lose the extra fat (1, 23, 4).

Aim for one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day as a starting point. Realize if you are training hard, you may need even more.

  • Krill Oil

Next, we have krill oil.  All of us need this.  It really is that necessary.  Krill oil provides us with omega-3 fats, which have an endless list of health benefits.  Realize that if you do eat a lot of fatty fish, especially salmon, you may not need to supplement as much as others, but here in the US, the majority of users could really benefit from taking an omega-3 supplement.

One of the most widely known effects krill oil is the positive effect it has on hyperlipidemia, otherwise known as high blood pressure [5, 6].

For a long time, krill oil has been the go-to, but today krill oil is gaining in popularity, and for good reason!

⚡ Related: Learn Why Krill Oil is Superior to Fish Oil

  • Vitamin D

Another key vitamin – vitamin D is also important for overall health. Unless you get a lot of direct sunlight (the best natural way to get vitamin D), you will need to supplement.

Read the label and take the dosage indicated.

  • Multi-Vitamin

Again, while you should strive to get all your nutrients from real food, having a good multi-vitamin for backup support is always a wise decision.

Just do be sure to get a quality product here. Don’t pick up that bottle of Centrum that you find in the grocery store. Get a product that’s natural and of high quality.

  • Greens Blend

For those of you who really struggle to get in enough vegetables in your daily diet, a greens blend such as Detox Organics is also a smart choice.  This will give you the antioxidant support you need to promote superior health.

A great greens supplement, like Detox Organics, will help your body with its digestion process and its ability to rid the body of waste. Your body naturally detoxes, but using the right supplement will help give your body a boost and help it function better.

⚠️ Are you ready to prevent cravings, reduce appetite, and beat the bloat?

Join 225,000+ fans all over the world who trust Detox Organics to prevent food cravings & finally eliminate stubborn fat.

 

  • Probiotic

Finally, the last health promotion supplement I recommend you consider is a probiotic, a supplement that has so many health benefits. This will help to keep your digestive system in proper working order and ensure that you are making use of all the foods you eat as best as possible.

Your gut contains millions of bacteria that actually help to keep you healthy. When most people think of bacteria, they think of something that is bad make them sick, but this isn’t the case.

Along with the bad bacteria, your body also consists of good bacteria, mainly consisting of bacteroids and firmicutes, and these bacteria have been linked to overall health and even weight loss (7, 8).

 

Performance Enhancing Supplements:

  • BCAAs

BCAAs are also a wise idea to consider and will help to delay the onset of fatigue. If you find you’re running out of energy early on in your workouts, BCAAs can help.

Drinking BCAAs increases the rate of perceived exertion, meaning you can go stronger, faster, longer and more efficient while you are working out. This is why I recommend you taking them inter-workout if you were to only take them one time once a day [9].

Drinking BCAAs can also help you recover faster after you finish your workout. Muscle go through a process of repair and recovery after use, especially after an intense training session and drinking BCAAs can help your muscles through this recovery process [10].

I’d recommend starting around 7.5 grams per day, however, if you are training hard, you can take this up to 10-15 grams per day. Again, Morellifit Nutrition BCAAs are top of the line and made with 100% all natural ingredients.

⚡ Related: Top 6 Benefits of Drinking BCAAs.Discover the

  • Caffeine

Finally, you might wonder about fat burners. Should you use one?

I would say no.  Firmly. Fat burners will mess you up if you aren’t careful and are not natural for the body at all.

Need an energy boost? Go for a cup of coffee instead. Caffeine is the most under-rated fat burner out there and you can get it right from your coffee pot. No fancy supplement needed.

Coffee has been around for thousands of years for that boost of energy and concentration, but it can also help you in the gym and support your weight loss efforts. Besides an energy boost, caffeine in studies has shown to increase fat burning in the body. Along with increased fat burning, it can break down fat as well. Plus, the effects of caffeine can last up to 6 hours after ingestion which means these fat burning benefits last a while. After a hard work out caffeine has been shown to decrease post-workout pain by up to 46% (1112, 13).

⚡ Related: Learn How Caffein Can Help You Burn Fat

There’s no need to turn to a fat burner in my opinion, so I’d recommend you stay away.

So there you have my line-up of supplement recommendations. Stick to these and you can feel confident you’re hard-earned dollars are being put to good use.

Bonus: SHOULD You Be Taking Supplements?

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, nobody needs to be taking supplements, but they can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. Because of this, I would recommend that people learn what it is that the different supplements do and assess which ones they would benefit from.

Whether you are looking to build lean muscle, lose fat, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are supplements that could greatly improve our lifestyles.

With a solid diet, a structured workout routine and a lot of dedication, you can achieve your goals. But, if you really want to ramp up your results, and not only get that extra 5% boost but get there quicker, too – this is where supplements come in.

With a highly-efficient workout plan such as HIIT MAX™ that focuses on burning as many calories in a single, short session as possible, and has an emphasis on pushing you to your limits, so you never hit a plateau – I’d say supplements become more important.

If you’ve been hitting the gym more regularly and starting to think about what goals you hope to achieve with your fitness program, there’s a good chance you’re spending some time reading about nutrition.

In doing so, you’ve heard the term ‘macro percentage’ before, referring to how many grams of proteins, carbs, and dietary fats you should consume on a day to day basis.

What should your macro percentages look like? You’re likely wondering if you’re doing this right.

Before you get yourself all worked up over this and likely toss in the towel feeling confused and overwhelmed, there are some things you should understand first.

Keep reading after the video to learn:

  • Why you need to get your diet under control before worrying about macros
  • Where I think you should start for better nutrition

Macros Do NOT Matter Until You Can Eat Right

Perhaps the biggest mistake you could make at this stage is to get overly concerned with macro ratios before you’ve figured out how to eat well.

If you base your macros around foods that do not support proper health and optimal body functioning, guess what?  You won’t like the end result anyways.

Sure, there is a group of people – the if it fits your macros concept who believe that as long as you eat ‘x’ number of calories per day and ‘y’ grams of proteins, carbs, and fats, that’s all that matters.  And it may be true. If you need to consume 1600 calories per day to lose weight and you eat one pizza and a cheeseburger, you may hit that 1600 calorie mark and see some weight loss.

But will you be healthy? Clearly not.  Will you lose fat?  Chances are you won’t. It’ll be the muscle that you’re burning up instead.

If you desire a lean fit physique –as well as a youthful and healthy and body well into your 70’s and 80’s, you do not want to only focus on calories or macros.

Sure, they are important, but only after you have already trained yourself to eat proper foods.

My Recommended Starting Point For Better Nutrition

So what route should you go? For 30-60 days, you must focus on building good eating habits.  A habit takes some time to become ingrained in your behavior patterns, which is why I recommend 30-60 days.

For this time period, 90% of the time, you should be eating whole foods as close to nature as possible.

This means lean meats, plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits in moderation, some nuts and seeds along with a few safe starches such as sweet potatoes and white rice.  It’s also imperative you eliminate alcohol and sweets entirely. If you want to be healthy, these must go – no exceptions.

Do this for 60 days straight and once you’ve done this, now you can start focusing on your macro ratios. At this point, you’ll be building your diet of foods that do your body good and support lean muscle tissue and fat loss. Trust me, your results will be far more in line with what you were hoping for.

When you do start counting, realize that protein can fluctuate slightly from individual to individual, but should be set at around 1 gram/lb of body weight. This typically equates out to around 35-40% of your total caloric intake.

This now leaves about 60% of your intake to devote to carbs or dietary fats. Remember these are the energy providing nutrients, they offset each other.  You can consume more carbs but if you do, your fats should be lower.  If you eat more fats, your carbs will go down accordingly.

This is the concept I utilize is the carb cycling approach, which I firmly believe is the best way to get leaner, build more muscle mass, and improve your health both in the long and short-term. It gives you the best of both worlds and soon, my book will explain exactly how to set up a proper carb cycling diet. When you’re at the point of counting macros, this is the concept you will want to use. We even offer Custom Meal Plans, where we can help you get on track, so you don’t have to worry about what you should and shouldn’t be eating. We design every meal to the individual.

So… don’t rush out and start counting macros, fix your eating patterns first.  Start there and your results will show immediately, then once you do finally start counting macros MAGIC will happen — my promise!

I get it, we all want to get ahead and be at our absolute best and when it comes to our time in the gym, we want to make sure we have the energy to make it through our workouts and see results. Whether you are training to build muscle or looking to lose weight, if you don’t have the energy to stay active and to keep challenging yourself, then it can take you a really long time to see the results you want and get to your goals.

Supplement companies are constantly trying to push pre-workouts and fat burners, filled with harmful ingredients on people who will do almost anything to get an advantage.

And I’ve been there. I thought that was what I needed to do to get ahead, but as it turns out these things are not good for us.

But just because you want to be healthy and avoid harmful ingredients, doesn’t mean you can’t get that edge and you can’t find an alternative energy boost. Before you rush off and purchase one of the many pre-workout or fat burning products, consider these three natural approaches first.

The more you can stay away from harsh stimulants, such as fat burners, the healthier you will feel and the less risk of side effects you’ll experience.

Be sure to keep reading after the video to see these great energy boosters:

  • Black coffee
  • BCAAs
  • Pre-Workout snacks

Espresso And Black Coffee Will Boost Energy

The first natural way to boost your energy level prior to your workout is to take two shots of espresso or just drink a cup of black coffee. Caffeine is the top underutilized fat burning ingredient right now, and many people spend high amounts of money each month on fat burners and other products, all to get this simple ingredient.

Caffeine will both boost energy while also helping increase fat oxidation during intense exercise training (1, 2).

I personally like taking espresso shots 15 minutes prior to training, however, if you have a sensitive stomach, you’ll want to leave around 30-40 minutes between taking them and starting your workout.

Just be sure that you are taking these black and not adding any heavy creams or sugar.

⚡ Related: Learn Why Caffeine is the Perfect Energy Booster

How BCAAs Increase Energy

BCAAs (branched amino acids) are another option for you to consider, and one that I highly recommend. You can source your BCAAs from the real foods you eat each day, but there is another, more concentrated way you can get this. You can make sure you get enough BCAAs into your system to give you that energy boost by turning to a BCAA supplement.

The reason a supplement is beneficial is that it will help to delay the fatigue response from setting in during your workout, helping you prolong the total work time. This means you will have the energy to work harder and train longer, giving you a boost to your results. Plus, they also help you recover faster after your workout and can even help curb your hunger (3, 4, 5).

Some people prefer to sip these throughout their training, while others will them before the workout session is to begin. A BCAA supplement is something you can easily mix into your water and take with you to the gym. 

When choosing a BCAA, however, you should make sure that you are consuming the best. This means an all natural product that contains no artificial ingredients, including artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. This is a big problem in the supplement industry as so many people try to make their BCAAs taste good by filling it with subpar and harmful ingredients. With a BCAA supplement like the one provided through Morellifit Nutrition, you are sure to get all the BCAA benefits without any of the harmful chemicals. Plus, they still taste great!

⚠️ Are you ready to recover faster and increase your endurance?

One of the many reasons I drink BCAAs is because of how fast they help me recover, no matter how hard I train.

Half A Banana And One Spoonful Of Almond Butter [Pre-Workout]

The last natural energy booster to consider is half a banana along with a spoonful of almond butter. The banana is a simple sugar that will enter the bloodstream relatively quickly, giving you a quick burst of energy. The almond butter, on the other hand, is a slower digesting form of energy, which will then help you sustain this energy level until the workout period is over (6, 7).

The great thing about bananas as well is that they’re rich in potassium, which makes them ideal for avoiding muscle cramps and delaying fatigue as well.

All three of these options are great alternatives to pre-workouts and fat burners. They will give you energy and even help you get better results.

Unless you are opting to train in a fasted state, feel free to combine all three of these options for even more results and a way to naturally bring up their energy levels.

Experiment and see what works best for yourself.

The biggest concern when trying to boost energy is to make sure that you are staying natural and going for alternatives that don’t contain any artificial ingredients. With a good diet, sufficient sleep, and these strategies, there is absolutely no need to hype yourself up for your workout with expensive pre-workout pills or fat burners.

⚡ Related: Discover my Top 4 Pre-Workout Snacks that are quick, easy, and effective!

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