How many of you have been on a business trip or vacation where you have been driving for hours, and one of the only options to stop and eat are the golden arches of McDonalds. At times we can get in a pinch with our busy schedules and lifestyles that can make it not as practical to eat the best quality food choices. So I decided to put together a small list of my top 5 low carb fast food meals that can help you stay on track with your meal plan….And no, they do not involve a “supersize” of any kind, sorry not sorry.
- Chipotle Bowl– This one almost doesn’t even seem like fast food being the quality of meat is better than some sit down restaurants. But one a good note, Chipotle now has online ordering, so if you know you will be passing through a certain area around a certain time, you can have your meal ready for you when you walk in, pay and get outta there probably within 2-3 minutes. As far as what to get on your bowl I would suggest the following…
*Chicken, or Steak, Fajita Vegetables, Lettuce, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cheese.
Getting a serving of all these ingredients will put you at about 20 carbs total, mostly coming from the guacamole, which is mainly fiber.
2. Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell– Yes Taco Bell made the list! If you order there naked chicken chalupa without tomato, this will keep you around 15 carbohydrates total.
3. KFC Grilled Chicken- Order KFC’s Grilled Chicken with a side of green beans and you are at approximately 10-12 carbs total. Perfect, and plenty of protein and fat to keep you feeling full.
4. Subway Double Chicken Chopped Salad– Make sure to order this with the avocado to add some more fiber and healthy fat and you will still only be at 10 carbs total, and about 40 grams of protein. Solid option, and tasty as well.
5. Arby’s Roasted Turkey Farmhouse Salad- This one made the list for its minimal 8 carbs total.
Well there you have it. 5 solid options all from various places. When making the list I wanted to pick out different places for each one, so that way at least there is some variety. These fast food spots do have other accommodating meals for low carb eaters as well, but I wanted to put meals that I have actually eaten myself and would actually recommend to you. Hope this helps some of you guys traveling a lot to stay on track. Until next time.
I found this low carb donut recipe the other day and had to pass along the recipe to those of you who may have a bad sweet tooth like me. This allows you that slight pleasure so you stick to your meal plan as much as possible. These will definitely be 100X better than going to your local shop and getting the real deal. Here is the recipe below. Give them a shot. Enjoy!
- 2 ½ cups finely ground almond flour (280 g)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (1.25 ml)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (2.5 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.25 ml)
- 2 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (60 g)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (180 ml)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2.5 ml)
- ½ teaspoon liquid stevia (2.5 ml) (or your favorite sweetener)
- Heat oven to 375° F/190 ºC
- Lightly butter/grease the donut pan.
- Whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and stevia (or other sweetener) until smooth.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients and the egg yolk mixture together.
- Spoon the thick batter into the donut pan, using ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of batter for each donut.
- Bake until the donuts are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes. Allow donuts cool for approximately 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue cooling the donuts on a wire rack.
- Serve plain, or drizzle with melted dark chocolate for added flavor and nutrition benefits.
So I have been training clients for quite a few years now and it still boggles my mind at how many people will completely lie about their current diets and training routines during my initial assessment with them. It’s like they want to make it seem like everything up to this point has been picture perfect and they just have no idea why they are not seeing results? Then after asking a few questions and doing a little digging I find out that the diet they initially told me might as well have an asterisk next to it with a disclaimer stating this is the diet I intend to eat, but throughout my crazy day between work, school, kids, and just life throwing me curve balls in general I never get to stick to this plan. And you know what….That’s ok! But, keeping this information quiet and pretending that everything is good to go is not going to help you. So if you have a trainer, or ever do decide to get one, please remember to be completely honest and upfront with them so they can help you to the best of their ability. In fact if you feel like you need some help getting a plan together, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be glad to help you for free. Just use the contact me tab on our website and send me an email to get started.
I hear people say this way too often at the local gyms so I thought this would be a great topic to bring up. Genetics, do they really matter at all? In my opinion, for the 99% of us average folks out there absolutely not. Now, if you are attempting to be an IFBB pro bodybuilder, or fitness professional of that caliper then okay yes genetics can give you that extra edge you need to get to the top. For example, I could lift daily, eat a perfect diet, and take a disproportionate amount of performance enhancing drugs and in five years I still would not stand a chance against him. So for that scenario genetics does make a difference. But in regards to the vast vast majority of us that are just chasing a better version of ourselves genetics will not matter at all. Sweat equity is what matters when you want to transform your body and get into better shape. I see so many people put these limitations on themselves and will use genetics as an excuse to not being able to achieve the look or goal they originally had. That’s bullshit. Have some discipline and self control to stick to your program and I guarantee in time you will start to see changes. NEVER limit yourself, always be pushing forward! Complacency is the killer of long term goals, so stay hungry and stay motivated my friends!
Let’s Have a Drink!
Very Often I get asked how much do I indulge in alcohol throughout the week? Occasionally, I will have a drink or two on my off days to help unwind, relax, and usually when I am drinking I am at some type of social event with friends which is always a plus. Nothing too crazy, but of course every once in a while I do have one of those nights that are usually pretty memorable in terms of alcohol consumption. The question is how much does this actually effect your weight loss, or fitness goals in general? Let dive in…
How Bad Can It Be?
Alcohol unfortunately disrupts REM sleep, which is the important sleep for those of you that may not remember the sleep cycle. REM sleep is the time when all the magic happens with your hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone release. By decreasing REM sleep, this will inhibit some of the hormone release you would normally get from a night sober. Additionally, alcohol is very dehydrating. In fact most researchers have agreed that most of the hangover effect that happens post drinking is attributed to your body being dehydrated. Having a lack of water in the body will have your energy levels low, and have you feeling less than your normal self. From a weight loss stand point the most important thing to understand about alcohol is that when you ingest alcohol, whether its something that is almost calorie free, such as a vodka and tonic water, alcohol itself is still converted over to an energy source once ingested. This means that the body will need to use this energy source up first before it can burn through whatever else you are taking in. To say it as simple as possible, alcohol consumption will decrease your metabolism by spiking your insulin and putting your body in a storage mode vs a burning mode. Now do not feel like you should try to quit drinking all together because you are destroying your weight loss goals. There is still room for a drink or two every now and then as long as it is in moderation. The problem truly lies in the weekend binge drinkers that have 5 plus drinks in a night, and then also while they are out, eat a burger with fries and various other bad meal choices. So if you are really trying to cut body fat you will really want to consider cutting down on the alcohol consumption to maybe a night a week, to try to ensure you are not impeding any of your results.
Today I would like to drop a little motivation and knowledge on everyone in regards to exercise. How many of us have had those days where we just aren’t feeling it? I know in all honesty I have one of those days at least two times a week. But you know what, I still get up and get my ass in gear and go get my workout in….I go through the motions! Even when you are not feeling it, and think that going to the gym on that particular day will be a waste of time, still find a way to get there. Do not let a little lack of discipline ruin what you are working hard to keep. So the next time you are not “feeling it” just remember why you started, and the progress you made. Skipping workouts is one of the quickest ways to hinder your fitness results. So keep pushing through, even when it gets tough. In the end, you will be happy that you did, and tomorrow we will talk about some of the worst things you may be doing to hinder your fitness results.
Is there a Difference?
Research has shown that both of these options can be effective for weight loss, and keeping blood sugar and insulin lowered. But is one option better than the other? Or does it even matter which you choose, as long as the carbohydrate levels stay down. Let’s break them down and see what the research says.
In Regards to Weight Loss
Both carb restriction and fasting can help you reduce your total calories, which can lead to weight loss, and both are easy to follow. But, if you have any issues with feeling hungry it may be tough for you to consistently stick to your meal plan if you have issues with fighting hunger. So from the perspective of staying the most consistent, I would have to vote for just following a lower carbohydrate diet consistently vs fasting.
What About For Health Benefits?
As far as the health benefits go surprisingly fasting showed a greater drop in glucose and insulin for a 24 hour period. Additionally for those that were doing an evening fast that lasted throughout the night into the early morning saw an even greater decrease in glucose levels.
This is great news, but you can not just fast all the time! So what can we do to find balance to try to reap the health benefits of fasting, and also continue with our weight loss efforts?
IF or intermittent fasting, also known as temporary fasting is where you fast for a temporary amount of time throughout the day, or during the day into the night. Most people doing temporary fasting will eat the majority of there calories in a window of say 8 hours, and then fast for the next 16 until the next day. For example, say you wake up at 8am, and eat your first meal around 9am. Between the hours of 9-5pm you would eat what you had planned for the day, then from 5pm until 9am the next day do not eat anything. Some will squeeze the window even tighter where they only eat in a 4 hour window and fast for 20 hours. Obviously this will take a lot more discipline, but in time it can be done. This way you can reap both the health benefits of fasting, and get the weight loss benefits as well. Give this a try sometime, and see if you can stick with it. Personally, I think it is worth giving a shot even just for the health benefits alone. What do you think?
For years now there has been a long debate on whether consuming wine has any real health benefits, or was this merely a scheme cooked up by good marketers to make us feel good about consuming booze. After doing some digging I was able to locate some interesting information regarding the benefits of wine. Interestingly enough the benefits that are mentioned are correlated to the amount taken in. Now, do not go running out and start hitting the bottle just yet, the amount tested was between 5-8 ounces. So this would be equivalent to 1-2 glasses. Here are some of the benefits mentioned below….
Diabetes: Drinking between the above mentioned 5-8oz of wine per night has shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular Disease: Wine has shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease and LDL or bad cholesterol.
Stroke: Wine has also shown to reduce the risk of stroke as well.
What is the Connection?
It seems that there is one main ingredient found in wine that is aiding in all of these great benefits, and they are called polyphenols, which are micronutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables. Wine is naturally made of grapes, which contain a good amount of polyphenols in them. And it just so happens that when wine is produced, and ferments, even more polyphenols are developed. For more information on the benefits of polyphenols and there benefits I would recommend checking out this link here.
The bottom line with wine is simply this. Consuming a little wine here and there, 1-2 glasses of wine a night can have benefits to your health. But going over this amount consistently will actually start to have the opposite effect on you, causing negative side effects, which we will talk about more in our next installment on the effects of alcohol in the body.
Here is an extremely interesting topic for many different types of athletes and fitness minded folks out there. So let us discuss.
The Method Behind The Madness
The big idea behind post workout fasting has to do with the following. When you train with heavy weights, attempting to build muscle your body will naturally release growth hormone for a few hours after training. This has a number of benefits from enhanced fat loss, faster recovery from exercise, and muscle growth. The problem is, conventional wisdom has had lifters taking carbohydrates and protein post workout for years, but the issue with this is taking in the carbohydrates post training will actually blunt growth hormone and testosterone post workout, which could actually diminish gains in the long run. So if you are a lifter attempting to get the most bang for your buck from your training it would make logical sense to not immediately take in a meal or protein shake, but to wait a few hours to allow your bodies natural hormones to maximize. The only supplement you may want to take in after a weight training session would be a BCAA supplement with Glutamine to help you take in some essential amino acids post workout, further assisting the recovery process and aiding those hormone levels as well. BCAA’s are rich in Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These along with Glutamine will help keep cortisol levels reduced, which is the key to keeping Growth Hormone levels up, along with testosterone.
This time of year there will be a lot of people jumping on the new year’s resolution train with there weight loss goals. Before you get too wrapped up in all the noise that is coming in about ten days, let me share with you five simple reasons low carb diets work, and why I would recommend them as a place to start to get the body you want.
- They Are Easy to Follow!– This has to be the number one reason by far to choose a low carb diet. No counting points, no subtracting certain nutrients to get the “net sum”. All you need to mainly focus on is keeping those carbs low. Staying consistent on a diet plan is hard enough without any extra nonsense to track.
- They Increase Nutrient Density, While Decreasing Total Calories– In the simplest terms, low carb diets tend to cause things like this to happen. Instead of ordering the french fries, you order a salad. Or instead of having dessert at a restaurant you tough it out, go home, and eat celery and peanut butter for a snack. In these scenarios, by choosing a low carb alternative you are also simultaneously decreasing total calories consumed AND you are increasing your nutrient density.
- They Work Fast– It is no mystery that low carb diets have a quick effect on us. Results begin to show in as little as a week of consistent meal planning. This can be important for those that need to “see” the results to keep them motivated.
- They Reduce Sugar– Pretty simple, but important none the less. reducing sugar will keep your blood sugar and insulin levels more stable throughout the day, promoting more of a metabolic environment. From a health standpoint reducing sugar is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. If you consume excess sugar consistently, and the liver becomes full of glycogen, any excess sugar then being consumed will convert directly to body fat, and also contribute to a fatty liver.
- They Increase Protein Intake– This last one is really by default because a low carb diet is going to be more rich in foods with less carbohydrates. Different types of meats all have little to no carbs per serving, and are rich in protein. The higher the protein intake is, the more satiation you will feel, helping prevent you from over eating. Also, eating more protein contributes to maintaining lean muscle mass while dieting, which in turn keeps your metabolism steady.