3 Reasons You Should Measure Your Food

So are we ready with a cliche right out the gate? No? Well here it comes anyway: Your eyes are truly bigger than your stomach. Gosh, I know its bad but there is much truth in this simple saying.

Let’s break this down

The craze of diets and macros, especially IIFYM, has hit the internet by storm with huge gusts of useless information that can put your mind in a complete whirlwind. This is used to prey on your ignorance to nutrition strategies to buy products that you don’t need or put you on competition diets that are completely devoid of some macronutrients, leaving you wrecked, tired, and begging to gain the dreaded “rebound weight”.  On the flip side, those bulking plans that you see on the internet will surely get you big, but I don’t think to become the Pillsbury Doughboy was the intent. How do we combat this unintended result, you ask?

  1. When Starting Out Measure Everything

Quickly let’s immediately address perceived notions regarding food portions. YOUR NATURAL INSTINCT TO CHOOSE FOOD PORTIONS IS INHERENTLY FLAWED.  Caps too much? Well, there is an emphasis on this statement because one really needs to understand. You will either grossly underestimate or overestimate any and all portions of food naturally. This is because your body instinctively looks at food based on need (this can be skewed based on upbringing and a heavy addiction to sugar) and not for you to look good or be “swole”. For example, how many of you pour 3/4 cup of cereal NATURALLY into a bowl? Yeah, I don’t either. This is why when you start on a nutrition protocol you must weigh and measure your food. Without this information, you are captain of a ship with no map, setting sail to the island of nowhere – or an unintended destination.

2.  Weighing and Measuring Your Food Keeps You On Track

Can you imagine where we would be if we did not have GPS on our phone? How many of you even know how to use an old-fashion map? This question may seem silly but this is how most of us are with our nutrition. Sure we hit the gym but there is no plan for the things that we put in our mouth. For this reason measuring your food is of great importance. When you do not weigh your food you play a dangerous guessing game that sends a signal to your body to just store everything as fat. Your body does not have time to play with you. It is built for survival and will fight to stay in homeostasis. Homeostasis is your body’s “normal”.  However by weighing your food when you are on a specific nutrition plan, you can measure and track over time how your body reacts to certain amounts of food. This tracking will help you to adjust your plan over time to make the necessary changes to reach your goal. Now you are the captain of your ship WITH a map to get to your destination.

3.  The Discipline of Measuring Will Teach You How to Eyeball

Most people are not in a specific nutrition plan year long, but still want to keep the condition that they attained while on a diet. To do this there still must be discipline in your nutrition. This is the true secret as to how people stay lean year long. However you will not see more experienced people weigh all of their food. Why? Because consistent measuring over time has given them a better understanding of proportions. Over time the tedious task of measuring your food will allow you to truly see what 7 ounces of protein really looks like. By measuring time and time again you will now be able to finally “eyeball” food and make the right choices of food portion due to the habit of weighing and measuring. This skill only comes from the discipline you show in the beginning by weighing everything.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Weighing your food may seem tedious but I can assure you this habit is one of the quickest ways to ensure your nutrition plan gives you quality results to help you lose fat and build muscle. Don’t be the captain with no map!

 

 

3 Reasons Your Diet Isn’t Working

If you are thinking of beginning a new diet, or you are doing everything right but you are feeling terrible, learn the top three reasons that your diet may not be working.

“Gosh my head is hurting!” This is what my mom called and told me a few days ago. Using a new diet from a well-known company, my mother is hell-bent on being lean and trim for the summer time. The diet she is using has helped her to drop a few pounds, but what she did not know were the health implications that would  come if she did not adjust her approach to nutrition. So what is the problem? Most “diets” that become popular today rely on fads and skimp nutritional information in order to sell a hot new product. What these diets are not intended to do however is make you healthy. If you are thinking of beginning a new diet, or you are doing everything right but you are feeling terrible, learn the top three reasons that your diet may not be working.

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  1. Your Diet is Missing a Macronutrient

Macronutrients are composed of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In the 1980’s Charles Atkins, the creator of the Atkins diet, made the claim that carbohydrates are the cause of severe weight gain in this country. The ripple effect of that action can be seen today with a milieu of famous diets. Each diet claims that one key macronutrient is the cause of weight gain. If that were the case then you could just drop one macronutrient and be truly healthy right? The truth of the matter is that macros are not the problem. When you severely restrict one type of macronutrient, you lose the benefits of that particular macronutrient. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. So if you are starting to workout to lose weight, why would you stop the body’s main source of energy? A diet with very low carbs can be extremely detrimental and can even lead to death, which was the fate of Charles Atkins himself.

What you should have  is a healthy balance of each macronutrient. Below is a breakdown of each macronutrient and what they are used to do.

  • Fats- promote healthy hormone function and serve as energy
  • Proteins- converted into amino acids when in the body and aid in recovery
  • Carbohydrates- primarily used as energy for the body

When there is a healthy balance between each nutrient, you can ensure that your body is adequately supplied with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Once your body is properly fueled, you will actually be able to recover from the work that you put in when you are in the gym. A simple guide for people who want to lose fat is that

  • Protein should consist of 40-50% of your calories
  • Fats should consist of no more than 25% of your diet
  • Carbohydrates should make up the rest

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2. Your Diet is Extremely Low Calorie

How many times have you heard “I’m on the new 2 peas and a slice of air diet and I have lost 20 pounds in 20 minutes!” I know this is an exaggeration, but is it really? From average joe diets to the diet practices of physique competitors, extreme low-calorie diets are counterproductive and even dangerous. Let’s explain the diet cycle for a second:

  • You are excited to diet
  • You get some crazy low-calorie diet claiming to help you lose a ton of weight
  • You begin the low-calorie diet
  • You feel that you are going to die
  • You binge…. HARD

Does this sound familiar? What is actually happening is your body’s response to stay alive. Your body has what is called a resting metabolic rate. This is simply the amount of calories that you burn at rest. When you consume calories well BELOW this number, your body goes straight into survival mode. Thinking that you are dying, your body sends signals that are recognized as cramping, headache, lethargy, and hunger. These impulses are one of the main factors as to why people binge so hard after an extreme diet. The aftermath is not great either with people gaining upwards of 30 pounds in some cases due to the “rebound effect” (Thats another blog entirely lol)

Do yourself a favor and follow these rules for calories. If you are looking to lose weight, take your current body weight and multiply that number x10. So if you are a 200 pound male then your base set of calories will be 2000kcal (calories). Next you will need to multiply your base calories by your activity level (shown below). THIS number, regardless of what the GURU’s say, should be where you start your diet.

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3. Your Diet is Really a DETOX

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The south beach, lemonade, FIT TEA, etc… all of these “diets” are really detoxes and should be used with extreme caution. These products are extremely profitable and people are sucked in because people do lose weight quickly. I said weight, however I did not say the TYPE of weight. What detoxes are designed to do is expel your body of water and waste that carry toxins. Since most people carry 15-20 pounds of waste in their body at any given time, then it can be proposed that these products do work-but as a detox. If you are using this as a diet then you are on a road to disaster. Prolonged detoxing strips your gut of heathy bacteria needed for digestion. Coupled with the fact that you most likely will return to bad eating habits once those “20 pounds” are off, you will replace your gut with bad bacteria which comes from processed foods. These bad bacteria actually make it HARDER for you to lose weight! Do not be fooled by paid social media models promoting some of these products. Proper nutrition practiced consistently over time is the only proven way to truly see results.

Question: Have you ever been tripped up by these diet blunders? Comment below and let us know!

Nutrient Timing: Part 1

Most people know that what you eat is critical to fat loss or muscle gain, but do you know that the timing of when you intake some nutrients can make all the difference in your training goals? The few who have been introduced to this information have seen drastic changes in their physique as well as their performance in the gym. In part one of this 3 part series we will discuss ways in which how you time your food can give you drastic training benefits.

Part 1: The Role of Carbohydrates in Training 

Contrary to popular culture, carbs are not the enemy when you are trying to lose fat. If you are trying to gain muscle, you know that carbs are your best bud. However when you intake your carbs can make all the difference in your training. Whether your goal is to drop fat or gain muscle, the objective of carbs when it comes to training is to

  • provide you with energy

and

  • replenish glycogen stores in your muscles.

You want to use carbs as a barrier to fuel you through your workout. By ingesting the majority of your carbs around your training (pre and post workout) you can ensure that you do not use lean body mass as an energy source while you are training hard. Even if your goal is to lose fat, the reduction in calories throughout the day will be the number one factor of that fat loss. Carbohydrates on the other hand will give you the energy that you need to push through your training and burn those calories you need to aid in your fat loss efforts.

For those looking to build muscle, the practice of eating your carbs around your training is paramount. Most likely you will be lifting heavier with more taxing lifts around this time. Those carbs are going to surely help you accomplish your training goals. However, you should have a huge uptake (35-50%) of your carbs directly after training. This timing of carbs will help to replenish glycogen in your muscles.  By timing your intake of carbs in this way you will ensure that the majority of your carb allotment for that day is used effectively and not stored as fat.

Let those carbs work for you!

Escape the Holiday Trap Trap: 3 Tips to Stick to Your Nutrition

 

The holidays are a joyous time in which people get to see family members and eat lots of good food which is latent with sugar, grease, and many other fatty sources that can get you into trouble if you don’t know how to mitigate through this holiday season. We chose to speak out this subject today to start your new week off right with three quick tips to get back on your nutrition regimen. Before we start it is imperative to know that the number on the scale (yes we know you have checked) isn’t  necessarily correct in that with sudden spikes in calories comes water retention, so no need to panic. So put down those left overs and get back on track!

Tip 1: Clear Your Refrigerator

Listen, the thanksgiving holidays are a time when you cook certain foods about once a year, and lets face the facts: these foods are DELICIOUS. With this great food leftover plates are common but this practice could be to your detriment. With those leftovers your thanksgiving cheat meal could turn into a cheat WEEK! What you should do is completely clear your fridge of most of those foods with just enough to make about 20% of your diet. Buy fresh foods that you were already eating on your diet and start fresh. With the leftovers you do keep, use applications such as myfitnesspal to estimate the calories of these foods to make sure they can fit into your macronutrient regimen.

Tip 2. : Intermittent Fast to Start Your Week

Intermittent fasting is a technique that can be used to “reset” your metabolism by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistant pathways within the body. The sharp spikes that one can experience with a huge thanksgiving meal could cause rapid fat gain, especially if a person has already been on restricted calories. By using a short bout of intermittent fasting, you can offset the effects of that meal and give your body a clean slate so to speak.

How to perform

For example, if you want to start your week off right, the night before stop all eating by 8pm and resume eating the next day at noon. The 16 hour period is enough time for your body to return to previous metabolic levels and short enough time to avoid any adverse effects. During your fast you can have water, coffee and tea, but be strong to avoid any foods.

 

Tip 3: Add Some HIIT into Your Life

High intensity interval cardio (HIIT) is just a fancy word for interval training and has been around for ages but has just found new popularity in fitness circles. HIIT training is so effective because of its exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) benefits. HIIT training also helps you to preserve muscle at a rate far exceeding long duration steady state cardio. The week following the holidays incorporate 3 20 minute HIIT sessions into your training regimen to ensure that you start the process to shed the holiday fluff.

Types of HIIT Cardio

HIIT can be performed on any type of cardio equipment but we are athletes so we will stick to battle ropes, the treadmill and air dyne wind bike. Try each of these workouts and make sure not to throw up in the process, haha.

Air Dyne

5 min warm up at moderate speed

10 rounds of

20 seconds fast (110rpm or higher)

40 seconds complete rest

 

Battle Ropes

10 Rounds

30 seconds all out intensity

30 seconds rest

 

Treadmill

5 min jog at 5.0

Set treadmill to a 5.0 incline and 10.0 speed

then

10 Rounds 30 second sprint

30 seconds rest

 

Always enjoy the holidays but make sure you you have a game plan. When Christmas rolls around in four weeks you’ll know what to do!!

 

~ Swxller

 

Looks Can Be Deceiving- The TRUTH about Protein Meal Replacement Bars

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They taste great, they are marketed to be a meal replacement, and they “say” that if added to your diet you can lose weight!!

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Sounds great but is it true? The answer becomes vague once you start to dig deeper….

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Let’s keep things simple here people: If you BURN more calories than you ingest you will become leaner. However the way in which you do it will determine whether you are losing FAT or weight. The former is very important in that losing weight is counterproductive. First losing weight alone isn’t a true indicator of good health because with weight you are losing fat, but mostly water and muscle. Most people have been decived by the media into thinking that losing weight is the number one goal to looking good, but the true is that what most people are looking for is proper BODY COMPOSITION. Proper body composition is the reduction of fat cells within the body which equates to loss of FAT which will also result in loss of weight to some degree. Now you may be thinking, “isn’t that losing weight?” Yes, but the type of weight is extremely different in that you have retained muscle and water while stripping away the fat that is layered on top of your muscle. Once your muscle starts to show this will give you the “toned” look that you are reading this blog hoping to find the answer to achieve!

This brings me to my point of protein meal replacement  bars, especially brands that give unsuspecting people false advertisements that keep them running in circles when trying to drop fat. Keeping calories in mind understand that knowing your personal allotment of calories is the quickest way to drop fat ALONG WITH knowing the proper split of macronutrients you need to achieve a certain body composition. If leaning out (known as losing weight) is your goal, then an uneven macronutrient ratio could BE THE DIFFERENCE between just getting skinny and looking GREAT when you hit the beach.

Abnormal amounts of fat, carbohydrates, and sugar are the top causes for fat gain because after a certain amount that is completely specific to your body, these macronutrients will be shuttled to fat because it is not being used. For you IIFYM people out here this explains why although a calorie is a calorie, the TYPE of calorie consumed makes all the difference.

The reason these protein replacement bars get you in trouble is that if you don’t pay attention to the macronutrient ratio that you are consuming you can be led by false pretenses that you are eating healthy when in fact you might be taking in way more calories than you thought you might be taking in. Take some time to look at the nutritional facts of some of your top generic protein bars.

Lets take a look at a popular meal replacement bar

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Now lets look at a regular sized rice krispy treat

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Now check this out

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Its all on the same aisle!!

Now I’m not saying that you can’t add in meal replacement bars into your diet and lose fat- but you have to be mindful of knowing what you are putting in your body. As you can see you could actually fair out better eating the rice krispy treat!! Also, don’t fall into the trap of “net carbs”. if a calorie is a calorie, then a CARB IS A CARB. If you count your calories then you must add in those carbs regardless of what the packaging says.

Bottom Line- READ the nutrition label and know that everything is not what it seems in regards to food when marketing is involved. Your best bet is to stick with real unprocessed foods and rich protein sources such as eggs and lean meat if you are looking for protein. If you have a sweet tooth then do your self a favor and understand the relationship of calories and macronutrients in regards to body composition. In one cases, you might fair off better with a butter finger than a cliff bar.

Four Ways to Stay Lean Year Round

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For anyone that has worked to achieve a low body fat percentage, one knows that the process is tedious yet a wonderful feeling. However so many people use outdated techniques that call for extreme low calorie diets that are restricted of many foods that cause enormous cravings that spur almost uncontrollable cheat meals that sometimes turn into cheat days or even weeks. What few know that there’s are a couple of small “hacks” that serve to keep people lean all year. The days of staying lean by eating like a bird are over. We have found 4 simple steps to keep your palate satisfied, allow you to go out with your friends and not be weird around lunch time, and see those abs that you have worked so hard for.

1.The 90/10 Rule

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  • Let’s get real here: You nor anyone else had the will power to avoid junk food YEAR ROUND and that is perfectly fine. Just as one meal won’t make you lean, one meal won’t make you fat either. The key however is to reserve these fatty junk type of foods to ten percent of your food intake. In other words save the doughnuts and cheese sticks for RARE OCCASIONS. Now this doesn’t meal you can’t enjoy some of your old favorite pastimes, but 90% of your food sources must continue to be from rich nutrient dense foods. Keep the majority of your carbs complex, eat loads of veggies and keep your proteins lean. Earn that double double with animal sauce, you will thank us later.

2.  Choose Your Condiments Wisely

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Many of us LOVE FLAVOR which is freaking awesome. However many of our favorite spices, sauces and condiments are loaded with empty calories which can add up quickly. Although slightly more expensive brands such as Walden Farms carry a vast variety of dressings, syrups, condiments and even jelly that are calorie, carb, and fat free! These brands will usually be in the diabetic section of your large grocery chains and make all the difference. Give them a try and you will be surprised that such witchcraft actually exists.

3. HIIT

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No matter what you have heard in the past, all cardio is not created equal. In regards to any training program consistency is the goal. Now during someone’s leaning out phase of training one might be more inclined to spend 30 minutes to an hour each day. But what about all year? The reason why high intensity interval training (HIIT) is so effective is that it is QUICK. About 15 to 20 minutes of a 1:2 to 1:3 ratio of short bursts of maximal cardio activity followed by a less intensity rest period not only burns more fat due to EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption), but mentally you are more inclined to spend 15 minutes doing cardio than 45. An example of this would be a 30 second incline sprint at a 10.0 incline and 11mph speed for 20 seconds followed by a 1 minute light jog at 4.5mph on the treadmill. The beauty of HIIT is that it can be used with about any form of cardio which means you have unlimited variety! Use HIIT training 3-4x per week right after your weight training session to rev up your metabolism, preserve muscle and drop some serious body fat.

4.  Integrate Carb Cycling with IIFIYM

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At Swxller we don’t believe in DIETS, because simply they don’t work. What you need is a system to stay on track with the 90/10 rule AND fit in some of your favorite foods to not feel “deprived”. Carb cycling is a technique that helps to continually increase your metabolism by manipulating your carb intake to continuously drop your body fat percentage. You will rotate from 3 low carb days to deplete your muscles of muscle glycogen , followed by 1 high carb day to aid in recovery and cause your body to only use carbs for energy rather than storing it. The storage of unwanted carbs is a main contributor of fat retention. There are many calculators from a variety of websites, but an easy way to employ  the carb cycle is to multiply your bodyweight by 1.5 to find out your  high carb day, then divide that number by .75 to find your low carb day.  Always keep your protein to 1g per pound of bodyweight and keep your fats to 0.5 to 0.75 per pound of bodyweight . The process is tough but very rewarding if you stay consistent with it.

Now when it comes to IIFIYM there is a lot of literature out there that says if a food fits in your macros then it is fine NO MATTER WAHT TYPE OF FOOD IT IS. This implies  that you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits. But we are smarter than that right?? Remember you still need NUTRIENTS. However by using the 90/10 rule there will be times in which you can have went treats and still stay on track.

During a carb cycle, in order to not feel the effects of near ketosis, which is lethargy, irritability, fatigue, and a reduced motivation to train, you should eat your carbs in the morning and around your training. Right after training you have a window in which your body will absorb SIMPLE CARBS as muscle glycogen and will not store it as fat. This is your A HA moment and window of opportunity! By using the methods of IIIYM, you have the opportunity to ad in a SMALL sweet treat in the place of dextrose right after training to satisfy some cravings and keep you on track of eating rich nutrient dense foods 90% PERCENT OF THE TIME.  To make is process easier use applications like myfitnesspal to track your meals and your macronutrient intake.

REFERNCES

Trapp, E. G., Chisholm, D. J., Freund, J., & Boutcher, S. H. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity, 32(4), 684-691.
King, J. W. (2001). A comparison of the effects of interval training vs. continuous training on weight loss and body composition in obese pre-menopausal women (Doctoral dissertation, East Tennessee State University).

Paplinskie, S. A. (2013). An Autoethnographical Tapestry of Feminist Reflection on My Journey of a Fitness Model Physique.

Ahima RS, et al. Leptin regulation of neuroendocrine systems. Front Neuroendocrinolgy 2000;21:263-307.

Kozusko FP. Body weight setpoint, metabolic adaption and human starvation. Bull Math Biol 2001;63:393-403.

The “Actual” Crossfitter’s Diet

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If you haven’t been under a rock, then you have heard about or even seen the sport of Crossfit. This fitness phenomenon has swept the nation giving regular everyday people the chance to train in a performance driven environment while preparing them for the unknown and unknowable. Many people have taken the gospel of crossfit as law and there have been marketing schemes that have made tons of money from crossfit enthusiasts due to lack of knowledge. While injury in crossfit is prevalent and can be due to a number of factors, the nutrition program sponsored by crossfit has been detrimental to athletes and there is a disconnect in how the competitors of the sport fuel themselves compared to crossfit enthusiasts.

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The Paleo diet has been popularized by crossfit and the premise of the diet is to adopt the fueling patterns of ancient people. Rob Wolff states that “The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility”.

While some of his claims hold validity, Wolff forgets that Crossfit is a PERFORMANCE based training program and sport. In order to perform you have to have energy, and the paleo diet is lacking the number one source you need to perform your best. This source my friend is CARBS. YES……….. YES carbohydrates. “The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic work.” The RIGHT carbs, which are complex and take time to digest such as rice, sweet potatoes, and various grains, is the coal to your steam engine of a body.

Without the presence of carbs you will begin to feel sluggish, be at risk for ketosis (which is an abnormal amount of ketones in the bloodstream) and most importantly you will be less alert. Since Crossfit is nothing more than taking very good attributes from various sports, it would seem that the nutrition patterns of top athletes in these sports should have been adopted too right?

So What REALLY Happens Then?

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If you are confused as to why the top athletes in crossfit look starkly different compared to the thousands of enthused participants of the sport, I have an idea and NO it is not steroids. (Although everyone wants to go straight to the “juice”). What happens is that while crossfit supports the paleo diet but the competitors for the most part have a completely different diet that consists of a ton of carbs, which are not bad, but help these athletes have the energy to perform at a high level. You will see athletes although the names consume large amounts of peanut  butter sandwiches, rice, and even bad carbs such as donuts, sweet cereal and even fries to ensure that they are fueled for their competition. Now this doesn’t mean to scrap your diet and head to the nearest burger king, cut it shows that carbs play a huge role in how you perform and gives you the energy to perform.

Side Note- When you are in a constant fatigued state, as the sport of crossfire perpetuates, there is a technique breakdown in performance. This can and has lead to serious injury within the sport. Understand that what you put in your body is vitally important to your performance and health!!

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While protein and fats are extremely good for the human body, their primary role is to aid in recovery from training- not to fuel training. Only when you have a surplus of carbs will you begin to gain unwanted weight, and as a crossfitter that will be difficult given that you train frequently. If you have been on the paleo diet, add a few sweet potatoes in the mix and watch how better you improve. Just a little food for thought.

-Swxller

References
Costill, D.L., Miller, J.M. Nutrition for endurance sport: Carbohydrate and fluid balance. Int. J. Sports. Med. 1980;1:2-14.
Coyle, E.F., and Coyle, E.L Carbohydrates that speed recovery from training. Phys. Sportsmed., 1993;21:111.
Esbjornsson-Liljedahl, M. Sundberg, C.J., Norman , B., and Jansson, E. Metabolic response in type I and type II muscle fibers during a 30-s cycle sprint in men and women. J Appl Physiol 1999;87:1326-1332.

What an Athlete Needs to Know About Hydration

Front image_drinking-waterAs an athlete it is imperative that hydration be the forefront of your training. Research has shown that “exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. Losses in excess of 5% of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30% (Armstrong et al. 1985; Craig and Cummings 1966; Maughan 1991; Sawka and Pandolf 1990). Your body is a bioengineered machine and the amount, type, and frequency in which you hydrate yourself can not only make the difference in a stellar or detrimental performance, but in some cases life and death! So listen up as we share some keys to success.

Amount

Although a common rule is to drink 1oz per pound of bodyweight per day, a more individualized approach can be used to ensure that you are properly hydrated. If you want to get technical you can use the equation
(Finish weight – start weight) – (weight of amount drink)

So if you weight 160 and after a workout you weigh 156, then (4×16) 64 oz is the amount of water you should drink before your day is out. For bigger athletes this number will increase but if you are drinking a MINIMUM if a gallon a day you should be in good shape.

Frequency

During training you should consume 8-12 fluid ounces per 15 minutes of activity. However, by using the COMMON SENSE principle you should drink all day EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THIRSTY. By using this rule of thumb you will ensure that you are properly hydrated. A nice benchmark to gauge whether you are drinking enough is your urine. Some say that apple juice colored urine indicates that you are hydrated but here at swxller we are interested in excellence. CLEAR urine, yes clear as water urine is the prime indicator that you are hydrated. Once you consistently have clear urine one will know that they have not missed the boat on hydration.

Type

You are an athlete so you need to fuel yourself with nothing but the BEST quality fuel. For hydration purposes that fuel is WATER. Electrolyte filled substances such as gatorade which have potassium and sodium are great as well but ONLY for strenuous activity and should not be used as a hydration source all day. For general hydration water should be your go to beverage. Now one doesn’t have to be super fancy and get the latest brits water filter (although those are pretty sweet) but if you are balling on a budget, natural spring water by the gallon only costs anywhere from 75 cents to one dollar at most grocery stores. In other words, but down the juices and tea and pour you a nice cold glass of the good stuff.

Water is key, water is your friend! Are you hydrating enough?? Let us see by using the hashtag #swxller #hydration in your social media posts!!!

SWXLLER

The $25 Grocery List

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Who says that eating clean to essentially save your life had to be expensive?! Here at SWXLLER we pride ourselves in helping ur clients with specific life hacks to stay healthy even on a budget!! Short on cash? not a problem.. Lets shop together and get you well on your way!!

Look for the DEALS

When going to the grocery store always make sure that you know any specials that are being offered that week. If you look closely there will always be a special on something and with coupons you can get a long way very cheap. The sale paper is your guide my friend.Since meat will be your highest expense, look to find that deal first. There may be a buy one get one free on some item, frozen items will most likely be cheaper and to give you a secret, the store brands and main brands are made from the same companies. Also look to get some frozen options of veggies as well. Most store brand options are less than 2 dollars for a 1lb bag and you  can really rack up here.

So What Does a $25 Dollar Grocery Bill Look Like?

To give you a better example of what this looks like, we will give you a sample grocery list to get you started. Try this out and see if you can get to 25 dollars!!

1 drum of store brand oats

3 grapefruits

3 bags of frozen green beans

4 sweet potatoes

1 gallon  spring water

1 bag of rice

1 rotisserie chicken

1 carton eggs

3 bananas

5 cans tuna

Yes it looks bare.. but  when short on cash you have to do what you have to do!!

SWXLLER

The 5 Laws to Build Quality Muscle: 5. Fuel for Growth

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Whether you are working to get bigger to get on the field or court next season or just trying to fill out your favorite shirt, building muscle can seem like a complicated process. How do some people pack on quality muscle while others train at the gym for hours each day and still fail to see results? The answer my friend is that those people who are successful in developing Hypertrophy (a formal word for getting “buff”) have consciously or subconsciously followed specific laws that if followed will aid in you reaching your fitness goals. We have put together the 5 most critical laws of muscle that have been PROVEN time and time again to build dense lean quality muscle in the shortest time possible. Tune in each week as we discuss each law in detail to give you the most up to date information to help you reach your goals.
5. FUEL FOR GROWTH
Stop right there! You tried it and we are going to correct you before you even have the wrong thought. Do not under any circumstance begin to eat foods that are bad for you for the perceived “bulking” period that you have watched on the Internet. That philosophy is not only outdated but can lead to severe fat gain and health problems later in life. Keeping the foundation of a clean diet while manipulating the carb and protein percentages that you consume will give you the energy to help you achieve Hypertrophy. 
To build QUALITY muscle you will want to increase your portions of quality foods that you are already eating (see the power of the knife and fork series) and eat more frequently to allow your body to grow. When building quality muscle, protein sources such as beef, bison, and veal are ideal over chicken and fish because you want protein sources that have a higher amino acid content to feed your muscles. Nevertheless these protein sources should still be rotated during your week because your body will adapt more effiecntyly to a rotating fuel pattern.
Carbs such as sweet potatoes AND white potatoes, quinoa pastas, brown and white rice, and some bread should be used. Your fruits should still be a wide variety but bananas will be key during this period. This is because bananas will help to give you an added boost during training which is why it is recommended during your preworkout meal. 
Healthy fats such as olive and cocunut oil , almonds and walnuts, peanut butter and Udos oil are also very important. You want to ensure that your body still receives quality fats so it doesn’t hold on to so much fat your time to gaining lean mass. 
Caution: MASS GAINER shakes WILL mess up your liver. It is imperative to stick to REAL food when you want to build muscle. For the people who need to gain weight here is a simple shake you can take 2x a day along with your current diet.
  • 2 scoops whey protein isolate (We prefer Zija Prime 90)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 TBSP Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 banana
  • 15 oz Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Honey
Add this building shake into your fueling during this period and you will not only gain quality weight and build muscle, but that weight will stick. Mass shakes and gainers are synthetic, so your gains will be synthetic as well. So many times athletes have went that route only to either end up sick or lose all the muscle they gained once they stopped taking that particular product. Don’t let that be you!
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SWXLLER