I have not taken to this blog in over a year. I could sit here and blame it on this or that but in reality it had a lot to do with how busy I became. I found a great balance between my studies, social life and fitness, and I believe it has allowed me to further my knowledge on real world health. Within the last year, and amongst this great balance, I managed to gain some muscle (approx. a few pounds), while cutting about 13 pounds of body fat. Now how did I do it? I stopped obsessing about the numbers. Yes, I still feel off when I go a few days without working out, and yes, I still do feel guilty when I eat unhealthy foods; however, I stopped tracking my macros and obsessing about the details. I made sure I was eating relatively healthy most days, and days when I knew I would be drinking or eating out, I would make sure to compensate for it through working out and/or eating less during the day. The best advice I now feel able to give is to stop obsessing about the numbers and just enjoy the journey. Eating healthy doesn’t need to be a drag, it offers a gate way to feeling more energized in the morning, to better skin, etc. and I believe one should stop obsessing about the minor details and just enjoy all the good that changing your lifestyle does for your body.
If you’ve looked at my previous posts you may be confused. I just raved about the benefits of IF and now I’m telling you that I’m taking a break. How come? The truth is that I’m heading back to school and the first couple weeks tend to offer very inconsistent eating and sleeping times. I also want to see first hand what happens when I stop, will my sharp mental clarity fade away? Will my muscle gains slow down? There is only one way to find out, by taking a break.
I will keep the blog updated as to what I experience. I plan on stopping for about 3 weeks until I adjust back at school.
The age old question – How many days a week should I be working out?
This question isn’t as black and white as one would hope. There are many variables at play, such as what type of exercise (weight training vs. cardio), how heavy you’re lifting, what type of cardio, how quickly you recover, and the list goes on.
This summer I caught myself over training. I was weight training 4-6 days a week, and doing cardio 2-4. I became very sluggish, fatigued, and felt flat. I have been watching fitness YouTubers for years, and owe some of what I know to them, but how come they can train 5-6 days a week and seem fine? What was I doing wrong? How could I feel “fuller” and make constant strength gains in the gym? After doing some research, and more research, I came across a new “ideology” surrounding training. It’s based around the concept of only strength training (weight training) 3 days a week. I gave it a shot, and was absolutely baffled. I started feeling fuller, less fatigued and stronger. The program I started (and am still following) is based around the idea of performing major lifts very heavy, and to essentially failure (though it does incorporate higher reps for more compound exercises). I immediately started feeling stronger, and have started to really push myself. I’ve been super satisfied with my strength gains. Only working out 3 days a week ( with at least 1 day rest between workouts) has allowed me to enter the gym with more muscle energy, and less fatigue. The concept of less training for more results seemed backwards to me at first, but after trying it for myself, it became clear to me. Giving your body time to recover allows you to exert more energy the next time you’re in the gym, it’s brilliant. You may be wondering about cardio. “Braedon, weight training is great, but what about cardio?!” My advice for cardio is to do low intensity training (i.e high incline walking on treadmill) roughly 2 times a week. This type of cardio does not seem to fatigue my body the way high intensity does, allowing me to still weight train with maximum energy levels.
So you could try weight training 3 days a week ( with at least 1 days rest in between), and if you’re looking for more; add in 2-3 days of low intensity cardio.
If you think you’re over training, my method could be worth a shot!
Intermittent fasting , commonly refereed to as “IF”, has taken the fitness world by storm. If you’re not familiar with “IF”, its the concept of fasting for a majority of the day, and having a set eating window. When I first heard about it I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe it, it sounded too good to be true. “Loose weight effortlessly” is what I was told. Me being me, I took to the internet to do some more research. I found out that “IF” has many benefits, including: increased human growth hormone (HGH), a boost to metabolism, improved mental clarity, increased testosterone, and more! I was ecstatic, finally a way to fast track fat loss, while maintaining muscle mass (with increased HGH). I started Intermittent fasting with a 16hr fast and an 8hr eating window. I was excited to start and reap the rewards. Unfortunately I lasted for about 2-3 days as I started just before vacation (bad idea, I know). Months flew by and I was convinced that fasting wasn’t for me. Though as the summer rolled on, and my fat loss seemed to reach a plateau, I was ready to give intermittent fasting another shot. Here I am, approximately a month and a half later, fasting every single day. I’ve grown accustom to it, and rather enjoy it. In all fairness it does make it easier to stick to my macros, but it certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
Things they don’t tell you:
- When you start, you’re going to be hungry, very hungry. When I first started fasting, my body was programmed to enjoy my morning bowl of cereal while watching sports highlights. So when I started fasting, my body craved breakfast, and it hurt. Though you grow accustom to eating your first meal later on in the day, the first few weeks could be rough. Ff you manage to power through, it does get better. I enjoy two cups of black coffee in the morning, paired with a lot of water to suppress my appetite before my 1pm breaking of fast. Try waiting until you get hungry to have your first coffee, it acts as an appetite suppressant.
- It’s not a miracle for weightloss. Since I started fasting I’ve hardly lost any weight, if any. Though I do believe I have been gaining lean muscle and trimming some fat. Nonetheless, intermittent fasting alone doesn’t guarantee that you’ll loose weight. The principle behind intermittent fasting is that you have a smaller eating window, making it harder to eat as much food as you would typically throughout a “normal” day. Though true for many, I still find myself able to consume much more when I’ve eaten all of macros for the day. The key is finding foods that are filling, and satisfying. If you manage to fit satisfying food into your diet, it’ll curve craving’s you might have when fasting. In order to loose weight it comes down to being in a caloric deficit (which I haven’t been doing). Intermittent fasting helps in this regard, having a smaller eating window makes it easier to consume a lower amount of calories. Though you must still pay attention to your caloric intake as some people have a tendency to over eat during their eating windows (especially when first starting IF).
- Keep a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Healthy fats are essential for maintaining healthy hormone levels, proteins are essential for muscle development/maintenance, and carbohydrates are important when fasting (in my opinion) to keep up your energy level’s. Though not only relevant to intermittent fasting, it’s something to keep in mind.
At the end of the day, I believe Intermittent Fasting to be a great tool to improve overall health. By no means do I believe it to be some “magical cure” for weightless, but I do believe it can aid in sticking to your macro’s; while also offering many other benefits (improved metabolism, increased HGH, sharper mental clarity, increased testosterone, etc).
I think you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
For more information regarding Intermittent fasting I recommend checking out Dr.Berg’s link below. He will provide a more in depth explanation of the science behind it.
My name is Braedon, and I am the creator of this blog. Over the past 5 years or so I have been through a vigorous fitness journey, and I’ve learned a lot. I’m not here to sugar quote anything, in fact, one of the driving factors compelling me to create this blog was in hopes that I could convey “non BS” information regarding fitness, nutrition, and my personal journey. I hope this blog provides you with a refreshing dose of fitness reality. Now let’s get started.
What will I be posting about?
- Different forms of “dieting/fasting”
- Different forms of fitness (Weight Training vs. Cardio)
- Macros (How to track, tips & tricks)
- My personal journey, in hopes that it inspires
- Building Muscle
- Losing Fat
Stay tuned for my first post. It’s sure to be a good one.