What is one area of your life you would consider yourself to be “successful” in?

 

This isn’t a rhetorical question, I’m actually asking. If I were there in-front of you and asked you this question, what would you say?

Finances? Is there a certain relationship you’ve worked hard to develop? What about your job? Your health? Your lawn? Your role as a parent? Anything. Before you read any further, I want you to stop and think of something specific you would consider yourself to be successful in. I know you may think this sounds like you’re boasting if you say, “I’m successful in blank.”, but you’re not. The definition of the word successful, is the accomplishing of an aim or purpose. Therefore, according to the definition, if you achieve a specific goal or purpose you set out to accomplish, you are successful.

 

Now that I’ve distracted you enough, please think of something you would consider yourself to be successful in.

 

Now that you have this thing or area in-mind, I want you to think about how exactly you became successful in this area. Was it by luck? My assumption, is no.

If we look at anyone who is successful in anything, they have a series of patterns (aka habits) they do every day to ensure this outcome. If we look at areas like being a good parent, being a good friend, or having financial success, the people who have or do these things, have done and continue to do very specific things to ensure their attainment. If someone is successful financially, they do certain things every single day (work, invest, save, etc.) to create this outcome. It’s a large focus of their life and affects their behavior in more ways than they are probably even consciously aware of.

Does your experience ring true with my assumption? To be successful in this area you are thinking of, were there certain things you did repeatedly (and probably still continue to do) every day to achieve this result? Of course.

 

Let’s take a look at two scenarios:

 

In scenario #1, every day after work John comes home and watches tv. In scenario #2, he instead comes home and goes for a 3-mile walk around his neighborhood. All other things being equal, do you think the difference in these patterns will affect John’s life? In the short-term, probably not. But what if he repeats this pattern every day for 5 years. 10 years. 20 years. Do you think it would make a difference then? Absolutely.

This seemly inconsequential difference in patterns can, when repeated over-time, cause John to gain-weight, have decreased energy and develop various health issues in scenario #1, or cause him to weigh-less, have more energy and be healthier overall (i.e. fewer sicknesses, hospital visits, etc.) in scenario #2. Obviously, these effects are produced and magnified from a combination of different patterns, but the point is this:

 

If you can make a simple pattern shift like the one described in this scenario, and combine it with 1 or 2 more positive pattern changes, the effects will compound together to create a significant difference in the quality of your life, health and body.

 

A lot of what I do as a coach, is helping people to recognize seemly insignificant patterns (the way they sit, their morning routine, how they disperse their food throughout the day, etc.), and help them to shift these patterns so that they align with their long-term goals.

We are going to do a variation of this right now with you.

 

Assessing and Revising Your Patterns

 

Think about your current and long-term health and body goals. Once you have these at the forefront of your mind, I want you to step back and look at your day/week as if you were someone else. Pretend that you are assessing your own life from someone else’s point of view. Keeping your goals in mind, I want you to identify 2, just 2, daily or weekly patterns that you are running right now that do not serve you, your health or your goals. Really think about it, what are two things you are doing on a daily or weekly basis that do not align with where you want to go?

After you have 2 patterns identified, I want you to write them down. Yes, go get a pen and piece of paper and write these two patterns down or type them out in your phone. I know your phone is sitting there next to you, maybe even…in your hand. Stop reading now, and write these two patterns down. I’ll wait here.

.

.

.

Okay, now that you’ve identified and recorded two patterns, step 2 is I want you to think of a simple way you can adjust these patterns to where they now align with what you want for your health, body and life. Either come-up with a simple little tweak, or an entirely new pattern to replace the old one. The key to this activity is to make sure that whatever two patterns you select, are ones you are willing and committed to changing. If you wrote down “smoking”, but have no desire to quit, then go back and think of a different pattern that you are willing to adjust. My goal for this article is not to convince you to quit any particular pattern, the goal is to help you make a few simple adjustments to get some momentum going, and the only way you will actually make these adjustments is if they are to patterns you are open and committed to changing. So again, take these two patterns (revise them if necessary to fit the above criteria) and write down their new modification. The pattern modifications should be simple, little things you are 100% confident you can do right now. Pick things you have absolute confidence you can follow-through on, and make sure they are written in a way so that you know exactly what the new pattern is and how to do it. Some examples might be:

 

Old Pattern: I eat fast-food every day for lunch.

New Pattern: I am going to start bringing my lunch to work 3 out of the 5 days.

 

Old Pattern: I randomly go to the grocery store, and when I do I have no plan for what I’m going to get.

New Pattern: I am going to commit to going to the grocery store at some point each weekend to stock up on food that supports my goals. Doing this will make me committed to eating these things because I won’t want to waste them. This will also make eating in accordance with my goals very convenient because I won’t have to go anywhere after work to get food, it will already be at my house making it an easy option. 

 

Once you have your two new patterns, the third and final step is to start implementing them TODAY if at all possible, tomorrow at the latest.

 

99% of all articles are passive. You read them, say “That was nice.” then keep scrolling. This one is active. If you clicked on this article and read all the way up to this point, you are obviously interested in changing something. Instead of simply leaving you with a fact, like “Eat less and move more” or “Fruits and vegetables are healthy for you”, I want to leave you with the opportunity to actually start making progress in the areas you want to make progress in. If you did everything we went through in this article, you now have a self-created written plan to start getting you closer to your goals. All that’s left, is to do it. And since you spent the time to read this article, think through your goals and create a plan, why wouldn’t you follow through? The things you wrote down are easy to do, and you are willing and committed to changing the old patterns you identified.

So, before you read another article or “like” a friend’s post, go back and do the steps we went through if you haven’t already, and begin implementing them NOW. You’ll be so glad you did.  

 

 

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IMG_5128.JPG

It was last November, and I was having dinner with a good friend of mine.

As we enjoyed our food, he told me all about his life, travels, and how even with a very demanding career, he has managed to keep health and fitness a part of his life for over 50 years.

So I asked him, “What is your secret? How have you managed to stay healthy, keep your joints in good-condition, achieve a body and health status far above average, while also preventing the 50+ years of exercising, weight-lifting and intense training sessions from taking a negative toll on your body? What is the secret to your longevity?” His response was:

 

Steve, a long-time ago I heard a quote that really hit home for me, which was, “Sometimes our BEST workouts, are the ones we DON'T do.”

 

Now, taking this statement at face-value and applying it in the wrong context, can be very misleading. It almost sounds as if my friend is advocating skipping workouts, being lazy, and so on. But, for those of you who make nutrition, working out, and improving your health and physique a huge part of your life, you know EXACTLY what he meant by this statement.

This is definitely something I myself have struggled with in the past, and something I'm sure many of you have struggled with as well. In a rush for progress and meeting my goals, I have oftentimes pushed my body not just to it limits (in-terms of recovery), but often past. Even as I continued to learn more about human physiology, nutrition, and proper programming, I would still sometimes take the approach that, “My situation is different, and I can handle “x” amount of training, cardio, etc.”

However, my situation was most certainly not different, and just like anyone else, pushing myself to and past these extreme limits, only hindered my progress, rather than help it. A simple statement to support my personal experience and something I’m sure you’ve heard many times before is, “Our muscles do not grow in the gym, but outside of it”. It’s one thing for us to hear this, however it's an entirely different thing for us to actually apply it.

 

It’s true, you want progress, and you want it now, we all do. You say you’re willing to do anything to reach your goals: 1,000 calories/day, workout 7-days per week, no carbs, or whatever your version of extreme is.

If this is true, if you really are willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goals, then if taking an extra “off-day”, or doing a “light” week of training (referred to as a deload), taking a diet break, or allowing yourself to fully recover from your last contest-prep, is the “whatever it will take”, then you are willing to do this, correct?

 

A New Mindset

 

There’s no reason to draw this topic out and make something so simple, seem complicated. It’s nothing more than changing the perception of how you view these times of recovery:

 

Reframe your “off-days” and “deload” weeks from training, as NOT deterrents from your goals, but rather THE THINGS which will get you TO your goals.

 

Believe me, as someone who is just like you, I realize this is MUCH easier said than done. However, by constantly being aware of what your goals are, and by acknowledging the validity of the statement, “Muscles do not grow in the gym, but outside of it”, will help you (as weird as this sounds), to take that “off-day”, or that “deload” week from training, so you can recover and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

  

You say, “I am willing to do whatever it takes to reach my goals.”

 

And my response is, “Are you? Well then, let’s see.”

 

 

If you enjoyed this article, please show your support by sharing it on your social media platforms and hitting the like button below. Sign-up to receive the latest evidence-based, practical application articles/videos regarding: nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, supplementation and more from: stevetaylorRD.com, by clicking the button below:

 

 

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Why Are You Doing it IMG.JPG

 

Why are you dieting? Why do you want to lose-weight? Why do you want to make a lifestyle change? This is probably the first question you need to ask yourself before starting a new diet or lifestyle.

 

Why are you doing it?

 

As simple and cliché as this sounds, it’s true. The reason(s) for which we decide to start a new diet or lifestyle, will affect everything downstream. Everything from what you buy at the grocery store, to what you eat when you go out, whether you have that 3rd drink or not, if you go to the gym after work or decide to just go home and rest because you are tired.

On, and on, and on. All of these small decisions accumulate, to either: 1) Get us closer to our goal (if we make the right ones) or 2) Keep us where we’re at, frustrated, unhappy and depressed, or worse… take us even further away from what we truly want.

 

Now, I’m not arguing with the statement that you are tired, you very well could be (I don’t know your life). You might have an extremely stressful job, work 10-12 hours a day, have kids and are dealing with a host of other life stressors, good or bad. All of these things may very well be true, I may have even just described your exact life (pretty crazy, right?), and even with all of those things going on, some people still find a way to make time for their own health, body and longevity. How? How do they do it? How do people like Barack Obama, Will Smith and your next door neighbor still find time to take care of themselves, even with all of these other things going on in their life? HOW DO THEY DO IT?!?

 

The question isn’t so much as how, but rather why? Why do they do it?

 

Everyone has their own reasons. For some, it’s because they’re an athlete, and in-order to be able to perform the way they need to, they have to maintain a certain physical condition. Others just thoroughly enjoy it, they take a certain sense of pride in keeping their body looking and feeling a certain way. Some for work, some for vanity, some for a vacation or wedding, some to attract a spouse, and some for completely other reasons entirely: so they can live a long healthy-life, and enjoy many wonderful years with their family, or to serve as a role-model for their kids, family members and friends who look up to them.

Whatever the reason, they have one. And the reason they have is strong enough to cause them to make the right decisions, day after day, which ultimately gets them to their goal, and allows them to live the lifestyle they truly want.

 

There are so many different ways to “diet”, and make positive lifestyle changes that will get us to our goal. Some ways are harder than others, some more sustainable, some more enjoyable, but regardless, there are an infinite number of ways. And the funny thing is, even if we take a more difficult “road” than is necessary to help us get to our goal, if our reason for doing it, our why is strong enough, then we will stick to it, because it’s that important to us. However, even if we have the easiest, most effective, "optimal plan" in place to help us get to our goal, if we don’t have a strong enough why, none of that matters. It just isn’t that important to us, so when we're faced with one of those daily decisions, we will often end up just choosing the option that is the easiest, most convenient, or tastes the best.

This is why some people will spend their entire Sunday cooking and putting meals together, to make sure they are prepared for the week (I am NOT saying you have to do this, it’s just an example), and why others can have all of their food conveniently made for them by someone else, not having to put in nearly the amount of time, work or effort, and still not follow-through. Even though their “method” was easier (their food was already pre-prepared), their why wasn’t strong enough to keep them accountable, so when they walked by the food court at lunch, they said, “Screw-it, I want a burger and fries.”  (I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t eat these foods, I’m just using this as an illustration).

 

Having a better “plan” can rarely replace having a strong enough WHY.

(In-regards to just following through)

 

Even with the best “plan” in the world, losing-weight, at some point, is going to take some sacrifice. It’s going to require you to plan ahead, and to make sure you have a strategy in place for the day, so you don’t end up over-eating, “flushing” all of your hard-work down the drain. It’s going to take time. And yes, you are going to be hungry at times. This is oftentimes over-looked when starting a diet. We may know intellectually that we will be hungry at times on a diet, but actually adhering to the plan (whatever that plan is) when those moments happen in “real-time”, is a completely different story. You are trying to lose-fat, and your body doesn’t like that (it wants to keep that fat around in-case a famine were to arise), so it only makes sense that our body is going to “ramp-up” hunger levels in order to make us want to eat more, so that we don’t lose (in it’s eyes), a valuable source of energy (aka fat), for if/when times get rough.

And this of course leads back to your why. Having a strong enough why, will help you take the necessary time and forethought to plan ahead, pre-prepare the meals, or whatever you need to do, in-order to reach your goals. It will help you make it through those times of hunger, and to resist that second serving of dinner.

 

Not only will it help you to do these things, but it will make you WANT to do these things, because reaching your goal/changing your current lifestyle is THAT important to you.

 

Right now, if you are currently “dieting” for a specific event, or are in the process of making positive lifestyle modifications to live a healthier life, or you are thinking about starting to do these things, take a moment to truly ask yourself, why?

 

Why do I want to do this?

Why is this important to me?

IS this actually important to me?

(If it’s for a specific event)- Is now the best time to focus on this, or should I wait?

 

Ask yourself these questions, and be honest with your answers. If you truly want to change, improve your health, lose-weight, or do a specific event, why? Why? Why? Why?

 

Once you’ve found your why, and if it’s important enough to you, then the rest will be a whole lot easier. You will stand a much greater chance of actually reaching your goals, making the change, doing the “thing”, rather than succumbing to the daily decisions which will knock you off-course, and leave you feeling frustrated, unhappy and stuck.

 

WHY do you want to do this?

 

 

If you enjoyed this article, please show your support by sharing it on one of your social media platforms, and hitting the “like” button below. Sign-up to receive the latest evidence-based, practical application articles/videos regarding: nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, supplementation and more from: stevetaylorRD.com, by clicking the button below:

 

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Building Bigger Shoulders Training Series: Weeks 5 & 6

Welcome! 

Below are all of the workouts for week 5 and week 6 of the Building Bigger Shoulders Training Series 2017. If you have ANY questions, related to the workouts, exercises, etc, leave them in the comments section of the YouTube Video titled: Building Bigger Shoulders Training Series: Weeks 5 & 6. (Link: http://bit.ly/2l8Xp9Z )

Feel free to click around the site and checkout some of the other articles. If you have any specific topics/questions you'd like me to address, either through video or writing, leave them in the comments section below. 


Week 5- Upper A

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 5 sets x 5 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Lat Pulldowns (Wide-Grip)- 5 sets x  7 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Inc. Bench Press- 4 sets x 7 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Chest Supported T-Bar Rows (Horizontal Grip)- 4 sets x 7 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises- 4 sets x 8-12 reps; Sets 1 & 2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Dips (Triceps Dominant Variation)- 4 sets x 9 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Seated Dumbbell Supinating Curls- 4 sets x 9 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE


Week 5- Lower A

►Barbell Back Squat- 3 sets x 6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Deadlift- 3 sets x 4 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Calf Raise Machine- 4 sets x 7 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE


Week 5- Upper B

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 4 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Lat Pulldowns (Wide-Grip)- 4 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Bench Press- 4 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Hammer Strength Horizontal Row Machine- 4 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1 & 2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Standing Cable Inc. Flys- 2 sets x 12 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE
►Chest-Supported T-Bar Rows (Narrow Grip)- 2 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Cable EZ-Bar Pressdowns- 2 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Inc. Dumbbell Supinating Curls (~60-75 degrees)- 2 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Inc. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (~40 degrees)- 2 sets x 13 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE
►Seated Dumbbell Preacher Hammer Curls- 2 sets x 13 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE


Week 5- Lower B

►Barbell Back Squat- 3 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Barbell Romanian Deadlift- 3 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Hack Squat Machine- 3 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Calf Raise Machine- 3 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Seated Hamstring Curls- 3 sets x 12 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Seated Calf Raise Machine- 3 sets x 12 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Seated aBduction Machine- 3 sets x 12 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE


Week 5- Shoulders & Upper-Traps

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 4 sets x 12 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Inc. Lateral Raises (~40 degrees)- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Dumbbell Shrugs- 4 sets x 12 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Dumbbell/Plate Shrugs (version 2; leaning forward)- 2 sets x 15 reps; 8-9 RPE BOTH sets
►Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt Rows- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Cable External Rotations- 3 sets x 10-15 reps; 8-9 RPE ALL sets


Week 6- Upper A

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 5 sets x 3 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Lat Pulldowns (Wide-Grip)- 5 sets x  6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Inc. Bench Press- 4 sets x 6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Chest Supported T-Bar Rows (Horizontal Grip)- 4 sets x 6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises- 4 sets x 8-12 reps; Sets 1 & 2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Dips (Triceps Dominant Variation)- 4 sets x 8 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Seated Dumbbell Supinating Curls- 4 sets x 8 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE


Week 6- Lower A

►Barbell Back Squat- 3 sets x 5 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Deadlift- 3 sets x 3 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Calf Raise Machine- 4 sets x 6 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE


Week 6- Upper B

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 4 sets x 6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Lat Pulldowns (Wide-Grip)- 4 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Bench Press- 4 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Hammer Strength Horizontal Row Machine- 4 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1 & 2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Standing Cable Inc. Flys- 2 sets x 10 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE
►Chest-Supported T-Bar Rows (Narrow Grip)- 2 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Cable EZ-Bar Pressdowns- 2 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Inc. Dumbbell Supinating Curls (~60-75 degrees)- 2 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE BOTH sets
►Inc. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (~40 degrees)- 2 sets x 11 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE
►Seated Dumbbell Preacher Hammer Curls- 2 sets x 11 reps; Set 1 = 8 RPE; Set 2 = 10 RPE


Week 6- Lower B

►Barbell Back Squat- 3 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Barbell Romanian Deadlift- 3 sets x 6 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Hack Squat Machine- 3 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Standing Calf Raise Machine- 3 sets x 8 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Seated Hamstring Curls- 3 sets x 10 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Seated Calf Raise Machine- 3 sets x 10 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Seated aBduction Machine- 3 sets x 10 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE


Week 6- Shoulders & Upper-Traps

►Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press- 4 sets x 10 reps; 8 RPE ALL sets
►Dumbbell Inc. Lateral Raises (~40 degrees)- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Dumbbell Shrugs- 4 sets x 10 reps; Sets 1-2 = 8 RPE; Set 3 = 10 RPE
►Dumbbell/Plate Shrugs (version 2; leaning forward)- 2 sets x 15 reps; 8-9 RPE BOTH sets
►Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt Rows- 4 sets x 10-15 reps; Sets 1-3 = 8 RPE; Set 4 = 10 RPE
►Cable External Rotations- 3 sets x 10-15 reps; 8-9 RPE ALL sets


Refer back to my YouTube channel (Steve Taylor) on February 19th, 2017,  for the week 7 deload and testing protocol.

 

Best of luck with your training! 

 

"Why Didn't That Salad Fill Me Up?"

 

The salad, arguably the #1 food most associated with dieting. Whenever somebody talks about “being on a diet”, or “going on a diet”, it’s almost inevitable that at some point, the topic of salads is going to come up, and how they are going to start eating more of them.

Now, I’m not saying this to talk bad about salads, I love salads. In fact, they can be a great, nutrient-dense food, which give us a huge portion size relative to the amount of calories they contain. This is especially great when we’re dieting and have a reduced number of calories to work with, because eating a decent sized salad along with our meal gives us more food to eat, and makes us feel like we’re eating a normal sized meal.

Because you are reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that you have probably dieted before at some point in your life (Maybe you are right now), and have also come across this issue….

 

“Even when I eat a huge salad, loaded with all kinds of delicious, fresh vegetables, I’m still starving when I’m done, and I don’t know why.”

 

Unfortunately, when this happens, we either have to suffer through the next few hours of the day until our next meal, or, oftentimes what ends up happening, is we eat something else to help curb our lack of fullness, whether that be a dessert after the meal, grabbing something on the way home, or ripping into the first high-calorie, salty or sweet snack we see when we get home. What’s even worse, is that we sometimes end up eating more calories from this post-meal snack, than what we would have, had we just ordered a normal entrée.

 

Why is this? Why don’t some salads fill you up?

 

Spinach leaves, Romaine lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Green Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc. A combination of these vegetables is pretty much your typical Garden Fresh Salad, a common favorite amongst many dieters. And while this vegetable medley contains an awesome blend of various vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, etc., you know what else it contains a lot of? Water…

And although water is amazing for us, and essential for life, it moves through our digestive system very quickly. So when we eat a mixture containing just foods similar to those listed above, we essentially just consumed a lot of water, which really doesn't have any substance to it, and combined with the insoluble fiber also present in many of these foods (which also speeds up digestion), they can move through our digestive system at a relatively quick pace (When eaten in reasonable amounts). Not to mention, that the lack of macro-nutrients, and therefore calories present in these foods, don’t “communicate” with our body the same way (via hormonal changes, etc.), and therefore don’t down-regulate our appetite and drive to eat in the same way other, more calorie dense foods do.

 

So what are you saying then? Don’t eat salads?

 

No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just suggesting that if you decide you’d like to start having a large salad for dinner or lunch, think about adding some other foods to it, which have a more satiating effect then what consuming vegetables alone would have.

Try adding some source of protein, such as: eggs or eggwhites, tuna, chicken breast, salmon, shrimp, tofu etc. The food source you choose, and the portion size, will be dependent upon your individual needs and goals (The same can be said about all of the recommendations that follow). Protein itself provides a satiating effect, plus it aids in reducing soreness and helping with recovery from your workouts.

Also, add some source of either fat, and/or carbohydrate. Again, the specific foods you choose, and portion sizes of each, will vary depending on your specific needs. Things such as: nuts or cheese, olive oil, sunflower seeds, quinoa, pasta, beans, dried fruit, etc. (Many of these foods also contain protein as well). The list is virtually endless.

 

Usually when we talk about dieting, it’s about ways to help reduce our caloric intake, or “cut-calories”, however doing this too much, and in ways which go harshly against our habitual eating patterns, can leave us feeling extremely hungry, moody and food-focused, not to mention drastically increase our likelihood of binging, and knocking ourselves off track from our goals.

 

If you enjoyed this article, please show your support by sharing it on your social media platforms and hitting the like button below. Sign-up to receive the latest evidence-based, practical application articles/videos regarding: nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, supplementation and more from: stevetaylorRD.com, by clicking the button below:

How to Prevent Snacking: Tip #1

 

While snacking itself isn’t inherently a bad thing (In fact, it can actually be a pretty useful tool for many people in regards to helping with weight-loss), it can definitely cause problems when done without a purpose. I’m referring to the type of snacking we sometimes find ourselves doing almost unconsciously throughout the day…. A late-morning donut in the breakroom, a handful of M&M’s at work, or those chips after dinner we find ourselves snacking on, as we wind-down our evening by watching our favorite Netflix show….

These are just a few examples, but we can see the pattern. It’s those moments of snacking when we eat something between meals when we aren’t really that hungry, is what I’m referring to. The problem with this type of snacking, is that we don’t necessarily think about it, and register it the same way as we do a meal. When we eat a meal, it’s easier to say, “My goal is to lose weight, and this dinner looks like it will help with that.” Because we know we are trying to lose weight, we consciously (or at least try to), make decisions about food selection and portion sizes that will help us do this. Not only that, but we also register the fact that we just ate a meal and consumed calories. The problem with the style of snacking described above, is that we normally don’t register or “count” the food we ate, towards our daily total, and still eat the same sized meals we normally do, even though we consumed a few hundred extra unaccounted for calories earlier that day, while finishing up some reports at work.

I’m not going to bore you with any numbers this article, but even a few of these little unaccounted for snacks, can be the difference between you losing the weight you want to, and you not. However fortunately, if upon thinking about it, you realize that you are someone who tends to do this, simply stopping this may be the only thing you need to do to get the weight-loss process started.

 

The Reality

 

Although this all sounds fine and dandy on paper, for some of us, quitting snacking isn’t as easy as “Just doing it.” We get hungry, and when we’re hungry, and there’s a box of freshly baked donuts from Krispy Kreme sitting on the breakroom table when we go to fill up our coffee, it’s all too easy to just grab one.

Believe me, I know it’s hard, sometimes VERY hard, but there are a few things we can do to help reduce the number of times we do this, just by making ourselves more aware of what we’re doing, and making the process harder than simply having to pop open our desk drawer, and grab whatever tasty treat we have lying in there.

Because I feel changing this one habit could really help a lot of people get moving in the right direction towards their goals, I’ve decided to write a series of articles about different things we can do to help eliminate, or at least reduce the instances of, unconscious, and uncalculated snacking.

 

Tip #1

 

Store foods that you are tempted to snack on, out of sight, and in places that are more difficult to reach.

 

 

For example:

1)  Instead of having a jar (especially a see-through one) filled with colored M&M’s sitting on your desk, just starring at you, tempting you to eat them, put them in a box or a bag and keep them in a closet or drawer far away from you. Placing them out of sight and in an inconvenient place compared to just sitting on your desk, or in your desk drawer, will make you much less likely to think about them, and therefore less tempted by them. It’s just way too easy to reach for them and have some, if they are sitting within arm’s reach, such as in the bottom drawer of your desk, where many people like to keep them. I mean heck, M&M’s are amazing, if I had a big bag of colorful M&M’s sitting in my drawer I’d snack on them too. But because I know that about myself, I make sure I don’t do it.

2) This goes for at home too. Instead of placing the higher-calorie, higher-fat and higher-carb foods you like to snack on in the middle of your pantry, to when every time you open the door, they are starring at you saying “eat me”, put them on the lowest shelf back in the corner, or somewhere else out of eyesight when you open the door. I mean yes, you aren’t just going to forget they are there, I know that, but placing them in a slightly more inconvenient location will at least get them out of plain sight, and force you to take a few extra moments to reconsider your decision about whether or not you really want (or need) the snack before you eat it. Compare this, to just being able to open the door, and have the first bite of food in your mouth within the first 2 seconds, and it may just be the difference between you resisting the snack, or caving-in and eating it.

 

Placing delicious high-calorie food where you can easily see and access it, is just asking for problems. Food tastes good, is comforting when you’re stressed, and is just too easy to eat. When you do this, you are setting yourself up to fail. Controlling our appetites is hard enough in today’s society, being constantly surrounded by restaurants, smells, advertisements, and other stimuli that increase our desire to eat, we don’t need to make it any harder by forcing ourselves to stare at a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses all day. So next time you find yourself putting away your favorite treat, make sure to store it in a place where it isn’t going to tempt you on a daily, hourly, or possibly, even minutely basis.

 

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"The Delayed Dessert"

 

Hot fudge sundaes, chocolate brownies, strawberry cheesecake…. Are you hungry yet? The list of delicious desserts is never-ending, and because I love dessert as much as the next person, and enjoy my fair share on a regular basis, I’m always trying to come up with ways to balance my love for chocolate, with me physique related goals. Today’s article is about a strategy I use called, “The Delayed Dessert” to help me balance the two.

“The Delayed Dessert” is exactly what it sounds like, delaying your dessert. Real complicated stuff, right? Not so much, however there’s more to this strategy than meets the eye. Let me explain how it works, and the benefits you get from it…

 

What you do, is first, finish your main meal.

 

(Getting more complicated by the sentence, right?)

 

After this, instead of just blurring your dessert right behind your main meal, slamming down a large chocolate milk shake as soon as you finish dinner, relax. Don’t order anything else, or get up and walk over to the cabinet grabbing the package of Oreos, following your usual, almost unconscious, routine.

Instead, just sit there and relax. Better yet, try to get lost in an activity or conversation. Start cleaning up the kitchen, check your emails, scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, whatever. It doesn’t have to be anything super complicated, just something that distracts you and causes you to get “lost” for a bit.

After about 15-20 minutes, you’ll probably zone back in, remembering that you’re still at the dinner table. However now, you have given your food time to settle, without day-dreaming and focusing on the dessert to follow. What you’ll find, is that most likely (as long as you have had enough to fill you up during your main meal), you won’t be craving dessert nearly as bad as you were beforehand. Now that the food has settled, you’re relaxed, and can remember your health and fitness goals, as they slowly return to the forefront of your mind, taking the place of the previous visions and fantasies about chocolate, ice cream and cookies, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you really want to have that dessert.

 

The Benefits

 

The benefits to this strategy are two-fold: not only may you end up passing on dessert entirely (or at least have a smaller portion than you otherwise would have), but even if you do decide to have dessert, your taste buds will have had time to resensitize themselves, making the flavor of the dessert much bolder and more satisfying, instead of getting lost and diluted behind the flavors of the main entrée.  

This is a difficult thing to do. The first 10 times you do it, you may not be able to get your full focus off of dessert once you’ve finished your meal, making it hard for you to think about anything else, especially enough to get distracted. You may find it hard to wait the full 15-20 minutes to have your dessert. You may, and will, probably still eat dessert the first 10 times you try this, however stick with it, and overtime, you will get more used to this, and find it easier to distract yourself after the meal, and more likely to pass on dessert.

The real trick for this to work, is getting distracted, getting your mind completely off of dessert. If you can’t stop thinking about dessert, and clear it from your mind entirely, the chances of this strategy working in terms of getting you to pass on it are significantly less.

Practice, and stay patient. Do this every night and eventually it will come. And remember, even those times where you do decide to still have the dessert, it will taste much better, and you shouldn’t need as much of it to satisfy your cravings.

 

 

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The Moment of Clarity

 

Today’s message is short and simple, but it’s a topic I feel we can all relate to. It’s about what I like to call, “The Moment of Clarity”. And even though you may not have ever heard it called this before, we’ve all experienced it with something at some point or another.

Whenever we’re working on a goal, whether that’s trying to lose weight, get bigger, get stronger, or whatever, it’s so easy to get lost in the day to day grind of trying to achieve it. This is because most of our larger, long-term goals take a long time to achieve. They often require us to follow a process, most of the time a daily process, which can get so repetitive and blurred together, without showing even the slightest hint of progress, that we tend to second guess it, to question whether it's even working or not.

We get frustrated, discouraged, demotivated, and contemplate scrapping it altogether, to start something new and different, again.   

 

“I’ve been following this program to a “T” for over 2 weeks now, and I’m still not seeing any progress! In fact, I think I’m actually getting worse!”

 

Sound familiar?

 

But then…something amazing happens. We get that “Moment of Clarity”, that new low weigh-in on the scale, that new strength PR on our bench press, or that new line of muscular definition we’ve never seen before. It’s at this moment that we realize all of our efforts have not been in vain, and that we really are making progress. We suddenly get renewed with an extreme motivation and energy, embracing our daily grind, ready for the next challenge. It’s on days like this that we are so glad we didn’t give up, that we kept pushing through, even when times were tough and we didn’t see any progress.

The whole point of this article is to remind us of these amazing moments, to not give up on the process, even if we feel like it’s not working. It’s so easy to forget about these happy moments when we’re going through those times where we feel like the plan isn’t working. But, if we’re following a good plan, and trust the information around which the plan was created, or the person who created it, then we just need to give it time to work. To do our best to stick with the program, to not get discouraged, and to continue to put in all of the day to day efforts which ultimately lead to these amazing moments, where we finally see the results.

Although it’s misleading, it’s important to remember that these moments were not created in that moment, but in the hours, days, and weeks that led up to it. That these moments, the smaller pant size, the personal best bench press, the extra stretch on your shirt sleeve from a bigger bicep, were all created through the individual meals, workouts and other little continually focused efforts that led up to it. And to remember that these big moments of “success”, wouldn’t have occurred if we’d given up, and stopped the process during those times where we thought it wasn’t working.

If you’re working on a goal, and have done the research to find a good program which you believe will help you get there, have faith, don’t get discouraged, and continue to put the effort and energy into that plan every single day. We never know when that next Moment of Clarity is about to happen, but when it does, we’ll be so glad that we didn’t give up during the process.

 

 

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