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There is so much confusion when it comes to all the different diets out there! Some tell you that you should avoid carbs completely or at least limit them to a small amounts, and everything in between. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one of them, or at least know someone who has tried a low or no-carb diet…

Are Carbs REALLY The Enemy?

The truth is, it all depends on what type of carbs you consume, when you consume them, and how many. But it also depends on how much body fat you have right now too, what your goals are and what type of workouts you’re doing.

There’s no one-size-fits all approach, but there’s some simple rules that you can apply for timing carbs and making them work for you:

Eat them at the right times, and they’ll accelerate your fat loss and get you
leaner.

X Get the timing wrong and over-consume them, and you may keep falling short
of your goals as your insulin spirals out of control and keeps you out of a fat
burning state.

The Top 3 Times YOU NEED To Ingest Carbs

1.     Morning {But not for everyone!}

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

Here’s why:

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 the glycogen tanks in your liver and muscle, 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 with your carbs.

Now, this is NOT for everyone! Some people work very well on fatty breakfast meals with moderate protein in order to keep insulin levels low, which in turn, allows the body to burn and mobilize fat until they workout.

*If your body fat is under 12% for a male and under 20% for a female, I’d suggest carbs in the am.  If you’re over those percentages, I’d suggest skipping the carbs and adding a fatty breakfast. This will help you better burn and mobilize fat all day until the next 2 suggested times to eat carbs.

2. Pre-Workout

Because carbs are so critical to providing energy, consuming carbs before your workout is a must.

Why is this so critical?

Simply put, the more energy you have, the harder you train.

Think of it this way…Carbs are like “High-Octane-Fuel”, so use them when you need them, make sense?

Consume your carbs about 2-3 hours before you workout. Sources such as quinoa, sweet potato, yams, and rice are all great sources that can really fuel a killer workout.

3. Post-Workout  

The reason why it’s suggested to eat carbs after your workout is very much the same reason they’re recommended first thing in the morning – You’re Insulin Sensitive!

Those glycogen tanks are used up when you train hard via HIT Training or High Volume Hypertrophy workouts, and in order to replenish the glycogen (AKA High-Octane-Fuel we spoke of) and allow your body to shuttle nutrients for recovery, you need carbs in your post-workout shake and meal[1]. This will stimulate insulin at the right time and place your body in an optimal state for recovery.

This is where Carbs are your true friend! Carbs help shuttle insulin to the muscle cells, and this accelerates the delivery of nutrients such as protein to broken down muscle tissue.

This is so important! When it comes to making sure that you can perform day in and day out, and build muscle at the same time, without storing body fat, ingest carbs post workout!

Post workout carbs can’t be neglected! Do this and you’ll be suffering from poor recovery and potentially muscle loss.

As per carb choices post workout, I like to have higher glycemic carbs in my post workout shake to increase the recovery time and create a nice insulin spike. Many guys I know will put straight up dextrose in their shakes. I prefer low fructose fruits, honey and some carb drinks such as Waxy Maize, Karbolyn, and Vitargo.

Why Timing Carbs is the Key to Your Fat Loss Success

 

Dieting concept. Tape measure wrapped around slices of bread

The concept of manipulating your insulin levels to increase fat burning and mobilization is becoming more and more popular these days and it’s done in a variety of ways; Intermittent Fasting, Carb Cycling, Keto Diet, Carb Nite, Carb Back Loading, and more. They ALL work! But some are more optimal depending on what your goals are.

To shed that unwanted body fat, you need to time your carbs and make them work for you! The key is to do this while still maintaining your muscle mass and performing well.

Going without carbs for too long won’t give you the best of both worlds. This is why timing your carbs can be so critical.

This is why I like Carb Cycling as the best option for the following reasons:

You don’t end up cutting out carbs for so long, that you end up doing more harm than good.

By having an influx in carbs and calories on days when you need them most, it keeps your metabolism guessing and allows you to blast through plateaus of fat loss and even muscle growth.

I schedule high-carb-cycling days on my priority workouts like legs, or a weak body part like chest. This gives me the fuel I need to blast through the workout and be able to recover from longer, more intense sessions!

By strategically eating carbs at the most optimal times, you guarantee that when you do eat them, they’re properly utilized, and not stored as body fat.

As for the rest of your meals in the day, I recommend that you stick to a variety of protein sources from red meat, wild fish, wild meat, turkey, chicken and eggs. Balance out your meals with various fat sources too, such as avocado, olive oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed cow butter, and fish oils. And be sure to get your green leafy veggies of course 😉

Customized Carb Intake Is Always Best!

Following the guidelines I’ve provided in this article will surely help and be a great place to start. These rules around carbs and the timing of them work well with most individuals.

When it comes to diets, fat loss, performance programming, and muscle building, your meals should be personalized for the best results.

Why? Because there’s no one-size-fits all approach. Everyone has different goals, body compositions, and types of activity that they’re performing, and those can all have a massive impact on the nutrition plan you need.

My good friend and IFBB pro Matt Stirling put together the absolute best guide on carb cycling!

Check it out, and let me know what you think! This guy is an evil genius with this stuff.

The Customized Carb Solution

introduc_img

Yes, this is a post about Pokémon. And you’re going to learn something from it.

So last weekend, some of my friends decided it would be a cool idea to buy some rum, vodka and other mind altering substances and proceed to spend the rest of the night seeing the world a bit more blurry than usual while attempting to seduce the opposite sex.

Other friends in the house, though, had decided to do something a little different – have an epic series of Pokémon battles. And you know what? That seemed like a lot more fun than clubbing to me. So I decided to join the two and pick up a DS to relive my childhood with them, while seeing the world through a different lens.

Playing this game again, while having entered a not-so-sober state, got me to thinking about whether or not Pokemon really was a waste of time. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that maybe – just maybe – there were a few things that we’d all learned while investing countless years of our childhoods into it. Here’s a list of five life and fitness skills I believe playing Pokémon actually helped us learn. Now, keep in mind that I came up with this list at 3am, while drunk, so some of it may be a stretch. Still, you should be able to go home and tell your parents or spouse how all those hours of Gameboy addiction actually made you a better, healthier and unknowingly a wiser person.

Lesson #1 Persistence is King

Working to catch every Pokémon, or at least beat the Elite Four, takes time and dedication. It requires persistence. The game does a really good job at helping you stay persistent by providing periodic and foreseeable rewards (gym badges), as well as spontaneous rewards (Togepi!).

The conventional definition of persistence is: “Refusing to give up or let go; persevering obstinately; firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”

Is it any wonder then, that persistence is the fundamental difference between a successful outcome and a failed outcome? In that case, it behooves us to develop the vital quality of persistence.

As you go about your workout routine, regardless of whether your goal is fat loss, muscle building, or simply to level up your hotness factor, one thing that you must make sure to have in place for success in your chosen endeavours, is a high level of persistence.

Nothing is going to help you continually make sure you move forward and see the progress you’re after like sheer determination and persistence.

On your journey you are going to have great days, and some pretty crappy ones.

The key to maintaining this persistent attitude is to focus on any and all progress you’re making.

Regardless of whether you simply lifted five more pounds while doing your squats or ran another minute, celebrate that victory. It’s a step in the right direction.

No matter how small, take the time to acknowledge your success. If you do this, you’ll get a nice boost to your own self-belief in your ability to achieve what you want with each step that you take.

This in turn leads to more effort on your part and a greater desire to achieve everything that you set out to achieve.

Far too many people get caught up focusing on all the negatives of any situation. Each time you make a mistake, you feel like a failure and this decreases your persistence even further.

Look on the bright side of everything. It can be hard but regardless of what’s happened, always look at the positives and you might just be surprised at how this influences your persistent nature.

Keep this in mind when working towards your current life goals as well. Sit down and figure out smaller “mini-goals” that you can achieve more quickly in order to keep your motivation high. Also, learn to recognize the spontaneous, unpredictable rewards that come up and appreciate them.

Lesson #2 Expect the unexpected

Expect the Unexpected written on the road

Sometimes life throws you curveballs. Over the years, I have learned that you can plan all you want, obsess over every detail, and sometimes things just don’t work out.

One of the craziest yet best part about Pokemon was the critical hits. The enemy might only take away 4 HP (health points) from you with their first attack, but on their next turn they may KO your Pokemon and do 10x damage with a critical hit.

On your fitness journey your going to have kick ass days and then the next morning you may was up feeling like you got hit by a truck. One day you may see your abs and then 3 days later – *poof* – there gone. You may be going hard for a few months, then all of a sudden you injure yourself and undo all the hard work you just put in…

Similarly, things in real life can be sailing smoothly, but in the blink of an eye the course of your whole life could change. On any given day you could be laid off or a friend or a family member could get into a car accident. It’s not always a pleasant thought, but it’s important to realize that things can change for the better, or worse at any moment.

The reality is that there is no way to predict the future. Things can go wrong just as easily as they can go right. It’s so important to rise above disappointment and to turn a negative situation into a catalyst for positive change. The worst thing you can do is use a negative situation as an excuse to let it all go because it’s ‘easier that way.’

I don’t know what will happen one week, six weeks, or 12 months from now, but I do know I will stay true to my original goal; which is to get in the best shape of my life and make my dream life a reality. I’m ready to face any challenge head on, and I’ll learn and grow from each experience.

Lesson # 3 If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

Winning at anything requires strategy. One of the things I got really caught up in while I played Pokemon was the strategy of it all. Pokemon are classified by their unique type. Some are grass, fire, water, ghost, dragon, etc. Each type is weak against a few types and strong against others. So fire is strong against grass, but weak against water. This unique setup is what made Pokemon the game so addictive. If you played your cards right, your attack would be “super effective” – which meant doing double damage to the opponent and almost always winning the battle.

The likelihood of success is directly correlated to strategy and proper planning. This type of constant questioning has led me to becoming an extremely analytical thinker and it’s not often others have to point out details to me. I have the ability to see variables and think in an “if this then that” manner like few others are able to.

The same is true in life. It’s impossible to succeed without a plan. It’s the diligent planners who are “super effective” in life.

When it comes to getting a panty-dropping, head turning physique, organization is vital. Counting macros and making foods fit your macros is really just a nutritional game of Tetris, if you think about it. And obviously, the more you practice it and the more reps you get it, the easier it becomes.

The people that do however are only successful because they are phenomenal planners. They strategically plan everything, from workouts to diet to full blown food benders that give your tongue a continuous orgasm for hours. Be one of these people!

Key Takeaway : Be an expert planner to win at life and at pokemon

Lesson #4 Always be evolving (pun intended)

One of the interesting things about Pokemon was how your means of transportation gradually improved throughout the game. In the beginning, you had to travel by foot and constantly deal with annoying wild Pokemon jumping out of the grass.

Later in the game, however, you were able to fly (on a pokemon) as well as travel by bike. You were also able to purchase repels, to prevent the constant onslaught of Ratatta while traveling through caves.

The Missingno glitch, perhaps the most famous bug of all time could be used to duplicate whatever item you had 6th in your inventory. Missingno could be encountered about two-thirds of the way through the game and using him to duplicate rare candies was a great work around to having to spend extra time leveling your Pokemon up.

When my best friend first told me of this trick I didn’t believe him because I thought the developers would be too smart to let a glitch like this pass. I was wrong.

Although there’s no magical shortcut that’s able to multiply your “gold nuggets” in real life, going against the grain of social conditioning often produces great rewards.

One of the best changes I’ve made in my life over the last few years is to always be on the lookout for ways to improve my life and change the way I do things. I’m always asking myself…

How can this be done quicker and with more accuracy?

Who else has done this that I can learn form and emulate?

How can I do this differently to achieve a more impressive result?

Things like developing your dream body, starting a business, or learning cold approach are often frowned upon or doubted by the majority of society, but they’re also among the most rewarding things you could ever choose to do.

Don’t lose this skill. Approach your work every day and every gym session with the mindset that there’s a better way to do it. Find that better way, apply it, and perfect it. Too many people will lazily accept the first solution and never look to improve it. Not only is this inefficient, but it leads to complacency and stagnation. You want growth and progression, so work for it! 

“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” Lou Holtz, author of Wins, Losses and Lessons.

Lesson #5 Follow your dreams

Dream big, set goal, take action word on blackboard

Maybe I should’ve started with this one; nonetheless it is the most important lesson so pay attention!

The best lesson Pokemon taught me was to dream fucking big! Ash (the main character) was a twelve year old nobody, but he understood that he wasn’t going to be a nobody for the rest of his life.

This 12 year old kid decides he wants to be the best pokemon trainer there is. He’s got school. He’s a little kid. He can’t even drive yet. He doesn’t care though, he has a dream.

He knew that if he put in the work he had the potential to be the best in the world. He got off on the wrong foot; waking up late on the day he was to be given his first Pokemon and he almost missed his opportunity, but against all odds, him and Pikachu  (badass electric pokemon) were able make it to the top, proving all the haters wrong.

When he decides to throw everything out the window and go be a pokemon trainer, does his mom try to stop him? Does she tell him to go get a proper education and a real job? No. She tells him to go for it and sends her kid out into the world all by himself to follow his dream.

Ok so maybe sending a 12 year old off on a solo trip around the country isn’t necessarily A-level parenting, but that’s not the point. He ditches everything to go follow his dreams and doesn’t let himself be stopped until he’s at the very top. He’s got an weirdly supportive mom to help him along, but I get the feeling he would have done it even without her approval.

You should have the same attitude. If you’re not happy, don’t just settle. Set a goal, an ambitious goal, and work toward it. Of all the things you can learn from Pokemon, learning to follow your dreams is the most important.

Big Dreams Lead to Massive Fucking Success

Many people I know have no goals beyond finding their next meal and what twist is going to take place on family feud tonight. They have no desire to dream big or shoot for the stars. In doing so, their lives become a continual string of mediocrity. We exist to do meaningful work. So many people waste their precious time doing something they despise. I don’t think it has to be that way. Find your passion. Find what you love and pursue it. Don’t forget though, you’ve got to take action. You can’t sit around twiddling your thumbs and expect that your dreams will magically come true.

“The architect of the universe didn’t build a staircase leading to nowhere” 

Earl Nightingale

One of the best things about getting your health in order is that you start looking more appealing to the opposite sex.

Your wife or girlfriend takes notice. You might even catch other girls looks start to linger longer. Maybe sometimes too long…ya you know what I mean.

It turns out that there is a mathematical formula known as the golden ratio to depict the perfect proportions for functional aesthetics aka Alpha Status.

[Download The Perfect Male Body Calculator Here And Get Your perfect body measurements instantly!]

The Golden Ratio

Being a voracious reader, I had stumbled across this ratio before. I just never realized it was the ratio ; depicting nature’s ability to perfectly balance function and structure.

In nature you can see The Golden Ratio’s proportions in the contours of seashells, in the composition of chemical compounds, the arrangement of branches along the stems of plants and even in the shape of a hurricane.

Some of the most astounding architecture in the world, like the Egyptian pyramids, were constructed using the principles of The Golden Ratio.

Sculptors used The Golden Ratio to create sculptures that defined the ideal powerful and masculine body. Greek gods and powerful warriors were all depicted with The Golden Ratio, and artists went to great lengths to ensure their sculptures exemplified this ratio to perfection.

The Golden Ratio also dictates some of the proportions of the most attractive faces. Plastic and dental surgeons actually use the golden ratio to help rebuild and shape faces and mouths when undergoing reconstructive surgery.

Even human DNA is built according to The Golden Ratio!

Every cell of your body is filled with millions of examples of The Golden Ratio at work in the most perfect system of all – the human body.

When we apply the Golden Ratio to certain areas of our body we can dramatically improve structure and function by adjusting the size of different body parts in relation to the other; so that they form the golden ratio.

The Greek God Ideal

The ancient greeks were known to regularly put on display what they thought was the ideal male physique. The statues often portrayed what you think is the ideal male body: A good shoulder to waist ratio, bulging biceps and muscular but not overly developed legs.

Yes the sculptors actually used a specific formula for building these statues. In the bodybuilding world this formula is now known as the grecian ideal.

The grecian ideal was created by legendary strongman Eugen Sandow. He built his physique based on the mathematics he discovered when he analyzed the sculptures in the greek and roman museums. He may have been a little nerdy, but his work and dedication to excellence turned him into nothing short of a badass.

How to calculate the golden ratio for your body.

It starts with establishing reference points. These body parts will serve as starting points to reveal what the other parts need to be to create that Alpha look – Instead of the dreaded, life-sapping, average look.

Reference point #1 – Your waist to height ratio (44.7% of your height)

Your ideal waist (in inches) is your height (in inches) x 0.447

Reference point #2 – Your shoulders should measure 1.618 x your ideal waist (above)

Reference point #3: Your Flexed arm should be 150% larger than the circumference of your non-dominant wrist or 50% of your ideal waist

Reference point #4 Your chest should measure 550% larger of than the circumference of your non-dominant wrist or 1.4x your ideal waist

Reference point #5 Your upper leg circumference should be 75% larger than your knee circumference.

Reference point #6 – Your calves circumference (in inches) should equal your arms circumference (in inches)

Your Turn

Time to calculate your current measurements as well as your ideals.

Ideal Waist – 0.447 x height (in inches)

Ideal Shoulders – 1.618 x ideal waist measurement

Ideal Chest – 1.4 x ideal waist measurement

Ideal Arms/Calves 0.5 x ideal waist measurement

Ideal Legs – 1.75 x knee circumference measurement

[Download The Perfect Male Body Calculator Here And Get Your perfect body measurements instantly!]

Closing thoughts

Evolutionary psychology research reveals that people have evolved to be attracted to and seek out other people who display what is called genetic fitness.

Men with golden ratio proportions (or close to) will capture and dominate the attention of all people the same way a drop-dead, way too hot woman, can literally put people into a trance when she enters a room (Don’t lie, we’ve all fallen prey. Just smile, admit it and move on).

You and I might not like to admit this truth, but we will both size someone up and make a judgment about his or her intelligence, personality and overall life success within the first two seconds of eyeing them.

This is the notorious first impression, and you should make no mistake about it: People size you up and spit you into a category, before you have even spoken one single beautiful word to there pretty faces.

Because people judge you this quickly, it’s in your best interest to use your look and your body to your advantage. Plus it doesn’t hurt the ego too look damn good.

Rags to Riches to Rags. Fat to Fit to Fat. Divorced to Marriage to divorce; the stories are everywhere.

Hitting rock bottom is supposed to turn people’s life around. So then why, do so many people, after their efforts of climbing up from rock bottom, sabotage their success, only to return to the pit of despair?

Why do the majority people who lose weight, gain it all back?

Why do so many lottery winners and professional athletes go broke seemingly overnight?

Why do we find it acceptable to stop short of the finish line, when we are so damn close?

All these questions, bring light the dark side of one of the most powerful and sought after experiences, in the english language

Success

Progress, Success, Whatever You Want To Call It Comes With Its Evil, Mediocrity Creating, Life-Sapping Twin, Complacency.

Complacency is the kryptonite of success.

When we make progress towards a goal, we can be seduced by feelings of accomplishment and entitlement. We slow down and take it easy, because hey, we’ve got some success, everything is alright. (1)

This entitlement usually leads to a 1 step forwards, 2 step back approach; ensuring that you never achieve your end goal.

You become frozen in time; not really succeeding at anything, but no falling hard on your face enough to get woken the fuck up!

Have you ever used your “good” behaviour to justify doing something “bad”?

Most people would answer yes.

Moral licensing, as it is known, is an insidious trap that houses the lost dreams of many, once ambitious, men and women.  By bein“good” we believe we have earned the right to be “bad.

Rack up lot’s of good, and you can be really bad. As illogical as this sounds, it is a dilemma that every single human being wrestles with. For example, because you opted for a Diet Soda, it is acceptable in your mind to indulge in the McGangbang (2) , instead of the, probably healthier, chicken salad.

Frankly, even simply thinking about being good, can increase the likelihood of sabotage. McDonalds has created a fortune exploting this.

Since increasing the healthy options, such as salad, to their menu, they have begun selling more big macs than ever. Yes the possibility of eating healthy, racked up a point in a persons good category, allowing them to be immoral and indulge in a delicious Big Mac (Though can we really blame them?). (3)

The pain of discipline or the pain of regret?

Human nature is full off paradoxes. We want abs, but we find it acceptable to indulge and consume an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream, in a single night.

We want more money and success, yet we somehow manage to binge watch entire seasons of Game of Thrones wasting hours of precious time (2). We want a better relationship, yet we indulge in the same boring and sometimes self destructive habits day in and day out.

We want everything to happen according to the “plan” however we also know that should it unfold that way, our life would be very dull and unfulfilling.

One of my favourite quotes that I love by to this day comes from the infamous Mark Twain…

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, then by the things you did.”

Now although I have a love/hate relationship with the poster in my room that has that quote (it may have led me to taking actions that had me fall into a seemingly bottomless love wormhole that shattered my heart), the words are nothing short of brilliant.

For the most part many actions you take are not seriously life changing (this excludes the obvious like having a kid, marriage or getting so drunk you confess your love to your best friend). But the everyday actions, you take while seeimingly important in the moment, will probably not have detrimental, life altering consequences.

So yes, I give you permission, right now, to take risks. To push a little harder. Yell a little louder. Approach and get that pretty girls number. Dress differently. To burn the midnight oil and start the business of your dreams.

So why not just do it? Because I guarantee you will look back 20 years from now and wish you had.

How to conquer complacency and ensure success

Instead of patting ourselves on the back and allowing ourselves to ease up, we should look at success and use it as fuel towards our end goals. Not to let off the gas. Not to self-sabotage. But use success as a reason to keep going, keep pushing and seeing the process through, right to the end.

So accept responsibility for your actions and take fucking control! Take consistent, daily action towards your goal.

Once you get close to your goal, raise your standards so that you are never satisfied and always pushing yourself to be better. That is the only way to truly succeed.

And sooner than you thought you will have arrived, happy, healthy and ready to conquer the next adventure, Destiny, has planned for you.

Footnotes

  1. People may use progress towards a goal as an excuse to let off the gas and indulge in some sort of self sabotage. Study: Ayelet Fishbach and Ravi Dhar, “ Goals as excuses or guides: The liberating effect of perceived goal progress on choice.” Journal of consumer research 32, no. 03 (2005): 370-377
  2. For hearty eaters who want to quench their hunger without being immobilized.
  3. Keith Wilcox, Beth Vallen, Lauren Block and Gavan J. Fitzimons, “Vicarious goal fulfillment: When the mere presence of a healthy option leads to an ironically indulgent decision,” Journal of Consumer research 36, no.3 (2009):380-93
  4. Not that I don’t love GoT or other similar series; but locking yourself for 3 days straight in the dark (guilty) and just consuming, has almost become a terrifyingly accepted norm. We need this to stop. Now.