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Archives for October 2016

How Bad is Sugar for Fat Loss?

Sugar is one of the worst contributors in the modern diet and it comes in many forms. Most of these sugars that are added to our food can be extremely harmful, contributing to obesity and the development of life-threatening diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (1, 2, 3).

Different types of sugars are added to the foods that we consume to enhance taste, texture, and shelf-life while providing little nutritional value. This is why sugar is considered an empty calorie.

These added sugars are found in 74% of our packaged foods, including ones that we are told are healthy for us.

In this blog, you’ll see:

  • How your body breaks down sugar
  • 4 sugars and sweeteners that are added to your food
  • Better alternatives to these added sugars

When you look at the food label, it can be difficult to know what to look for when trying to decipher whether sugar has been added.

One reason this is so difficult is that there are over 61 names for sugars that are added to the foods we consume and so companies will try to mask sugars that are added by listing them under different names (4).

The American Heart Association recommends that we consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar a day for men and 25 grams a day of added sugar for women. And with so many foods including added sugar, this can be a difficult number to stay under (5).

For example, a 12 oz can of soda includes 46.2 grams of added sugar alone, almost twice the recommended limit for women in a single drink (4).

Even though sugars may be bad, they are not all created equal and some are more harmful than others.

When sugar enters into our system, it is broken down into two simple sugars before hitting the digestive tract.


Glucose: This simple sugar is found in every living cell and we get it from our diet. When we do not, our body naturally produces it through our consumption of proteins and fats.

Fructose: This is not naturally produced by our bodies and we cannot break it down in large amounts. In fact, the only organ that can metabolize it, in small amounts, is the liver. More often than not, fructose is stored by our livers until the liver is overloaded and then it is turned into fat (6). Overconsumption of fructose can even lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (7).

*This does not include the fructose we get from consuming fruits.


  • Table sugar (aka sucrose): Sucrose, or table sugar, is made of half fructose and half glucose and can have an adverse effect on your health. Studies show that consumption, especially early consumption, can play a role in obesity and even increase the risk of tumor growth in mammary glands, increasing the risk of breast cancer (8, 9).
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: This is perhaps one of the most common sweeteners, made from processed corn, found in processed foods, especially in the US. It is high in fructose and is known for its negative effects on health. It has been linked to diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (10, 11, 12).
  • Aspartame: One of the most controversial sweeteners in the world, aspartame is a protein made of two amino acids (phenylalanine and aspartic acid), with an added hydrocarbon to make it sweet. Several studies claim that the sweetener may lead to cancer, while other studies argue these findings (13, 14, 15). Another study reports a link between aspartame and the frequency of headaches, as well as increased brain activity in children linked to seizures (16, 17).
  • Sucralose (Splenda): Although this sweetener is made from sugar, it is not a natural sugar. During manufacturing the sugar molecules are changed chemically by exchanging chlorine atoms for hydroxyl groups, that is, an oxygen and a hydrogen pair, making this sweetener indigestible. It is also about 400-700 times sweeter than normal table sugar (18).Consumption of Sucralose can have many negative effects, such as damaging our gut by reducing the number of good bacteria (19). It has also been found that baking with Sucralose at high temperatures causes it to chemically break down even further and generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds (20).


  • Stevia: This natural sweetener is derived from the leaves of the plant Stevia Rebaudiana and contains virtually no calories, yet is very sweet. Unlike sugars that are found in many foods, stevia contains many health benefits, such as the ability to lower blood pressure by 6-14% and lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics (21, 22)
  • Erythritol: This sugar is found naturally in fruits and contains fewer calories than table sugar, yet is also slightly less sweet. This sweetener doesn’t spike blood sugars but can cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Otherwise, studies have shown this to be a much safer alternative to other popular sugars (23, 24, 25)
  • Xylitol: With fewer calories than table sugar, yet similar sweetness, xylitol may help prevent osteoporosis without raising blood sugar levels (26, 27)

Sugars are added to so many of the foods that we eat and can have a negative effect on our health. Not only can they contribute to weight gain and are a leading cause of obesity, but many times added sugars can play a part in the development of cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

When it comes to your nutrition and the supplements you take, we want to make sure that you are taking the very best there is. This is why we are committed to producing supplements that are all natural and free of harmful chemicals, including artificial sweeteners.

In fact, we worked hard to redesign our formulas over and over again until they were perfect and as healthy as they could be.

This is why we have changed our BCAA formula, tossing out the Sucralose that was in it and replacing it with Stevia. This is our last product to be overhauled and redesigned, as we worked to reduce the ingredient lists and make them the cleanest products there are.

We understand that our BCAAs were already extremely popular, as well as pretty clean, but we couldn’t let you keep consuming Sucralose. So, we are introducing our new and improved, Orange Dreamsicle BCAAs, made with Stevia. They are cleaner and taste better than ever!

⚡ Related: Learn the Top Benefits of BCAAs

Eat Before or After Your Workout? What’s Best for Fat Loss?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is whether you should eat before or after your workout.

The answer to this is not whether to eat before or after, but rather, what to eat before and after. Eating at both points will be critical to your success.

It’s not a black and white picture either. What’s best for you to eat before and after each workout will heavily depend upon the workouts that you’re doing, as well as the goals you have in place.

Taking all of this into account allows you to get the complete picture on the best pre and post workout foods and supplements.

Pre-Workout Meal

The main thing to consider when eating pre-workout is what type of workout you are doing, as well as what your consumption has been like up to this point.

If you’ve been eating regular meals, spacing them out every 3-4 hours and making sure to get a balanced mix of proteins, carbs, and fats in each meal, you’ll already be well fueled going into your workout. Therefore, the need for a pre-workout meal or supplement isn’t nearly as critical

On the other hand, if you haven’t been eating regularly, you’re likely going to need some high-energy fuel to get through your session.

Likewise, the type of workout matters as well. If you’re doing an intense workout session where it’s nonstop at maximal limits, you’ll need much different fuel than if you were doing a 30-minute steady state cycling session.

With an intense type of exercise such as this, you’ll need a good amount of both carbs and protein, and likely some pre-workout supplements. I would recommend getting on a quality BCAA to help supplement and fuel your body intra-workout.

With an easier workout, your last meal will easily provide sufficient fueling.

A good sign that you aren’t currently eating enough to fuel your workout is if you aren’t able to get through the full workout performing optimally. If you tank partway through, your pre-workout fueling is likely to blame.

You might also wonder if you’re able to exercise in a fasted state. The answer is yes as long as you can do the workout optimally.  Learn your body and know yourself. The type of workout you have planned will likely determine whether you can or cannot do it fastest. You can find out more about fasted cardio here.

Post-Workout Meal

Next, your post-workout meal will most heavily depend on the goals you have set for yourself. If you are seeking fat loss, you have a certain macro limit you need to maintain for the day, so your post workout intake will be lower than someone who is aiming to gain mass.

Look at your overall diet and then calculate your post workout meal from there. Just note that this is a critical time to eat, so you do want to allocate at least some carbs to this period, as well as a good dose of protein in the area of 20-40 grams. Stay away from fats and remember, a good general ratio of carbs to protein is 2 to 1. Of course, this depends on your goals and your training.

It is commonly believed that you must eat within 30 minutes of the workout being over, but I believe you have a little longer than that. If you shoot for between 30-60 minutes, you’ll be fine. Muscle protein synthesis is at its peak during this times and continues to fall after this point. The sooner your meal happens, the better, but never skip your post-workout meal.

A good Organic Vegan Protein Superfood is a really great way to get the protein that your body requires to recover.

Now that you have some information about pre and post workout nutrition. Have a look at your current approach and see how it stacks up.

Ask yourself…Could I do a better job in either of these two feeding windows?

Attempting to figure out what works for your specific goals can be very frustrating, especially with all of the conflicting information on the web. So let our experts do it for you. We have completed over 40,000 custom meal plans to date — these plans are designed unique to your body type, around your wants, needs, and goals. We also take into consideration your activity level to make sure you know exactly what to, and when, every day of the week removing 100% of the guesswork.

Here’s an example of just one of our clients, Joey Marzo, and the power our custom meal plans can have in just 30 short days. Pretty impressive, huh?

On A Budget? Buy These 10 Weight Loss Foods

We have all heard that line that eating healthy is more expensive, but is it? Do you really have to pay more to eat healthier?

The fact is, you can eat healthy and clean while still on a budget, and it doesn’t have to be as expensive as first thought. If you shop right, it can even be cheaper to eat clean than it is to eat processed food that is instant and cheap.

It is not just the food that we eat that can save us money, but the way we eat and plan our meals. Most people spend more money on food than they realize.

In this post, you’ll see…

  • Our top 10 healthy foods that won’t break the bank
  • How you can save money while grocery shopping
  • Shopping on a $40 budget

Here Are Our Top 10 Healthy Foods While On A Budget 

1. Sweet Potatoes – By now, I’m sure you’ve heard us talk about why we love sweet potatoes so much. They have a low glycemic index, digest slowly due to fiber content (keeping you full longer), and helps to boost your metabolism (1, 2). We also love them because they are easily accessible and don’t weigh heaving on your pocket. A pound of sweet potatoes in the US normally sells for about $0.50 – $1.50/lb.

2. Quinoa – Most people don’t see quinoa as budget foods, as it costs around $3.99/lb, but when you consider how far quinoa goes, it really is. A pound of quinoa can last for several meals and makes a lot! Plus, it is gluten-free, high in protein, has a low glycemic index, and contains all of the amino acids (3). Studies even show that consuming quinoa can help to stop the negative effects of fructose (4).

3. Eggs – With an average price of only $1.50 – $2/dozen, eggs are a great budget food. Eggs provide a lot of protein and all of the essential amino acids. Being high in protein, eggs can help you lose weight and feel fuller longer, leading you to eat fewer calories (5, 6).

4. Canned Tuna – This fish is high in protein, high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories. Priced at around $1-1.50 per 5oz can, it is also highly convenient. Pop the can open, and you have a quick and healthy snack. Plus, studies show that adding fish into your diet can help you lose weight (7).

5. Chicken – Chicken comes in many different ways, so much of it depends on how you want to buy it, so looking around the chicken section at your local grocery store will help tell you what the cheapest priced chicken it. On average, boneless chicken breasts cost around $2-4/lb, while a whole chicken will run you about  $1.50/lb. Chicken is a good cheap option for protein and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

6. Rice – Rice is a cheap carb that you can work into your diet, and when choosing rice, it is better to go for a white rice than brown rice. Rice will normally cost you around $1/lb.

7. Bananas – Bananas are a great source of fiber, which has been shown to aid in weight loss, and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure (8, 9). Plus, bananas are a great ingredient that can be used in smoothies and protein pancakes, and with a cost under a dollar/lb, you can’t beat it!

8. Broccoli – Because broccoli is full of fiber, it is very filling and can help in your aid to lose weight, as it is also low in calories and fat (8). It has also been linked to reducing the risk of cancer and lowering blood pressure, and at only about $1/lb it makes a great addition to your meals.

9. Kale – Kale has many health benefits, including improving cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and having anti-inflammatory properties (10, 11, 12). And, kale will only set you back about $1.33/lb.

10. Oats – This gluten-free whole grain makes the perfect breakfast and can help control your hunger, thus helping you lose weight (13, 14). This is the perfect food to get from your bulk section and costs only $1 – $2/pound. Like quinoa, a small amount of oats can go a long way, as a pound can produce a lot of food. Best option to go for here is the steel cut oats.

*Note that prices listed above vary depending on location.

Here Are Some Great Money Saving Tips

1. Buy in Bulk – Shop for food that won’t go bad right away in bulk. With meats, you can freeze what you don’t need right away or store away foods that have a longer shelf life, such as your quinoa. If your store has a bulk section, you can easily control the amount that you buy, whether you choose to buy a lot to stock up, or you want to limit the amount you need, rather than paying for more food than you need. This is also a great way to shop seasonings, rather than buying whole containers.

2. Frozen Fruit/Veggies – Buy your fruit and veggies in the frozen section. Not only are these options usually cheaper, but you can stock up and fill your freezer with enough food to last several meals. This option won’t go bad over the next week, unlike many fresh fruits and veggies.

3. Shop Sales – Check your local fliers to see what your store is having specials on. Often, you can buy fresh produce and meat at discounted prices. This is a great time to stock up on protein. Simply take the extra meat you have purchased and put it in the freezer.

Shrink Your Grocery Bill to $40!

By choosing the 10 foods above, and using these cost-saving tips, you can keep more money in your pocket and give your body the nutrition it needs to promote weight loss.

One of the biggest questions we get asked is “can I stay on a budget while on the meal plans?” and the answer is yes! Lots of college students with limited funds as well as moms who are budgeting for a whole family can eat on our meal plans while still staying on a tight grocery budget.

If you’ve seen our team take over meal prep Monday on SnapChat, you’ve seen the girls shop on very tight budgets and get all the foods they need for their meal plan for an entire week for only $40 a person!

Check out this receipt from 1 week of groceries on their meal plan!

You can ask for these money-saving, fat burning foods right on your meal plan.

Shopping can be frustrating on its own without trying to figure out what foods you need to be eating to get to your specific goals. Our expert nutritionists are trained to use your body stats, along with the foods you love, to custom create a unique, custom meal plan designed just for you. We take out 100% of the guesswork by telling you what you need to eat, when and how much. Knowing this can also help you save time and money in the grocery store, saving you from buying too much, too little or foods that work will work against you.

Which inexpensive, fat loss foods do you like to buy? If you have any tips or favorite foods you’d like to share with others, please let us know in the comment section below!

7 Meal Prep Tips That Cut Prep Time in Half!

Meal prepping for the week can help you save both time and money. Use these top 5 tips to simplify the process each week and give yourself a head start to eating right. Meal prepping works for our custom meal plan customers and helps them get set up each week for success. Even if you do not have a custom meal plan, meal prepping can help you set yourself up for nutritional success. Here are some ways to make your meal prep as time efficient as possible.

Top Tips For Meal Prepping

1. Plan Your Meals  You can also just refer to your meal plan if you have one. Writing out all of your meals can help you see if you’re eating a variety of good foods as well as help you in step number two. This will also save you time when you go to figure out what to eat day to day.

2. Grocery List – Construct a grocery list based on the menu that you made. This will help you shop and save money by knowing how much of everything you will need. You won’t purchase more food than you need, and that prevents waste. It will also give you a plan of attack at the grocery store so you don’t wander around, wasting time, and picking up junk and putting it into your cart. As a rule, stick mostly to the outer perimeter of the store because this is where most of the fresh food is stocked.

3. Strategize Your Prep –  Bulk prep your fruits, vegetables, and any fresh produce first, and then move onto any meats. This prevents cross contamination and gives you time to clean your workspace and utensils. Be sure to clean your knives and cutting boards after each use.

4. Measure Your Food – Always use food scales and measuring cups when meal prepping. Just eyeballing things don’t make for good portion sizes. Getting an inexpensive food scale is the best way to do this because it works for meats and produce. It will also make measuring quick and easy.

5. Plan Meal Prep Days – Set aside a day or two in your week and prepare all of your meals at once. You’re already cooking, so you may as well make all of your food. Most people use Sunday, or a combination of Sunday and Wednesday, for meal prepping. This saves you time throughout the rest of the week, as you don’t have to worry about cooking, where your food is coming from or what you will be eating.

6. Pre-Portion – Portion your protein and sides ahead of time, placing each meal in Tupperware. Having everything ready and available helps you reach for the right foods when you’re hungry and saves you time.

7. Freeze Meals – If you want to prep all of your week’s food on Sunday (or whatever day you choose) and your meals are more than 3-4 days, freeze them so that they don’t go bad. Food lasts much longer in the freezer than it does in the fridge.

You can prep a whole week of lunches, snacks, dinners and even breakfasts using these tips. Remember, depending on your produce you might have to prep fresh produce again midweek, and salads are usually best prepped the day before. These time-saving, and money-saving tricks will help you as you prepare for your week!

Sometimes, one of the biggest hassles when cooking for yourself is figuring out what food needs to be prepped to ensure you hit your goals. You don’t want to waste food by buying too much or run out mid-week because you didn’t get enough and have to run back to the store. The best way to solve this problem is by signing up for a Custom Meal Plan and let us do the planning for you. This way, not only will you be confident you are eating the right foods to get to your goals, but you will know exactly what you need to purchase for the week and exactly what you need to prep in advance.

Our nutritionists layout each meal plan, specific to you, with the exact amounts of food you need to hit your goals, all while including the foods you want and love to eat. No more guessing. And, even better no more wasted food or money. This time, money, and headache saving option will get you to your goals in the fastest way possible – faster than any diet you’ve ever tried – we promise.

Sneaky Food Labels… Are You Being Tricked?

Reading nutrition labels can be daunting when buying food if you do not know what you are looking for.  So here is a simple guide to navigating nutrition labels and figuring out what to look for when reading them. It is good to be aware of what’s in your food.

Stay tuned after the video to find out:

  • How nutrition labels work
  • Whether you should pay attention to the ingredient deck or the nutrition label
  • How companies decide what to put on their nutrition label
  • Top ingredients to look out for in an ingredient deck

How Do Nutrition Labels Work?

The FDA requires that trans fats, or hydrogenated oils, to be listed on food labels. Even though hydrogenated oils are not the main topic of this post, it’s a good ingredient to start with. If a product has more than one gram per serving, the FDA requires it be put on the food label.

But, this is where it gets tricky.

There is a way to get around that. If a company reduces the serving size down enough, so a number of hydrogenated oils in each serving is just under 1 gram, they do not have to list it.

Peanut butter is a good example to start with because it has hydrogenated oils in it. But, the nutritional label says 0 grams of trans fats. That way when you pick it up, you see trans fats are zero and automatically think that it must be healthy. The serving size has been cut down enough that there is less than 1 gram per serving so that it does not have to be listed on the nutrition label itself but there is still hydrogenated oil in the product.

⚡ Related: Learn why the new nutrition label is being delayed

Nutrition Label or Ingredients?

We want you to not only look at what’s on the food label itself, but what’s in the ingredients list.

On peanut butter labels, if it’s unnatural, then right there on the ingredients list you can see hydrogenated oils. That also means that if you go at all over the serving size, which most of us do because it’s not hard to, you’ll be consuming at least a gram of trans fats.

There are some other things to be looking at when reading the nutrition labels. Breakfast cereals are laden with food coloring, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Some studies show links between these artificial food coloring and artificial flavoring and ADD and ADHD (1, 2, 3).

Another example of something to watch out for on food labels, especially cereals, is that they are also often labeled as “fortified.”

What Does Fortified Mean?

Fortified means that the cereal, or product, has had to add vitamins and minerals because their product is so processed that it no longer contains them naturally.

Companies are trying to show you that their products are healthy by listing the things the fortify them with. But this is not the case because the extreme process that took them out of the product in the first place makes this highly processed food bad for you.

These cereals and other products might also boast that they are gluten-free to make themselves look healthier because we associate the word gluten with unhealthy. Just because a product is gluten-free, doesn’t make it healthy.

These are considered health “buzz words” that make the consumer feel like they are making a healthy choice. Other buzz words to look for are sugar-free, lite, whole wheat, and balanced.

It is this type of confusion that helps motivate us to create our Custom Meal Plans. We know that companies are trying to sell you unhealthy food by marketing them as healthy. We know there is so much of it out there, it can be hard to learn what is really good and what isn’t. 

Instead of guessing what products are healthy by the label, we do all of that work for you and make it easy to buy healthy foods for yourself and we have already helped thousands of people around the world eat healthier. 

What Determines What Is On The Food Label?

There are also certain things that have to be listed by law on a nutrition label. Some brands list the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, but not all brands do because the breakdown of unsaturated fats is not required by law.

It is only required that they list fats and saturated fats. They are also required to say how much cholesterol and sodium, how many carbohydrates and sugar a product has in it.

Fiber is another thing that doesn’t have to be listed. Not all foods have a complete vitamin breakdown either. Vitamin E and Vitamin C have to be listed. But Folic acid, Vitamin B 12, Niacin, and Zinc are often being left out because those are things that people don’t often get enough of. Products that are fortified with these vitamins and minerals want you to see it on the label to make their product look better.

Besides hydrogenated oils, there are other things to watch out for and avoid:

  • Sugar (in any form)
  • Dyes (any and all that are not natural)
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Any ingredient you do not know, or cannot pronounce

Moral of the story, read the food labels, as well as the ingredients list. Remember to look up ingredients you don’t know and know what you are putting in your body. At the end of the day, we are what we eat. This is why we’ve created our Custom Meal Plans, so you don’t have to worry about what food to eat and what food not to eat. Each plan is designed specifically for your body and your goals.

Be patient, stay the course, and let’s get fit together.

Top 3 Times to Consume Carbs So You Don’t Store Body Fat


There are a bunch of diets out there that tell you that you should avoid carbs or at least limit them to a small amount. I’m sure we have all heard of at least one of them, or at least know someone who has tried a low-carb, or no carb diet.

But are carbs really that bad?

when to eat carbs for weight loss

Sure carbs are the only non-essential macronutrient, but I believe after years of trial and errors on myself as well as thousands of clients, and of course, all of the research that I have seen on the subject, that it isn’t all that simple. The truth is, it all depends on what type of carb you consume and even when you consume them. Eat them at the right times, and they’ll accelerate your fat loss and get you leaner. Get the timing wrong and over-consume, and you may sabotage your goals.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Top 3 times you should consume carbs
  • Why timing is so important to your goals
  • How you can prime your body for the perfect carb control

Here are the top 3 times that you should be consuming your carbs in order to maximize your fat loss and use them to your advantage!

1. Morning

One of the best times to consume carbs is in the morning, right after you wake up.

Overnight, while you sleep, your body fasts and goes through carbohydrates that it stores away, also known as glycogen. When you eat carbs first thing in the morning, your body uses these carbs to replenish what you lost overnight, rather than storing them as fat.

One of the best things that you can do is to reach for some steel cut oats, granola, or even a little bit of fruit.

Remember to also consume protein in the morning along with your carbs.

2. Pre-workout

Because carbs are so critical to providing energy, consuming carbs before your workout is a must, as the more energy you have, the harder you train.

Consume your carbs about an hour before your workout.

You could easily opt for the same carb sources you had at breakfast, or, alternatively, switch things up a little. Quinoa, white rice, and sweet potatoes are all nutrient-dense, minimally processed carbohydrates that will work just great for fueling your workout, whether you’re hitting the weights or getting in some high-intensity cardio.

I talk more about the best carb sources in the video below:

3. Post-workout

The reason why you need carbs after your workout is similar to the reason you’re taking them in first thing in the A.M.

Those glycogen stores are used up when you train hard, and in order for you to replenish and allow your body to shuttle nutrients, you need carbs in your post-workout meal[1].

Additionally, carbs help shuttle insulin to the muscle cells, and this accelerates the delivery of nutrients such as protein to the broken down muscle tissue.

This is absolutely critical, and something many people usually don’t take into consideration.

Neglect your post-workout carbs, and your muscles simply won’t recover like they should. You’ll likewise feel sorer, and over time you may even lose some lean muscle tissue. When you don’t feed your muscles, your metabolism drops, and you’ll likely be training at sub-optimal levels until you get this under control [23].

I like a lot of the same choices here too.

However, it’s important to switch up your carb sources, so if you had oats before training, have some potatoes afterward, or vice-versa.

Bonus Tip – Always Have Protein with Your Carbs

I can’t stress how important this is.

Adding protein to your carbs slows down the digestion process, and ensures that you’re getting more protein delivered to your muscle cells. Protein also helps you feel fuller longer, so you don’t get those terrible hunger pangs and cravings that so many dieters suffer from.

best time to eat carbs bodybuilding

The Wrap Up – Why Carb Timing is the Key to Your Fat Loss Success

There’s no getting around the fact that the low-carb people are on to something.

To torch body fat and lose stubborn weight, you do need to cut your carbs. But going too far will lead to losses in muscle mass and drops in performance, hence why carb timing is so critical.

Although cutting carbs may be helpful, you CANNOT cut carbs too low for extended periods of time without doing more harm than good to your metabolism. This is one reason why a carb cycle can be helpful, as you don’t cut out carbs long enough to do harm, and it keeps your metabolism guessing, rather than letting it adapt to a new diet.

By eating carbs at these times, you guarantee that when you do eat them, they’re utilized optimally, and not shuttled straight to your cells and stored as body fat.

For the rest of your meals, stick to proteins such as chicken, lean red meat and fish (grass-fed and wild caught if possible), green vegetables and healthy fats like nuts and avocado.

Time your carbs right, and you’ll see some positive change in both your body as well as your performance.

best time to eat carbs for muscle growth

Prime Your Body for Perfect Carb Control

Follow the guidelines in this article, and you can’t go wrong.

These rules surrounding carb timing work well.

And remember, timing only works if you are eating the right carbs, and knowing what the right carbs are to lose fat is half the battle.

But, like anything with training, diet and fat loss, to get things absolutely perfect, and make fat-loss as efficient as possible, your meals should be personalized.

Everybody has different genetics and a different metabolism, so what works great for your best friend or brother/sister likely won’t be ideal for you.

Today you can put your success first, and ensure that you really are getting your nutrition and your carbs just right at all times, by putting it in the hands of an expert, with Custom Meal Plans. Through this program we customize a meal plan according to your individual stats and needs, telling you what to eat and when. We take out all of the guesswork. Never again will you have to try and figure out when to consume carbs or even how much. We give you the good carbs to consume, how much of them and when to eat them to work towards your advantage so you burn more fat, faster! Check with our TDEE calculator to make sure!

Attempting to figure out what works for your specific goals can be very frustrating, especially with all of the conflicting information on the web. So let our experts do it for you. We have completed over 40,000 custom meal plans to date for people all over the world (all 4 continents!) — these plans are designed unique to your body type, around your wants, needs, and goals. We also take into consideration your activity level to make sure you know exactly what to, and when, every day of the week removing 100% of the guesswork.

Here’s an example of just one of our clients, Susie Nokes, 30-Day results using our intense fat loss training platform HIITMAX Elite & one of our SHRED Custom Meal Plans.

Pretty impressive, heh?

Related: Our best-selling Organic Vegan Protein Superfood powder is back in stock and our 30-day Shred challenge is available now.

4 Ways Jumpstart a Sluggish Metabolism


When looking to burn fat, everyone is looking for tips, tricks and hacks to get their metabolism working better and faster than ever before.

In this post, you’ll see…

  • A video where I detail 4 ways you can increase your metabolism
  • How you can get even faster fat loss

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and it is entirely in control of how many calories you turn over each day, how your body functions, and how much fat you lose.

And because it is so important, it’s vital that you take care of it.

Unfortunately, too many of us fall prey to the pitfalls of super-low calorie plans, crash diets, restrictive food lists, zero-carb menus, and supplement schemes and scams. While these may result in a speedy drop on the scales, they can wreak havoc on your metabolism and do more damage in the long run.

This can seriously hinder your attempt to lose weight, get lean and/or build muscle.

But all is not lost and there are actually some things you can do to increase your metabolism.

If you take care of your metabolism and implement certain protocols and procedures, you can repair it to the point where it’s back to being a fat-burning machine, torching calories like never before, and getting you fast, sustainable results in a healthy way.

4 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism

For a round-up of all 4 points, check the video, then keep reading for a full description.

1. Eat More.

This may sound ridiculous, but it can actually work if you do it right and eating more is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism.

When you drop your calories too low and remain there over time, your body starts to adapt, and it finds ways to burn fewer calories by lowering your metabolic rate, leaving you eating less and going nowhere.

We’re not talking about eating more by suddenly shoveling down huge bowls of cereal or entire pizzas, but a small bump up in calories, using whole foods, can do wonders for metabolic repair.

2. Eat More Frequently

While there’s some debate on this one in the scientific realms, I will always preach what works for me, and what has worked best for my clients.

And in this case, that’s eating frequently.

My top advice is to instead of eating just two or three big meals per day, you eat the same amount, but split it over five or six feedings.

Try eating within 30 minutes of waking, then every few hours after that to give your metabolism fuel and keep it burning hot.

By eating less at once, but more often, you may even feel like you are eating more and thus staying fuller longer. There are studies that show people who eat less in one sitting, don’t necessarily miss the food they didn’t get, nor do they begin to feel hungry any sooner than normal [1].

3.  Move Your Muscles

Moving Muscles = Moving Metabolism

By getting active, and constantly moving, your metabolism will love you.

It’s no secret that exercise and physical activity burns calories, and this calorie burn is a direct response to your metabolism working harder.

Yes, this includes training, but it also means movement in general, so try to walk a little more. Get up from your desk every hour, or even just start playing with your kids or doing some gardening on the weekends instead of sitting in front of the TV. The goal is to stay as active as you can.

4. Build Muscle

A lot of people (women especially) are scared of building muscle.

And sure, you may not want to look like a bodybuilder, but did you know that lean muscle tissue is a powerful factor in raising your metabolic rate and burning more calories?

It takes more effort (and therefore more calories) for your body to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat, so even just a few extra pounds of muscle can give your metabolism a huge boost.

Oh – and that bodybuilder thing – those guys and girls only look like that because they’re following muscle-building specific diet plans and routines.

So don’t worry, you’ll look great, and burn fat so much faster by adding a few pounds of muscle. I promise you won’t turn into a big muscle-man or muscle-woman!

Want Faster Fat Loss?

You can implement each individually, or, for the ultimate progress boost, why not go the whole distance and try everything?

You can eat a little more, space your meals closer together, add in some daily activity, and start hitting the weights harder and see drastic visual progress in your body.

It will take a little adjusting and tweaking, but none of these are super complicated.

That’s the beauty of monitoring your metabolism – small changes can yield huge gains. You’ll be healthier, happier, and leaner.

Learning what works best for you on your own can be frustrating and challenging and that is why we offer Custom Meal Plans and Custom Training Plans, meals and workouts specifically designed for you, your body, and your goals.

When trying to figure out what you should be eating to get to your specific goals, it can be very frustrating. There is so much conflicting information out there telling you what to do, but none of it works. This is because everyone is different and so everyone needs different things to get to their goals.

Let our nutrition experts do this for you. We have completed over 40,000 Custom Meal Plans to date – these are specifically designed for you and your goals, and designed around your unique body type. This means we use your specific body stats, your wants, needs, and goals. Plus, we take into consideration your activity level in order to make sure you know just what to eat, and when, every day of the week. This removes 100% of the guesswork!

4 Reasons to Stay Away From Soy

I always get the question asking what you can replace soy with. So, my goal with this post, along with the video below, is to merely provide you with honest health and fitness information that will enable you to uncover previously unknown truths about soy that will enhance your life. As always, you are encouraged to further your own research on the subject after reading this.

Now, it’s time to uncover the cold, hard truths regarding soy:

  • 4 things they don’t tell you about soy
  • Why soy is so popular
  • Alternative sources of protein so you don’t have to consume soy

The Truth about Soy

  • Soy contains trypsin inhibitors, which inhibit protein digestion and impair pancreatic function. This leads to digestive distress [1,2].
  • Soy increases the amount of Vitamin D required by your body, a vitamin that many are already deficient in. In fact, many companies add Vitamin D2 to soy products, which is a toxic form of Vitamin D [3].
  • Soy increases levels of phytic acid, thereby reducing the assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc [4].
  • Soy causes phytoestrogens to disrupt endocrine function, potentially leading to infertility and an increased likelihood of breast cancer in adult women [5, 6].

Soy and Commercialism

Before I discovered the truth about soy, I used to consume tons of soy. I used to have soy milk in my coffee. I used to eat products that contained soy. And if you go to the grocery store and grab something off the shelf, chances are it has soy and corn in it.

That’s why it is important to remain mindful of soy ingredients when grocery shopping. A large majority of items in grocery stores contain soy, as well as corn since both are cheap to produce.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the average food manufacturer or company’s main priority is not you. Rather, it is the amount of profit they are making off of you. Consequently, the cheapest, which also happens to be the unhealthiest, soy and other unhealthy ingredients are thrown into their products and sold at a higher price in order to maximize profit.

That’s the hard truth about soy. It is what it is. So what are better choices and alternatives to soy milk, tofu, or other soy products?

Alternative Sources of Protein

If you follow my work often, you are aware that I advocate the consumption of “whole foods” that are derived from as close to nature as possible.

So, try to get proteins from sources such as turkey, chicken, beef, and high-quality lean meats.

Of course, you can also supplement protein intake with an Organic Vegan Protein Superfood

And, if you are drinking soy milk regularly, you can switch to almond or coconut milk instead. You can even drink a conservative amount or a little bit of whole milk…as in whole, organic (from pasture-raised cows) whole milk. Those are some alternatives to soy.

If you are using soy to supplement your protein intake due to a vegetarian diet, you can alternatively go for foods like quinoa, peas or rice.

Our Custom Meal Plans make sure that you are getting enough protein from your diet so you don’t turn to products such as soy for supplementation. In fact, we custom build these plans to you and your stats. We can even cater to pescetarian and vegetarian needs.

I hope you found it useful. And, I love hearing from, getting your feedback, and answering your questions.

So, please share your comments or ask questions below.


Good Carbs VS Bad Carbs

If there’s one nutritional topic that gets debated more than any other, carbohydrates would be it. Are all bad? Are some good? How many should you eat? When should you be eating them?

All are common questions you might find yourself asking.

The truth is that there are good carbs out there, you just need to know how to separate them from the bad. While all carbohydrates must be consumed in moderation in order to maintain your body weight and reach your goals, there’s no reason to cut them out entirely.

Let’s walk through bad carbs as well as the good carbs so you can see the difference.

Stay tuned after the video to see…

  • What are carbs
  • How can you tell the difference between bad and good carbs
  • Why you should pair your carb consumption with a great workout

What Are Carbs?

Before we get into the difference between good and bad carbs, it is important to understand what carbs really are.

Our diet is made up of three macronutrients: Carbs, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.

The three main categories of carbs are sugars, fiber, and starches and the main purpose of these carbs is to provide the body with energy. To do this, most carbs are broken down into glucose or stored as fat to be used for later, with the exception of fiber, which is used to feed the good bacteria in our guts, which can then be used to for energy by cells.

⚡ Related: Learn why gut health is so important and how it can affect your foals

What Are Bad Carbs?

When it comes to bad carbs, the biggest question to ask yourself will be ‘is this carbohydrate processed?’ If it’s been altered from its natural state in any way, chances are, it’s a bad carb.

Classic examples of bad carbs include the breakfast cereal you wake up to each morning, the sweetened packet of instant oatmeal you may serve up as a snack, the white or whole wheat bread you use to prepare your mid-day meal, or the tortilla that you eat with your wrap.

Grains are another ‘no-no’ carb source, but most people let these slip by. They think as long as it’s a whole grain, it’s no problem.

Big mistake.

The problem with grains is that we as humans don’t possess the mechanisms to completely break these down in the body and therefore, they can cause problems.

What happens when you digest a gluten or wheat peptide is they force open the tight junctions in the stomach, which then leaves your immune system open to intruders. In the end, this can lead to inflammation development, eventually going on to cause major diseases including all the autoimmune diseases that are becoming so common in today’s society [1].

Stop eating grains and you can avoid many of today’s common immune disorders.

You’ll want to experiment to see how your body reacts. Myself, personally, I cannot even eat grains in any capacity. Even though this can be a good carb for many, as you’ll see below, when I added them back to my breakfast, I spent the next week feeling run down and like I was getting a cold.

Upon removing them, my symptoms cleared. It became obvious my body could not tolerate them. Trail and error are the best way to see how your body responds. Remove it from your diet for a minimum of 21 days, ideally one month to see if there’s a difference in how you feel.

What Are Good Carbs?

Which now brings us to the good carbs. Eat the right carbs and you’ll be well-fueled for your workouts, energized throughout the day, and maintain a revved up metabolism.

Some of the best carbohydrates you can eat include steel cut oats, Ezekiel bread, sweet potatoes, quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain), gluten-free rice cakes for snacks, white potatoes if you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes, and white rice [2,3]. Many people will question eating white rice, but what you need to know is that brown rice will go rancid faster in the body, potentially causing greater problems. White rice, therefore, is the superior choice [4].

Vegetables aren’t considered to be ‘active carbs’ due to their very low caloric intake, you can eat them in abundance without worry and they will always offer great benefits to your health.

One of the absolute best carbs that you could be eating is the sweet potato and can help you lose more fat!

Now you are better equipped to make good carb choices. If you want more information on grains, I’d highly recommend picking up either Wheat Belly or Brain Grain, both books which shed light on this topic.

What carbs do you find you feel best on?

Can I Have A Workout To Go With Those Carbs?

I’m a firm believer in earning your carbs.

There’s nothing wrong with a high-carb diet … IF you train hard.

If you’re not hitting the gym, or even if you are, but you’re just on one of those run-of-the-mill generic routines that focus on cardio and machine training, you can’t get away with eating too many carbs. (Good OR bad.)

So the secret to eating more carbs while STILL burning body fat faster than ever?

Get on the right program.

That doesn’t mean you hop on the elliptical for a half hour a day, or attend your pump class twice a week.

You need something properly structured to your goals that focus on the perfect blend of metabolism-boosting, lean muscle-building weight training, and calorie-burning cardio.

When it comes to working out, it is about quality, more than quantity. With the right training program, you can easily eat carbs and reach your goals, no matter what those goals are.

⚡ Related: Learn how timing your carbs can help you reach your goals!

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