Author Archive | eattoperform

Eight Thoughts on What to Eat Daily

Veggies and Meat

What do you eat is a question I get a lot.  In the Science Lab we have a whole thread where people talk about Recipes and Ideas about meal planning.  It all comes up a lot in our live webinars.  Both of which you get free when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

  1. Although taking a multivitamin every day can help you get the vitamins and minerals your enzymes need to function properly, you can’t beat eating real food.
  2. A great way to get your micronutrients is to have a humongous, colorful salad for lunch.
  3. Salads are also a great way to get some extra fat in. Olive oil and vinegar is a common dressing choice, but don’t be afraid to throw in some seasonings and herbs like paprika and cilantro.
  4. Making sure you have a kitchen stocked with nutritious, whole foods is one of the best ways to make sure that when you’re hungry, you don’t make bad decisions and go for convenience/junk foods.
  5. There’s a big difference between binging on a slow-cooked, bone-in roast and eating a whole bag of Doritos. Real food will satisfy you whereas junk food will typically make you hungrier; don’t be afraid to eat when you’re hungry!
  6. Don’t force yourself to eat breakfast if you’re not hungry in the morning. Listen to your body, and break your fast with quality nutrition rather than processed foods!
  7. Cravings for junk food and relying upon poor food choices to fuel your body can lean to negative body composition changes as well psychological hang-ups that reinforce the bad eating behavior.
  8. Satisfy your nutritional requirements first, and then consider satisfying your taste buds.

If you want to views the original article check out “Preparation over Precision“, and check out our “Foundation of Foods” article.

Click the image to enlarge

Click the image to enlarge

War on the Bikini Body Ideal


A Real Woman

If you are tired of being hungry and want to change your priorities to a mostly fed ideal that supports who you are as a person as well as your athletic goals, the Science Lab and the webinars I present will help you understand your body better.  It’s the same exact way of eating I teach my CrossFit Games competitors.  Both of those are free when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

In general, I try to keep it positive, and make no mistake about it:  I like to take my shirt off during workouts and when I am at the beach.  I am happy with the physique I have earned and I have no problem with people having body composition goals, but I believe that putting performance first will take you most of the way there.  I’m reaffirmed of this every day; I am not really sure there is a larger group of folks that are lean and muscular than the one we’ve gathered in the Science Lab.

The difference between how we do it and how they do it is huge.  It’s the difference between being whole or being injured, the difference between being a functional human being or a depleted husk.  The reason is simple:  when you diet too extremely for too long, you lose muscle.  No matter what their system will tell you, you will sacrifice lean mass and that will harm your metabolism over time (especially if you are already lean and trying to get leaner).

For every physique or figure competitor that makes it to the other side, there were 100 left on the side of the road by their coaches only to be handed off to the next coach who asks them to diet in a more extreme manner.

“Oh wait…You didn’t know those were physique models?”

Let me tell you how one of these moronic systems works.  Basically, they put out a cat call for 100 or so physique competitors and since they are all mostly lean, some of them actually get shredded as a result.  The five or so that make it to the photo shoot are fucking starving.  It’s certainly not like the 30 day miracle they suggest.  No one can keep their muscle eating dramatically low calories and that is especially true for people that are already lean.

Lisa Cartwright

I love this picture because it’s a real woman with substantive change. She actually GAINED six pounds in the after picture.

What do you look like?

Are you a physique competitor at 12% body fat trying to get to 9%? If you are, you should probably get with one of those starvation artists.  Hopefully you are one of the genetically blessed ones and you don’t end up destroying yourself in the process.  (You probably aren’t though.)  Ever wonder what that will do to your self esteem or confidence? What about the people that are 30-40% trying to lose fat with these types of diets when they actually need to maintain muscle?   What happens when they look at all of these bikini pictures and attempt to starve themselves thin?  Why is there never any delineation made between a contest prep diet vs. a healthy lifestyle that supports athletic performance?

It’s Time to Get Pissed Off

Quit spending money and time on people you can’t talk to, that don’t have your overall health in mind, that actually aren’t even really good marketers.  Think about it: there are many more people that look like Lisa (the person in the header) than look like all of the under-muscled bikini women.  Too many folks think if they just shed their fat layer, they will feel better about themselves…but they never consider many other factors, like genetics or how their lifestyle affects their body composition.

People also tend to think only of the best-case scenario.  When you binge on a diet, it’s not because you are weak and you are letting yourself down.  YOUR ASS IS HUNGRY!  You didn’t fail the diet; the diet failed you, because it was trying to work against nature.  Nature wants you fed and supporting your muscle.  Muscle is favorable for performance and athleticism, but most importantly it is favorable for metabolism and losing fat naturally.

Danielle Horan

She seems pretty confident

Which Brings Me to my Last Point

There are obviously a lot of different ways to reach an end-point, but in general the best athletes in our gyms are fit and strong.  They go to bed full and they sleep better.  Their relationship with the mirror is a lot better than most because the look in the mirror is now secondary to things that are much more important.  PR’s build on confidence.  Confidence=self esteem.  

Simply put, quit giving those people money.  You don’t need to give me money either.  I just want you to eat appropriate amounts of of whole foods to coincide with your energy output.  Nature designed you a certain way, and once you make peace with that, you simply gradually work to the best version of yourself.  That starts with saying FUCK YOU to all of the cookie-cutter bikini body (for guys it’s all the ads about being 6 packed up) scam marketers and ends with you realizing your  unique potential to be strong, lean, and happy.  




Why different foods (and drinks, hint hint) can burn fat more effectively

jack daniels

Calories in versus Calories out is a tricky topic that comes up a lot in the “Science Lab” private group and seminars that we offer free when you purchase Met Flex for Fat Loss.

(NOTE:  Click here to jump to a short summary of this article)

Everything you do with your body requires energy; from pulling a heavy snatch, to taking a nap afterwards, even the consumption and metabolism of food depends upon energy availability and it all adds up to influence your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).  This spontaneous generation of heat during catalytic reactions is called thermogenesis.  When you calculate your TDEE, you’re really asking yourself a series of questions:  “How much heat do I generate just to keep my organs functioning?”  This is what defines your basal metabolic rate (BMR).    Another factor in your daily energy expenditure comes from activity:  “How much heat do I generate to fuel my exercise?”  The third, most overlooked contributor to TDEE and thermogenesis is nutrition.  Ask yourself, “How much heat do I generate when I eat?”

About 10% of your energy expenditure each day can be attributed to the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF).  TEF describes the net loss of energy during the digestion and assimilation of nutrients.  When someone has a “fast metabolism”, they really have an inefficient metabolism that wastes more energy than it holds onto.  Essentially, their enzymes work very hard, but they don’t get a lot done for all the fuss.  The “cost” of operation is greater, so there’s less “profit”; less energy is stored.  This can be good and bad, but the great thing is that you can manipulate your efficiency.  A major factor in successfully taking advantage of the human body’s metabolic flexibility is consuming the right food, at the right time.  Depending upon the composition, size and frequency of your meals, your body responds to your nutrition in markedly different ways.

The Thermic Effect of Different Macronutrients

Of all the macronutrients, alcohol produces the greatest thermic effect; that isn’t a good reason to chug a bottle of Jack, however, due to the fact that alcohol consumption puts the brakes on fat oxidation for a little while (Anne Raben).  You’re actually more prone to store fat while you’ve got alcohol in your system, especially if you eat high-fat foods and drink at the same time (I’m looking at you, chicken wings!)  Many people do report waking up “tighter” the morning after a night out drinking, but this has more to do with water loss than anything.  Proper hydration is of the utmost importance to performing well and building muscle, so I would suggest taking it easy, but as they say: “To each his/her own.”


As far as everyday nutrition goes, protein is the most thermogenic of the three macros (carbs, protein and fat).  This explains, in part, why people see improved body composition on high protein weight loss diets; you waste a lot of energy just breaking protein down.  In addition, since you’ll feel more satisfied after eating a high protein meal, your drive to eat will be diminished (Halton).  We recommend that protein consumption act as a base for the rest of your nutrition, and this is just one of many reasons.  Not only are you providing your body with the material it needs to function and repair itself, but you’re keeping yourself lean.

Carbohydrate & Fat

Under normal circumstances, carbohydrate and fat are easier to break down and absorb.  The TEF associated with these two macros is less than that of protein.  Fat is the least thermogenic of the three.  It may be interesting to note that when comparing obese and lean populations, the thermic effect of food is smaller regardless of the macros, but carbohydrate displays a greater thermic effect than fat; fat is even less thermogenic in obese individuals (R Swaminathan).  Thus, consuming carbohydrates can contribute to increased net energy expenditure (K R Segal).  We write about this all the time, but this sort of explains the concept: avoiding carbohydrates when you’re trying to lose weight really does slow down your metabolism.  Conversely, if you’re trying to maintain muscle mass and conserve energy, eating low carb/high fat is a viable strategy.

Training and Post-Workout Carbs

Since you’re probably CrossFitting or weightlifting a few times a week, you’ll be glad to know that the thermic effect of food is more pronounced in active people than it is in sedentary individuals.  This may be due to increased responsiveness to adrenaline signaling brought on by regular bouts of exercise (Nicole R. Stob).  As I stated earlier, training creates a thermic effect too (exercise-associated thermogenesis).  It’s more difficult to store energy after a workout, and that can be a good thing if you’re trying to maintain a lean body composition.  It can also make it more difficult to build muscle mass, and that’s where carbs come in.

Carbs are normally pretty easy to break down and either utilize as an energy substrate, or to store as glycogen/fat.  This changes after training.  The thermic effect of carbohydrate consumption after a single bout of exercise can be over 70% greater than before training (Charlene M. Denzer).  That’s a difference of hundreds of calories every day, and thousands of calories every month, of food that you essentially get for free.  Eating carbs post-workout kicks your metabolism into high gear, you burn up like a space shuttle during re-entry, and your body does whatever it can to cool down.

What this ultimately means, in practice, is that you can get away with eating large amounts of carbs to generate a significant insulin response and jam as much water, protein and other nutrients into your muscles as you can…Without worrying about getting fat.  You get all of the hormonal and metabolic advantages of eating carbs without the bad.  This is the basis of back-loading, and it’s a great strategy to optimize recovery, performance and body composition all at once.  This goes for both men and women, as well as lean and not-so-lean individuals.

Special Considerations:  Intermittent Fasting, Yohimbine and Caffeine

The size of a meal seems to play a role in thermogenesis.  While smaller meals eaten at a greater frequency create a more sustained thermic effect, larger meals produce an overall greater effect.  Though the difference is small (somewhere around 50 calories a day), it does support the idea that eating more, less frequently, can make a positive impact on weight loss (M M Tai).  If you follow an intermittent fasting protocol like LeanGains, The Warrior Diet, Eat Stop Eat or even Carb Back-Loading, you’re probably already taking advantage of this concept; if you aren’t, it’s yet another reason to delay breakfast and eat more at the end of the day.

In addition, certain substances can increase thermogenesis and help you mobilize fat.  A common dietary supplement to consider, which you may already partake of, is good ol’ caffeine.  One or two (or three, or four) cups of coffee can really get your metabolism humming and help you burn fat (K J Acheson).  For leaner folks, Yohimbine (an herbal supplement) can augment the production of the catecholamines epinephrine and dopamine (Ostojica).  More catecholamines can translate to increased thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and (potentially) an increased sense of well-being.  Take caution though; it is not useful for everybody.  You should be pretty lean before you consider supplementation.  When adding anything atypical to your nutrition, be careful and start off very slow.  If you have a history of cardiovascular disease, metabolic dysfunction, or there’s any question in your mind whether or not you’ll react well to a specific modification, you owe it to yourself to talk to a doctor.

In conclusion, you don’t really need to worry about any of this thermogenesis stuff.  By simply eating protein and fat throughout the day, training hard, and having a nice carb-dense meal in the evening, you’re already taking advantage of these concepts.  I hope that by attaining deeper insight into the concepts we teach on Eat To Perform, you’ll understand how to dial things in a bit better and do what you need to get out of your own way.  Knowledge is power, but I don’t want you to get side-tracked.  I want you to focus on what really matters:  eating well, training your ass off, and enjoying your accomplishments.  Until next time!


  • TDEE is influenced by basal metabolic rate and activity, but also metabolism of food
  • “TEF” or the Thermic Effect of Food describes the net loss of energy during the digestion and assimilation of nutrients.  It normally contributes makes up about 10% of your TDEE.
  • Protein has the greatest TEF and fat has the lowest TEF.  Carbs are in the middle.
  • By eating carbohydrates after training, the TEF goes up drastically and more of the energy is lost as heat
  • Eating larger meals less frequently contributes to a slightly greater thermic effect
  • Caffeine and Yohimbine can help lean people increase thermogenesis and burn more fat

Works Cited

Anne Raben, Lisa Agerholm-Larsen, Anne Flint, Jens J Holst, and Arne Astrup. Meals with similar energy densities but rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol have different effects on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism but not on appetite and energy intake1,2,3. January 2003. 29 March 2013 <>.

Charlene M. Denzer, John C. Young. The Effect of Resistance Exercise on the Thermic Effect of Food. n.d. 29 March 2013 <>.

Halton, Thomas L., Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD. The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review. October 2004. 31 March 2013 <>.

K J Acheson, B Zahorska-Markiewicz, P Pittet, K Anantharaman, and E Jéquier. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. May 1980. 31 March 2013 <>.

K R Segal, B Gutin, A M Nyman, and F X Pi-Sunyer. Thermic effect of food at rest, during exercise, and after exercise in lean and obese men of similar body weight. September 1985. 29 March 2013 <>.

K. J. Acheson, Y. Schutz, T. Bessard, E. Ravussin, E. Jequier, and J. P. Flatt. Nutritional influences on lipogenesis and thermogenesis after a carbohydrate meal. 1 January 1984. 29 March 2013 <>.

M M Tai, P Castillo, and F X Pi-Sunyer. Meal size and frequency: effect on the thermic effect of food. November 1991. 29 March 2013 <>.

Nicole R. Stob, Christopher Bell, Marleen A. van Baak, and Douglas R. Seals. Thermic effect of food and β-adrenergic thermogenic responsiveness in habitually exercising and sedentary healthy adult humans. 18 December 2006. 29 March 2013 <>.

Ostojica, Sergej M. Yohimbine: The Effects on Body Composition and Exercise Performance in Soccer Players. 21 December 2006. 29 March 2013 <>.

R Swaminathan, R F King, J Holmfield, R A Siwek, M Baker, and J K Wales. Thermic effect of feeding carbohydrate, fat, protein and mixed meal in lean and obese subjects. August 1985. 31 March 2013 <>.

S M Robinson, C Jaccard, C Persaud, A A Jackson, E Jequier, and Y Schutz. Protein turnover and thermogenesis in response to high-protein and high-carbohydrate feeding in men. July 1990. 29 March 2013 <>.

4 ideas on realizing your genetic potential

Dan Bailey


If you want to forget limiting eating ways and consider reaching your full potential as a human being here is the link for our book Met Flex for Fat Loss.

  1. Many dieting concepts prevalent in bodybuilding culture have no practical application for new trainees, and they certainly don’t set you up for optimal athletic performance.
  2. You have to have a lot of muscle on your body to look great at a low body fat percentage.  Furthermore, the levels of leanness that some people attempt to achieve are impossible to maintain.  Nobody needs to be walking around at 5% body fat unless they’re preparing for a competitive physique/bodybuilding show or a photo shoot.
  3. Genetics are no excuse not to work hard.  If you place limitations upon yourself based upon your genetics, you’ll sell yourself short.
  4. Instead of asking yourself how much more fat you need to lose, ask yourself how much more muscle you need to gain/how much stronger you need to become to accomplish your goals.

Here is the full length article “What is your genetic potential (or being Dan Bailey)

Seven Tips for Using Paleo or Zone to Eat To Perform

Helpful Tips

I think we offer the best option for athletic performance compared to pretty much any other strategy out there because you can do Paleo, or Zone, or whatever else.  It’s not a diet, it’s a strategy.  Eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates around your workouts and then using fats at rest is a pretty simple idea.  Met Flex for Fat Loss is the book we wrote specifically for this community.  We back it up with a Private Forum run by a team of helpful advisors we call the Science Lab.  We also hold four webinars each week where you can talk to Paul Nobles and Julia Ladewski.  When you buy the book from the link above, you get access to both of these features.

1.  Men and women utilize carbohydrate differently.  Women are, in general, better at burning fat than men around workouts so they need fewer carbohydrates in their nutrition plans.

2.  Ketogenic/low carb diets can cause fast weight loss but they are rarely ideal for optimal performance (and long term fat loss).

3.  While it may not be extremely common, some women suffer some unfortunate side effects when they get really lean and/or deprive their bodies of carbohydrates.  For this reason, it’s better to adopt a less restrictive approach to carbs.

4.  Women should strive to hit their protein goals first (1 grams per pound of body weight), and then focus on carbs and fat; in general, we suggest using 75g-100g of fats in the ETP calculator and solve for carbs to give you some idea of the ballpark you are on in for training days.

5.  Rest days can be modified to include more fat and less carbs; 75-100g may be appropriate.

6.  As with most things, experimenting with more or less carbs will help you arrive at a balance that works for you and allows you to look and perform the way you want to.  Also before or after workouts is another big one (excluding AM workouts where you eat your carbs the night before).

7.  You don’t need to eat pizza and turnovers for carb sources; go for starches like potatoes and rice, and be sure to include some vegetables.  Coconut milk smoothies are also a great option.

If you struggle meeting your protein requirements daily I would suggest Progenex products.  Using this banner will get you 10% off.


Five Thoughts on why “Oils” may be Detering your Fat Loss


A big part of your fat loss journey is learning how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that deter fat loss.  In our book Met Flex for Fat Loss, we detail how and why it’s better to rely on fats while you’re at rest…And then flex your metabolism to run on carbs around your training.

Here are some tips on :

  1. A balanced diet of carbs and fats is necessary to achieve optimal performance.  There is nothing magical about a low carb diet, and it will probably have a detrimental impact on your performance.  Still, going low carb occasionally can be of some benefit.
  2. Relying too much on oils and butter to supplement your fat intake on low carb days is a big mistake; it’s too easy to end up in an energy surplus if you go overboard.
  3. You should get most of your fat from whole food sources like grass fed beef and wild-caught fish; these sources are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3s.
  4. Use butter, ghee, and olive oil in your cooking.
  5. Many people enjoy a Bulletproof Coffee w/ coconut or MCT oil in the morning.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at how and when you should (and when you should not!) be using oils in your nutrition, check out our article “Addicted to Oils.”

Something Clicked (starting pull ups)



One of the reasons I started this page/site is because I didn’t think “our story” was being told.  Most people that Crossfit look like our team and we all have various struggles.  Shannon’s blogs are meant for people who are still figuring out their place in Crossfit and improving.  Met Flex for Fat Loss isn’t just for “ab’ed” out folks, we teach everyone to eat to their athletic abilities and we back it up with support in the webinars and Science Lab Private Forum.

This is Shannon’s week starting pushups

Another amazing week!  It started off a little rough though…

I typically workout on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Rarely do I workout more than 3 times per week unless I miss a day, then I will make it up by doing 4 days the next week.  This schedule works really well for my busy family and our wallet :)   This week however, I needed to take Dalton to soccer practice on Tuesday, so Dalton and I opted to do the 5:00 yoga class, then go to his practice.  Let me start by saying this…Dalton is a 15 year old boy who is built like a brick house and has a mohawk that varies in color.  It is pretty awesome and entertaining watching him do yoga.  Let me also say that I have nothing against yoga – it is damn hard and the people that are able to do it are strong and amazing.  I hate yoga!  It’s terrible to say it, I know, but seriously, I really do not enjoy doing yoga in any way.  Even though I was sweating like crazy and way sore the next day, I still felt like I didn’t work hard.  I did work hard, but I felt like I missed a day of working out.  Other than feeling guilty for “not working hard enough”, I have been stuck for the past month – at least in my 41 year old messed up head I have been stuck…on the scale….DAMN THE SCALE!!!!  I weigh myself everyday.  It really helps me understand my body and how it works.  90% of the time, this works great for me and doesn’t get me down when the number goes up by 1 or 2 pounds because I know in the next day or two, it will be back down.  This week I have been frustrated at the frozen number on the scale and I start blaming myself.  I have to be honest, in the past month or so, money has been really tight and eating “clean” has not been happening as often as I would like it to.  Pasta and processed foods have been sneaking their way back into my kitchen because that’s what’s in my pantry right now.  If I had planned a little better, I still could have eaten better, but lack of planning leads to eating whatever you can throw together.  Having 2 teenage boys in the house does not help either….

So on Thursday morning, I step on the scale….still 222…What the fuck!!!!!!!  I am already crabby and tired due to the hockey game Wednesday night when the damn Blackhawks beat my Boston Bruins in triple overtime, this just makes it worse.  Even worse is the class full of 2 year olds that I have to face for the next 8 hours and then the WOD that night that includes damn pullups which I STILL cannot do, even with a band!  Grrrrrrr!

I make it through the day without abusing any children and head home to change for Crossfit.  This is our WOD:

“Suns Out, Guns Out”

20min to do 10 Snatches @ 70-90% of 1RM. Utilize the time to use CORRECT AND PERFECT form.


3 rounds for total working time of:

32 Alternating Split Jumps

16 KB Snatches (1.5p/1p)(8/arm any order)

12 Pullups

I have only done snatches twice prior.  My first time doing them, my one rep max was 70# and the 2nd time I don’t remember…

I started light (35#) to warmup and just kept adding weight.  I settled on 80# after failing at 90#.  I got through my 10 using good form, throwing in a couple of squat snatches at the end, just to try.  With about 8 minutes left I look up at the leader board and see Lynn leads the women’s snatch PR at a massive amount of weight (I forget what it is cause she PR’d again at 135#!!!!!  Holy shit!), then it was Gretchen at 105# (I think) and then I saw Maggie’s name up there!  Maggie – I didn’t know you were on the leader board girl!  Damn – nice!

Being a little competitive, I thought, “Well, shit, now I have to try 90#!”  I threw 10# on the bar to try it again.  First try….FAIL.  Heidi, our trainer is watching and tells me right away that I started too slow – I failed from the start.  Explode!   I set myself up again…explode…explode…the bar is at my eye level as I muscle it above my head to complete the 90# snatch.  What a feeling!

Crap, I still have 3 rounds of hell to complete.  Luckily, I am on a high from my PR that I am ready!  After figuring out the rhythm of the alternating split jumps, I felt like a rockstar!  Actually, I felt like Dalton, my brickhouse of a 15 year old.  I decide to RX the kettlebell weight at 1 pood and then the pullups….

Lately, I have given up on pullups and just been doing ring rows.  Tonight, I decide, nope, I will do the damn black band pullups if it kills me!  It’s only 3 rounds, I can do it…AND I DID!  It took me more than 14 minutes, but I did 36 pullups along with everything else in the WOD!  They were damn hard and I was exhausted, but it was done.

I was already feeling pretty awesome, but felt even better when I get this message from Paul:

“honestly it’s really cool seeing how hard you work, you are one tough SOB”

Validation.  It’s amazing how someone validating that you worked hard at something, can make such an impact.  Paul doesn’t know this, but this one comment made me stronger and lead me to today’s WOD – Nicole.  Pull ups again….and running…..

Oddly enough, I wasn’t dreading this one.  It’s a 20 minute AMRAP so I will just do what I can…

We start with a 400m run and jump on our pullup bars.  On Thursday, I had been watching my husband as he did his pullups with a blue band because he looked damn good doing them…he has a nice rhythm and looks strong when he does them…I made some mental notes….

First round…black band – 7 pullups straight through..hang for a couple of seconds…4 more pullups….drop….run again…ugh!….

Second round….black band – 8 pullups straight through and my chin is well above the bar!  3 more to get to 11.  WTF?  IT CLICKED!!!!  I FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO A FUCKING PULL UP!!!!!!!  I am so euphoric, I just want to get through the run so I can come do some more pullups!  I finish the 20 minute AMRAP with 11 pullups in all 4 rounds.  Still feeling euphoric, I take a black and a green band to the other side of the gym while Dalton does his teens class…I start with the green band and do 3 pull ups pretty effortlessly!  OMG  No turning back now!  I borrow a green band to take home so I can feed this new addiction called pull ups…my hands are screwed….

It’s shocking to me what a rollercoaster ride this is.  I feel like I am constantly battling the emotions and head games that strive to make me fail.  This is the first time I am documenting this battle, so I feel like I am repeating myself all of the time with the struggles that I face.  I feel like they are happening more often than ever before, but I have come to realize, that I have been battling this my entire life and just haven’t been aware of the emotions and head games.  By writing this down every week, it is making me accountable and aware of not only my body, but my head.  It’s truly amazing and enlightening.  I highly suggest to anyone struggling with fat loss and getting healthy to put your successes and failures out there for the world to see.  Hundreds of people know that I weigh 222 pounds and my body fat percentage is 43% (I think that’s what is was).  Hundreds know that I have struggled with my weight all of my life and have been desperate enough to re-route my digestive tract with gastric bypass surgery only to fail again.  The fact that hundreds of people know this about me has allowed me to begin to become the person I am supposed to be.  I am not there yet, but I know, without a doubt, I have hundreds of people supporting me and cheering me on because I put it all out there.

Recipe tomorrow….pork chili?????

Seven Quick Fat Loss Tips

Helpful Tips


The “big idea” of what we teach is that fast fat loss is hard to maintain.  The goal is gradual fat loss where you are preserving your muscle along the way.  That is the emphasis of Met Flex for Fat Loss and we support the book with the Science Lab private forums and Webinars four times a week.  The last two are free when you buy the book.

1.  You don’t need to eat at a deficit to mobilize fat; your training will keep you lean. Stress is good, but the stress of dieting compounded with the stress of training intensely day in/day out will probably be too much and will likely have a negative impact on your body composition. You’ve got to eat to perform and let your body do what it needs to do!

2.  Most diets work, but the wrong diet for the wrong person can be a disaster. A diet should ideally become a lifestyle that you can adhere to long-term. There is no magic macronutrient.

3.  Energy-dense foods are the way to go if you’re an athlete. Sedentary people may benefit from the standard “eat fewer carbs” Paleo diet but active people will tend to underfeed if they avoid starches and fatty meat.  So think of what we teach as “Paleo Plus” which is pretty consistent with what Dr. Cordain wrote in “Paleo for Athletes”.

4.  “Eat less/do less” low carb/low calorie diets can help you lose weight quickly, but most of it’s water. It can be hard to tell how much fat mass you’re losing vs. how much water you’re expelling on a low carb diet, and it definitely has an impact on performance due to chronic glycogen depletion.

5.  You need a significant amount of muscle mass before you worry about having abs! You can starve yourself for months and strip off every ounce of fat on your body but you won’t look the way you want to without a solid foundation. Focus on training and eating to fuel performance/muscle gains; you’ll look and feel much better.

6.  Homeostasis is physiological stability. Your body is great at adapting and finding its center when you feed it properly and get enough sleep. When these factors get out of whack, body composition will degrade and you can start to underperform during your training/events. In extreme cases, you become obese and develop metabolic disorders/cardiovascular health problems. It’s important to look at your nutrition, training, and lifestyle as a whole when determining how you proceed with your plan. Dynamically alter your strategy to fit in with your life, NOT the other way around.

7.  A gradual, personalized approach will save you a lot of heartache and keep you free of injuries. Don’t gamble on your health by trying to force things.

Nutrition Infographic

Too often people want to make things too complicated.  What we teach people is in this order 1.  Quality (eat mostly whole foods) 2.  Quantity (eat enough to support your athletic activity) 3.  Variety (mix it up so you get varying degrees of micronutrients/vitamins) 4.  Timing.  Our book Met Flex for Fat Loss focuses on eating moderate amounts of carbs around your workouts.  It was written in conjunction with me and for this site, a site where the majority of people do Crossfit.

Nutrition Infographic

Crossfit Athlete Fat Loss Summary

Ivette Carcas

This is just the summary version of the long post you can find in the link at the bottom.  What we teach is a patient approach that focuses on work capacity.  Our book Met Flex for Fat Loss gets updated monthly and you also get a free membership to the Science Lab private forum and unlimited access to the webinars.


  • Prolonged periods of low carb dieting can equate to underfeeding, and this can lead to all kinds of metabolic derangement.
  • Eating to perform means eating enough food to sustain and improve your work capacity, strength, agility, and sport specific skills.
  • Form follows function; by putting performance first, you can achieve an optimal body composition.  That may not mean you walk around at 5% body fat, but you’ll be lean and muscular without eating in a restrictive fashion.
  • Start by getting a ballpark figure of how many calories you need to eat every day (TDEE).  Although it may seem like a lot of food at first, most of the time you will create a calorie deficit through your training and eating more (not less) will promote positive body composition changes.
  • If fat loss is your primary goal or you’re coming from a period of calorie restriction, subtract 10% from your TDEE calculation to give yourself some room to eat a little bit less.
  • A good place to start for men would be bodyweight in grams + 50g for carbs on training days and dial it in as they go.  Women should start at bodyweight in grams of carbs. Another and potentially much better approach is to use the calculator and solve for carbs using the fats as I recommend on that page (lean people need to start at their weight in grams to maintain conditions favorable to maintaining the muscle they have earned)
  • Eat 1g of protein for every lb. of bodyweight.  
  • Counting calories may be necessary for a short period of time while you get a handle on how much you need to eat, but you should ultimately try to eat more by how you feel, look, and perform than any number.

Here is the link to the full post “How Crossfit Athletes Should Do a Calorie Deficit“.

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