The reason women in relationships often gain weight

First of all, I’m not saying women should lose weight, or look like this or that. Within reason, I think the most important part of a woman is her self-image and not her weight. I’ve seen extremely fit women that go on and on about how they should lose weight, and I’ve seen overweight women, that felt good about themselves. Guess what’s more attractive? Bitching and whining isn’t, that’s for sure. Weight is a personal issue, but if you decide to make it public by talking about how you need to lose x amount of weight, you better do something about it. 🙂

On to the real topic of this post:

When I go to a restaurant with my wife, I usually get about a third of her food. First of all, I have an extremely loving and selfless wife, but she’s also pretty smart. See what she figured out is that a man who weighs just below 100kg should eat more than a woman who weighs in the mid-60ies. Whooop-ti-fucking-doo. Brand new information right?

But most women seem to forget this and have exactly the same for dinner, for breakfast, for snacks and for everything else. That’s just plain weird. If you eat like a 90kg man, you’re gonna end up weighing what a 90kg man does (quick math: that’s 90kg).

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For most people, the man should eat about 50% more than the woman (important note: it’s actually the other way around – the woman should eat 33% less than the man), though for some couples, the ratio might be a little different.

This doesn’t mean women should eat “more salad” or some other stupid thing. Females in general eat too little meat and too much crap. Focus on quality meat, green vegetables and a good source of carbs, but do so in moderation – at least compared to your man. For every time your man eats three spoonfuls, you eat two. It’s that simple.

Lastly: I don’t think you (whoever you are) look fat in those jeans, and I don’t really care what you weigh. But when you sit down at the dinner table, I want you to make an informed decision when eating and if you’re eating the same as your man, know the consequences. That’s it. Women need fewer calories to maintain their weight. Hooray!

As with anything on this blog – this is brand new information. :p

<3

Weightgainers

Weightgainers help you gain weight. It’s that simple right? Well yes and no. Weightgainers will indeed help you gain weight, if you’re in a calorific surplus, but if you’re not, they wont. Just like “fatburners” wont burn fat, weightgainers wont pile on the muscle. A weightgainer is a simple product made of protein powder with added sugar. Lots of added sugar. Looking at a random product (Mutant Mass) you’ll see that:

  • One serving is 260g powder. 260!! and 1060kcal. Obviously, if you follow that, most people will gain. Problem is, you’ll ,most likely end up in a huge surplus and get fat.
  • 52g protein, which is solid in itself. It comes with a whopping 182g of carbs though. While I do like my carbs, a silly amount like this will make most people drowsy.

As you can see – if you follow the instructions on the tub, you’ll most likely end up getting fat. Surprise – weightgainers will not magically make you gain 100% muscle. It’s a product that can help you gain weight. Thing is, there are many other products on the market that does this just as well, but without filling you with cheap sugars.

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In this recent post, I listed a couple of “supplements” for gaining weight, however I’ll give you a few more tips on healthier options for gaining:

  • Add some olive oil to all of your shakes, salads and whatever. You can also throw down olive oil shots if you’re silly. Make sure it’s a good quality oil.
  • Milk. <3
  • Try some adding peanutbutter or coconutmilk to a shake.
  • A simple homemade healthier weightgainer option is protein powder and blended oats.
  • Eat DURING your workout. I’ve found that I can eat a protein bar or throw down a shake during my workout without it filling me up.

Gaining weight is easy – that’s why half of the western world is dying of obesity. Why the hell are we making such a big deal out of it? Eat more, but stick to relatively good foods. It’s not that hard.

<3

Training on a (hard) diet

Throughout my training career, I’ve always been able to put myself in some very special environments. I’ve hung out with world champion powerlifters, national level weightlifters, world-class crossfitters, world-class fighters and all kinds of high level athletes from other sports. Among these a former olympian who’s gotta be the most focused and determined athlete I’ve ever seen. This is totally unrelated though. 🙂

One of the guys I often train with and talk to is a very talented Athletic Fitness athlete, who historically has had some problems with energy during hard diets. Jokingly he said he wanted a blog post about it, well here you go Mark. <3

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Even though the topic is a bit outside of what I usually do, I’m gonna give you my view on it. I usually recommend staying somewhat lean throughout the year. When you have to get on stage, things change quite a bit. The diet can end up sapping you completely, as you have to go well below “everyday lean”. These tips also work for insomniacs and parents. 🙂

  • First of all, I recommend you set a goal and focus on it. In this case, the goal is to look good on stage – having great workouts and getting stronger is not gonna happen. Accept that and focus on the goal.
  • Get your carbs around the workouts, and don’t go super low. Actually, focus your calories around your workouts. AND DON’T GO SUPER LOW ON CARBS!!!
  • Though I don’t usually recommend it, using a pre-workout supplement is an option. Enjoy the fact that your tolerance is low because you’re not doing it all year. Triple espressos work as well.
  • BCAA or some kind of light lemonade during the workout. The sweet taste can give a bit of a boost.
  • Decrease volume of the workouts. Less food=less energy=lower tolerance to stress. At this point you’re not building new muscle, you’re maintaining. Don’t kill yourself. The goal is to lose (a lot of) fat.
  • This one might be the most important: find a crazy training partner who’s not doing the same show. Ideally he’d want to get on stage at some point as well, so you can return the favor. Have him drag you through your workouts.
  • Loud music, hostile attitude. Spending some time to focus before each workout, and then zoning in completely will take some mental energy, but it’ll help you kill the workout. Headphones recommended.

That’s all I got. I hope it helps.

<3

Dieting done right

We’re flooded with bad advice on dieting and temptations are everywhere. It’s no wonder so many people want to lose weight. However if you know where to look, the internet has loads of information on how to diet right.

A buddy and colleague of mine Philip decided he wanted to recomp a bit and up his awesomeness-factor. You can follow his journey here.

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So what is it exactly Philip is doing that is so “right”?

  • First and most importantly, he’s picked a sensible time frame. Everybody can focus on a goal for 30 days.
  • Clearly defined goals. Good goals too – get 8.5 hours of sleep, eat clean (high protein/greens, carbs around training, no booze) and train hard. None of this loose x kilos bullshit. Make the journey the goal and I promise you it’ll be much easier.
  • Daily blog posts. While this may seem weird to some, it’s all about accountability. Philip has told the entire internet and his 1300 “friends” on Facebook that he’s doing this. Obviously with so many people holding you up to your word, you’re gonna do everything in your power to stick with it.
  • NOT OVERCOMPLICATING! He’s not following some weird diet, counting calories or some other shit like that. I guarantee you that if you follow the above guidelines, your body composition will change for the better.

Three simple points (and a little bonus because I’m so generous), that’ll make your diet a lot easier.

Much love <3

Nutritional supplements

Let me start this thing off by listing some of the supplements I’ve taken myself.

Herbal: tribulus terrestris, cissus quadrangularis, rhodiola rosea, horny goat weed, green tea, white tea, grape seed extract, celery seed extract, guarana, yohimbine, resveratrol

Vitamins/minerals: D, B, C, zinc, magnesium

Amino acids and other things: taurine, tyrosine, citruline malate, beta-alanine, caffeine, synephrine, DMAE, DMAA, AAKG, OAKG, ALCAR, glucosamine, MSM, ephedrine, synephrine, D-ribose, alpha-lipoic acid, CLA, probiotics, HMB, glutamine, glutamine peptides, creatine (CEE, monohydrate, tri-creatine malate),

Other (weird) shit: Raspberry ketones, policosanol,

Foodlike supps: BCAA, protein powder (whole egg, eggwhite, rice, whey, milk, cassein), oats, maltodextrine, dextrose, WMS, greens blend, reds blend, fish oil, avocado oil, flax seed.

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You know what? This list isn’t even complete. I could add a couple of handfuls of different pre, post and peri workout products as well as other shit. I’ve taken huge amounts of supplements and hoped for insta-gains.

Which ones do I use today? I use a protein powder regularly. Not because I can’t hit a decent level of protein through food, but out of convenience. I also use oats regularly and fish oil regularly. Again this is out of convenience – you don’t really need to add carbs to anything, since getting them is so easy. Occasionally I take ZMA before bed, because it knocks me out cold and makes me sleep like a baby. I also drink coffee, but never after late afternoon.

So which supplements would I recommend to you? That’s a good question.

Focus on tightening up your diet and I promise you, you’ll see much better results. A full month of clean eating will do more for you than any (legal) supplement in the world.

I have yet to come across a supplement that did what it said on the box. That said, the following supplements have been good to me:

  • Quality fish oil.
  • Zma (for sleep, not anaboliXXxx muscle!).
  • Protein powder (for convenience).

Once you have a set plan and follow it, you can experiment with different supps to see what works for you. One at a time, for a set period of time. Supps I’d recommend you test out are:

  • Creatine
  • BCAA (especially if you train fasted)
  • Beta alanine

Keep it simple, focusing on and mastering the basics is the only true shortcut. A solid eating plan will outperform any supplement regime ten times out of ten.

One last thing: shiny labels and big name bodybuilders promoting a product usually means one thing – overpriced product. Buy the bulk products where you know what you’re getting. A simple whey protein is pretty much all you need.

This should always come before diet

Losing weight is always gonna be a big thing. However way too many people simply suck at setting themselves up for a good successful diet. In this post I’ll outline some simple advice that’ll make sure your diet goes well.

Starting out, you need to form good habits, before you can even think of dieting. Look here for inspiration or check out these bullet points:

  • Eat veg. If you’re not already consuming at least 500g of veg a day, you have no business talking about diet.
  • Stop eating cake/candy/ice cream every day. If you can’t steer clear of refined sugar for at least five days a week, there’s no reason to go on a diet.
  • Train with regularity. If you’re not hitting the gym 3+ on average over an extended period of time, work on getting that fixed.

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If you’ve got all that covered, it’s time to set you up for the diet itself – three more bullet points will help you get that done in a good way:

  • Set a specific, measurable goal. MAKE IT REALISTIC! Aim for about ½kg weight loss per week.
  • Fat loss should be done in 4-6 week spurts. Dieting for more than six weeks shouldn’t be necessary. If it is, hit it hard for six weeks, cruise for two and go back on for six. Remember – nothing worth having will come overnight, so embrace the grind.
  • Don’t go nuts with the training, but try to move about a little more than usually. Evening walks in the summer is great for this.

So there you have it. Losing weight is really simple if you do it right. Most people don’t and that’s why the human race is eating itself to death. Take a stand, be awesome, join the resistance!

Essential carbohydrates

Carbs have been getting bad rap over the past decade. Various dietary religions have gone as far as to eliminate them completely because “protein and fat are essential for surviving, carbs aren’t”. Well no, you can survive without carbs just fine. The problem is, we’re not looking for survival are we? I don’t think anyone in the western world has really paid much attention to just surviving for the past few centuries.

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So what are carbs essential for? Getting strong and building muscle. While cutting carbs is a great way to drop some fat, you need carbs to build muscle and get stronger.

You don’t need to eat tons of carbs, but I’d recommend that you get at the very least 100g a day. If you’re not getting a whole lot of carbs, make sure to split them up before and after your workout. If you’re getting a lot of carbs, I’d avoid big servings of carbs throughout the day, as it’ll often leave you sluggish. This is also the reason I don’t recommend having carb-heavy breakfasts. Last time I did that myself, I ended up having to take a nap before 9am. With carbs there’s a fine balance between getting energized and sluggish, so experiment a bit and try to find your sweet spot.

Personally the only time of day I’ll have more than ~100g carbs is at dinner (6pm). I’ve tried having 800g+ of pasta in one giant meal from around 9-10pm and I slept like shit that night. As mentioned above I’ve also had to take a nap within a couple of hours after waking up. For me carbs are a bit like alcohol like that – large amounts will make me fall right asleep, but I’ll sleep like shit. I don’t know the reason for this and I don’t really care about it to be honest as there’s no reason to eat such an insane amount at night (only reason I did it was because I was on a specific protocol in preparation for Copenhagen Marathon in 2010).

A few quick pointers on how to eat carbs:

  • Eat complex carbs.
  • Spread your carbs throughout the day, but get a little more after training.
  • Protein is the cornerstone of any meal – always eat carbs with protein.

People practicing paleo often have a hard time getting carbs (which is one of the primary reasons I think paleo is silly). Getting just a minimal amount of carbs (~100g) will make a huge difference on recovery, muscle growth, strength gains and overall energy. I’ve done paleo myself and you will get used to the low carbs (if you’re doing a classic paleo). That doesn’t make it optimal. Make it a priority to get some carbs. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinoa, rice, oats and wholegrain bread are all good source of carbs. If you don’t eat any of the above (or some) because you’re doing paleo, I suggest you read this post (in danish).

So yea, carbs are good if you like to build strength and muscle and even while dieting, a small amount will let you hold on to your precious muscle better and boost your recovery. I really don’t see why you’d go super low carb at all. Even if you’re shooting for <2k kcal there’s plenty of room for carbs (120g carbs, 200g protein and 80g fats for example). Unless you’re getting ready to get on stage (or you’re super light) that should be low enough to shed fat.

Have a great weekend. 🙂