We can all learn from the Fall leaves

We can all learn something from the fall leaves. It’s a beautiful sight to see the hues and shades representing the change from fall to summer. Beyond the beauty many will be excited for what fall brings; Football, pumpkin spice, flannels and maybe even some extra carbs now that summer has faded.

The leaves can teach us to appreciate change. In fact, it’s a key element to enjoying life or being successful on a diet/lifestyle. By creating changes to either the amount you eat or what you eat you keep your mind sensitive to what works for you.

Here is a case study that proves out this logic. When working down in Florida on a work project I spoke of Memorial Day Weekend and the excitement to return to Long Island for one of the most monumental weekends of the year. My team in Florida was surprised that people in the northeast make such a big deal of it. To them it was merely just another weekend.

And this was exactly my point. All of that nice weather had de-sensitized the team to summer or “key weekends within summer”. I further explained how the term MDW wasn’t just a weekend but symbolized getting through a winter, preparing the mind and body for summer and where anticipation meets reality.

The passion in my voice seemed to garner up some laughter as everyone seemed to think I sounded a little nuts. From here I proceeded to give a presentation on why “Mondays” actually make us appreciate “Fridays” more so. This received more of a warm welcome to the “Monday to Friday at 5 Grind away crew” than my passionate ranting about northeast tip of the summer holidays.

However, the basis of my argument was exactly the same. This brings me back to we can all learn something from the leaves on those trees. They tell us to appreciate change. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an area with four seasons. In fact, more sun light usually means less depression and studies show this.

My point is to change it up and find unique ways to keep your diet, work outs, social life and mindset fresh. Oh and by the way.. I am excited for MDW.. already. Changing it up can work by two specific mechanisms. For one, you might actually discover or learn something new that you truly enjoy (this can involve your diet or any aspect of life).

Secondly, it can be used to up-regulate “what already works for you”. Meaning, you already know what it is you like to do or what you like to eat. When you change it up, it re-sensitizes the mind to that specific activity or meal.

So next time you’re on a walk gazing over some awesome trees take it as a reminder that you too can change it up.

A few examples:

If you watch a lot of TV.. read a book.
If you’ve been low-carb for a few days.. Eat some carbs .. Post-workout.
If you’ve been working hard.. go out on the town.
If you’ve had a long weekend… get back to work.
If you’ve ate too much.. consider going on a fast.
If you’ve fasted for long… enjoy a feast.

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As you can see I keep track of my meals, thoughts and experiences as it helps me figure out what works best for me. Further it helps me find intrinsic rewards in some of the simpler things of life also known as enjoying the journey.

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Good Times are Contagious

“The rich get richer…and the happy get happier.”

Why So??

Happy people are more attractive: . If you see someone having a great time, you’re going to get interested.   There is a sense of attraction to someone smiling having a great time (1).  It’s one of the primary factors that influences facial attractiveness as we find a smiling face to be rewarding (2) and to be associated with well-being (3).

They got momentum:  There is a correlation between the intensity of the smile (such as a Duchenne Smile) and attractiveness(1).  This is great news as TMF (too much fun) is a turn on.  So let the good time momentum build.

They don’t fake it: Be careful as too much fake smiling is associated with negative affect (4).  So instead of worrying about smiling all the time do the actions that make you happy.

They’re paid to smile: Let Duchenne Duchenzos flow and you’ll look more trust-worthy which leads to bigger pay days.(5)

img004The “Hangin’ n Bangin'” circus knew their good times were contagious.

Something about that Duchenne smile made everyone want to be a part of their party.

References:

1) Golle, Jessika, Fred W. Mast, and Janek S. Lobmaier. “Something to smile about: The interrelationship between attractiveness and emotional expression.” Cognition & emotion 28.2 (2014): 298-310

2) O’Doherty, J., Winston, J., Critchley, H., Perrett, D.,Burt, D. M., & Dolan, R. J. (2003). Beauty in a smile: The role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness. Neuropsychologia, 41, 147_155. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00145-8

3)Schwarz, Norbert, and Gerald L. Clore. “Mood, misattribution, and judgments of well-being: Informative and directive functions of affective states.” Journal of personality and social psychology 45.3 (1983): 513.

4) Labroo, Aparna A., Anirban Mukhopadhyay, and Ping Dong. “Not always the best medicine: Why frequent smiling can reduce wellbeing.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 53 (2014): 156-162.

5) Centorrino, Samuele, et al. “Honest signalling in trust interactions: smiles rated as genuine induce trust and signal higher earnings opportunities.” Evolution and Human Behavior (2014).

Do the Opposite

Do the opposite: This is an easy way to understand cyclical dieting for happiness.  It comes down to the way your brain/body/being sensitizes and desensitizes itself to pleasure.
 

 

For example during the early stages of low-carb dieting or fasting you may find a euphoric like feeling.  However, after 2-3 days your once awesome diet now starts to feel mundane, then eventually miserable.

 

 
What has happened here is that you have de-sensitized yourself to eating a certain way.  Once this occurs its time to do the exact opposite of what you’ve been doing.
 

 

This my friends is called cyclical dieting based on feel.  Eat lower carbohydrate, moderate protein, moderate fat, along with a plethora of vegetables for 2-3 days.  Eat less on these days either through fasting (pushing your first meal off til later in the day or just having smaller meals).  You’re going to feel great on these days as you’ll have a general rise in catecholamines, specifically adrenaline causing extra focus.  This in turn will help you crush your to do list and the work at hand.
 

 

Once you start to feel your positive & focused mood start to wane it’s time to enjoy more.  When you enjoy more, make sure it’s the opposite of what you have been doing the last couple of days.  Your positive mood will rise once again through a different mechanism, the one related to hedonic feeding.
 

 

For example, my eat less (days 1 &2) looked like this.  Breakfast, none. Lunch, cottage cheese with bacon bits over spinach w/ various vegetables.  This also included a full avocado and two hard-boiled eggs.  For dinner, salmon over asparagus with an additional side salad.  So you can see that I ate less by only having 2 meals for the day that was a mix between protein, fats and vegetables.  These days were also accompanied by a lot of walking throughout my day along with some sets of sprints.
 

 

Now, on day 3 I got up in the morning for some weight lifting.  After the session I was feeling totally depleted and my mood was starting to wane.  SInce I’m a smart guy I decided to listen to my body.  For breakfast (which I didn’t have the last 2 days) I had some oatmeal, a banana, and an egg white omelette with vegetables.  As you can see it’s totally opposite on a timing and macro-nutrients basis..
 

 

For lunch, I had more protein than I normally did on the days before, along with moderate amounts of starch.  For dinner, I continued this trend with a dessert of my choice which happened to be ice cream.

 

 
No Breakfast >>>Now became Breakfast
Low-Carb>>> Now became a moderate carb based meals
Moderate/High Fat >>> Now became Low fat
Moderately lower calories>>>Now became moderately higher calories
Moderate Protein>>> Now becomes slightly higher protein
No Dessert>>>Now becomes dessert
Eat Less>>>Now Becomes Enjoy More
 

 

What was great is that after my day 3 breakfast my mood flipped to very positive almost instantly.
 

 

Let me remind you that I was in a very positive mood on days 1 & 2 without breakfast.
 

 

Another key point here is that I created an yin and yang balance of macronutrients, timing in order to make myself feel good everyday.  Dieting should be that simple.. do what makes you feel the best.
 

 

For me, it’s cyclical dieting through periods of lower and higher carbohydrate (and or calories).  Both states have unique positive feels but also lose their luster over time.  This is why I can’t say it’s this is or that but instead finding a balance that best fits your lifestyle.
 

 

Keeping a food journal of how you feel every day after each meal can be a very valuable tool.  Once you start to not feel so great maybe it’s time you change it up.  
 

 

It’s not really my call to say when to do the opposite,, it’s on you and how you feel.  If you can’t pay attention to the signs then you won’t realistically ever conquer cyclical dieting (which involves feeling awesome every day).  Self application is the most powerful tool when it comes to dieting and it’s about time you step your game up.
 

 

If you want to be happier it’s worth investing your time.. I know I’ve enjoyed the journey even more so ever since I payed closer attention to what foods made me feel the best every day. 
 

 

Good luck and remember to do the opposite of what worked best for you during days 1-3 of your diet.

 

 

 

Ride the wave,
 

GotmSquare

Ask 3 Questions and you’ll Duchenne

Are you looking to duchenne?  Since eating is the most frequent pleasure point in our lives it’s about time you ask yourself 3 questions so we all can start to see your duchenne duchenzo.  
 
Now before those pearly whites chow down ask yourself..
 
1- Do you enjoy it? (Does the meal taste good, is it an experience?)
2- Is it in Line with your goals ? (Leaness, Strength, Performance (athletic & social), longevity)
3- Do you feel good? (Does the meal promote positive affect, i.e. help you smile)
 
 By answering these 3 questions you will achieve the following:
  • You will find the best diet mix for you.
  • You will achieve your ideal body composition.
  • You’ll smile more often. (You’ll Duchenne)

 

By the way when I say smile.. you’ll be having legit smiles known as the Duchenne Smile. (A Duchenne smile engages the muscles around the mouth and eyes).  It was discovered by a French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne.  All smiles are great but the Duchenne is genuine happiness. (1)

So show ‘em your duchenne duchenzo! 

 

Do the DU-CHEN-ZO!

I feel awesome

 
Reference:
1) Messinger, Daniel S., Alan Fogel, and K. Laurie Dickson. “All smiles are positive, but some smiles are more positive than others.” Developmental Psychology 37.5 (2001): 642.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RELAXING- Fat Loss Magic

RELAXING: Fat Loss Magic

 

Lets face it. You’ve been working hard in the gym and we’re proud of you. However, no matter how hard you push you’ve seem to have hit a plateau.

What I’m going to tell you might come off as a shocker but it’s going to really help you. You need to do less. Really? Yeah, learn to sit back, relax and concentrate on something other than working out.

This sounds counter-intuitive but the stress of the workout increases the need for the reward of enjoying more (or eating more). So even if you crush a hard workout, your body and your mind is going to crave the extra food to recover (and then some).

In fact, most people actually consume more than what they have actually burned off. Studies show that more time in the gym doesn’t lead to more fat loss. Why is this?

We’re wired to reward ourselves after a hard workout. So this is why a lot of people who are trying to lose fat fall into a vicious cycle of hard workouts followed by over eating. They try to solve this by pushing even harder, but this usually comes with just eating more to compensate for the workout.

Workout hard, but know that you’re most likely going to need to “Enjoy More” afterwards.

RE-DEFINE HOW YOU THINK ABOUT TRAINING

You need to stop thinking about your workouts in terms of caloric burn or fat loss.

 

4 Reasons Why I do formal workouts?

  1. MENTAL CLARITY
  2. ENHANCED NUTRIENT UPTAKE (allowing myself to enjoy more without getting fat)
  3. MUSCLE PRESERVATION
  4. OVERALL HEALTH

So yes your workouts are very important but you’ll notice “Fat loss” isn’t one of the reasons why I work out. That is where the eat less, enjoy more diet comes in.

4 steps to Lose Fat

  1. RELAX, RELAX, RELAX
  2. EAT MODERATELY LESS OF HIGHLY NUTRITIOUS FOODS
  3. CONCENTRATE ON GETTING THINGS DONE.
  4.  STAY ACTIVE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY*

*Trick yourself by doing fun, simple workouts throughout your day. (Go for a walk to break up the work day, toss around a sports ball, just try to move around any way you can, just make it fun)

RELAXING is the first step: Staying lean has never been easier as long as you know that sitting back and relaxing (a few days each week) is a the fat loss magic tool. This allows you to recover from previous workouts, concentrate on getting work done or learning new things that interest you.

MY RELAXING DAY:

Wake Up: Coffee w/ some heavy cream

Work for 2hrs- 15 minute walk

Work for 2hrs- Lunch break, twenty-minute walk, Salad with eggs & bacon

Work for 2 hrs -15 minute walk

Work for 2 hrs – Head back to Hotel

Pre-dinner fun activity: shoot lacrosse balls on the net for 20min

Dinner: Salmon, Brussel sprouts

Post-Dinner: Read a book on philosophy

Be-time snack: Cottage cheese w/ almonds

Commentary:

As you can see is I had a good amount of walking throughout my day, which was really enjoyable. I didn’t feel like I was working out but instead I was enjoying nature. Studies also show that walking for 15minutes increasing productivity over snacking. I’ve found my concentration window to be about 1.5hrs -2hrs if I’m really in the zone. The walk is a nice reset button on Getting things done.

The lacrosse ball shooting is a workout but it was a fun, light one. Not the one that was going to drive me to “eat up” like heavy sets of squats or 100 yard sprints.

As you can see I made my day about getting things done and also learning some new things that interested me outside of work. Overall it was a relaxing and successful day. I wasn’t stressed and there was a sense of accomplishment. What was great was I felt great eating moderately less and I didn’t feel the undeniable urge to have a hedonic feast. But you know my style, I like to enjoy more every few days, so I’ll save the sprints for tomorrow night because I’d like to check out this new Mexican restaurant.

Anyways, relax, get things done and you’ll have no problem getting to your desired level of leaness.

 

-Gotss

GOTM

Enjoying More- Ideal for a social life

Eat Less, Enjoy More is ideal for a social life

The Problem

  • People believe they need to avoid social fun to get healthy/lean
  • People always regret divulging or stepping off their diet

The solution

  • Eating a little more after a hard workout avoids most if not all of the fat gain
  • Eating a little more increases social hormones making people happy & go-getters
  • Enjoying a moderate mix of pleasures makes people happy so we can’t “eat healthy” all the time.

 

When people start dieting they tend to shut off the world and come so wrapped up in their own diet.  Inherently, they start believing what they are doing is the right thing and they start to label foods as “taboo” and going out as “unhealthy”.  It’s just the way we are wired as humans.  We want to believe what we are doing is the best thing.  I mean why not be in your own corner?

Unfortunately, as I will describe , eating less is not doable in the long-run.  Hormonally we adapt to eating less (with a major decrease in social hormones) while increasing hunger hormones.  So in short you’re moody, anti-social and obsessed with food (atleast under the typical dieting via cognitive restraint platform).  By simply enjoying more every couple of days (what works best for your goals/lifestyle) allows you to re-insert these social hormones. 

Can you say good vibes amongst the local tribes?

Eating a little more or what I like to call “Enjoying More” was also the birth of the original social life.  By eating more you take the focus off of food, increase social hormones and are truly able to focus on having fun.  This relates to primal times as we would feel flush or good after a big meal and then have fun at a tribal party.

Are DNA is wired to make us feel good around things that could potential pass along our DNA.  So eating is the primary requirement.  So by eating a tad more every couple of days you re-insert these happy & social hormones and feelings.

The only thing I ask is that you lift weights, sprint or do a fun activity before enjoying more

Similar to a hunter capturing the big feast, these intensive activities prime your body for nutrient uptake.  Specifically you activate GLUT4 the ultimate muscle glucose translocater.  So these extra calories (especially from carbohydrates & protein) get plugged right into your muscles.  So you not only can have fun but you also will gain some muscle too.  So if you’re going to enjoy more try and perform some progressive load training in the gym (lift a little more than you did last time) or atleast get in some sprints.  Or better yet do a fun activity or sport that involves maximal athletic effort. It’s as simple as that to minimize fat gain when eating more.

Also, you can consider being a little more careful with your macronutrient selections.  Basically this is the hierarchy of fat storage (From easiest to hardest to be stored in fat tissue)

1-    Fat is stored the easiest, so don’t eat too many fatty foods while “overeating” or drinking

2-    Carbohydrates- it is possible to turn carbs into fat via de novo lipogenesis.(DNL)  However, after a hard workout and not eating too many carbs as a lifestyle these should get plugged directly into your muscle and liver stores.

3-    Protein – like carbs this is possible to be turned into fat, but you would first have to convert the protein into glucose, then go through DNL.

Alcohol- alcohol itself is never turned to fat.  Just be careful.  When drinking your body needs to concentrate on breaking it down so you won’t be burning much fat, if any at all, temporarily.  So that’s where people are wrong.  Drinking doesn’t make you fat, it’s the extra food and poor choices that do.  So enjoy a drink or a few, just take it a little easier on the fats.

Prep Week- Vol. 1 – July 4th

So you have a big weekend coming up. Might be one that you planned for way in advance with a beach house, visitors from out of town, a plethora of good food all while having a drink in hand.

How would it be possible to take on a weekend like without getting fat? Could it be done? How does Johnny Gotm prep for a weekend of all weekends…one like July 4th.

I bring you “Prep Week” and it’s a tactical plan to peak on the weekend all while minimizing the damage. The plan is un-rivaled and could very well be the code on how “peak” when it matters most…on the WeCan Weekend.

Step 1- Create a caloric buffer: Reduce calories for the 5 days before your WeCan Weekend. Since fat stores are primarily a function of energy balance you’ll burn quite a deal of fat being in a deficit. This also gives you some extra wiggle room when the weekend hits so if you really go HAM you will still break even in terms of fat balance.

To put things in context, I naturally burn about 2200-2400 calories a day naturally. Add in some extra activity through walking, some sprints, I might hit 2800 calories if I’m lucky. My intake for the 5 days prior was around 1200 calories each day of primarily protein, some healthy fats (fish oils), fibrous vegetables. So you are looking at a caloric buffer of 7000 calories or what we like to call a 2lb fat loss. Btw, under any diet, I’ve never seen anyone (besides the very hefty) lose more than 1-2lbs of fat a week.

This caloric reduction will come with some noticeable tightening but more importantly it allows for freedom this WeCan Weekend.  My caloric buffer was more realistically about 5000 calories after my Wendesday night diet break as discussed below in the bonus section.

Step 2- Enter the WeCan Weekend with fully depleted glycogen stores

This comes with part 1…as you reduce calories, strip out the carbs. This will create room for the weekend onslaught of carbs…many of these come in liquid form and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Further, studies show that periods of low-carb or glycogen depletion allow for supercompensation or holding more glycogen than you normally would. This is why, you might actually be able to avoid fat gain during a weekend (even in a caloric surplus) as long as most of the calories come from protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. Basically, these nutrients either get plugged into your stores or burned off through thermogenesis.

Step 3- Consider increasing sodium intake for a few days.   By having slightly more sodium (Salt) in your diet for the 4 days prior to the WeCan Weekend and then reducing intake you’ll retain less water.  For me, the simple solution here is the cottage cheese solution.  Cottage cheese works perfectly in prep week for two reasons. One, it’s higher in sodium so you will retain more water throughout the week. This helps preserve muscle in the deficit. Not to mention, it’s primarily slow burning protein aka casein. This will also help preserve muscle during the deficit.

Once you cut out the cottage cheese on say Friday and for the weekend, you will drop the water retention quicker than that Friday class you signed up for at 8am in college. Our bodies have a unique way of adjusting to sodium intake. This is why people who are on the “low sodium” diet aren’t exactly tight at all times as their body adjusts. People who also have salty diets aren’t exactly bloated because their body adjusts. The only way to look tighter than you normally would be in the short-term through a moderate increase in sodium intake followed by a period of reduction in sodium intake. Cottage cheese will do this for you.

This also made the caloric reduction quite mindless as eating the same thing 3 times a day made it somewhat mundane (and when it’s mundane we eat less). I had a pint of cottage cheese 3x a day. This was a 190g load of protein with not too many calories…just above a 1000.

cottage, fetta, egg, vegetables, baconThis was usually my first meal on these “eat less” days.  Usually consisted of cottage (sprinkled with bacon), fibrous vegetables (spinach, cauliflower, red onion sprinkled with a little fetta cheese).  I also added 3 eggs to make my caloric defciit more moderate.

cottage &water

Meals 2 & 3 during my prep week consisted of you guessed it..more cottage cheese.  I also had some raw vegetables with each (not pictured).  What you will notice is that I took down alot of water this week.  This further helps with the weekend water retention.  In short, the more bloated you are on a Wendesday, the more ripped you’ll look on a Saturday.  Water is also a great tool for “eating less”.  Alot of people will mistake thirst for hunger.

 

Step 4- Get a workout in before the weekend starts: This is very important for “channeling the weekend nutrient uptake”. By working out with weights or sprints you will have a nice up kick in nutrient uptake. This activates glut4, increases insulin sensitivity.

What is cool about your Friday workout is you will start to feel a nice dopamine kick in the weight room. The high is real and I can attest to it first-hand. If you read my article on taking advantage of your dopamine system you will understand why your mood is elevated during this Friday workout session. You are in anticipation of the reward of the WeCan Weekend.

Consider doing a full body workout with your friends. Bring your friends so they can join in on the fun of “channeling the nutrients”. Make it full body as you’ll be able to have better uptake all over instead of just across one or two muscle groups. So unfortunately doing a beach workout of abs and arms isn’t going to work. Squat, bench, weighted chins, shoulder press. Why not.

The Weekend itself- a few tips:

1) Since you went through the whole week fully depleted, you are ready to suck up carbs like a vacuum. Although, I wouldn’t stuff your face. Instead, try to enjoy your weekend instead of just primarily consuming. Trust me, you’ll definitely eat up…just make it social and fun. Don’t be the person in the corner stuffing their face in attempt to repack glycogen stores.  Relax.

2) As far as storing fat you are better off keeping fats more moderate this weekend. When drinking your body goes through a process to remove the acetate (poision). In turn, you aren’t burning ton of fat. Luckily, you still oxidize proteins and carbohydrates at a similar rate. This is why you should opt for a beer and a steak or ribs as opposed to woofing down a block of cheese at happy hour.

A few quick notes on macros and how easily they are converted to fat in the short-term:

Alcohol- never turned to body fat, perfectly oxidized*

Fats- easily stored in caloric surplus also in face of high insulin (carbs, protein)

Carbs- only converted to fat via DNL aka de novo lipogenesis (luckily since you went into the weekend depleted, this isn’t going to happen)*

Protein- similar story to carbs, but even tougher to convert to fats. Basically your body would have to convert excess protein to glucose then go through DNL*

As you can see, stick to eating meats, some corn on the cob and maybe even some potatoes.

And if you happen to want a cheesburger, it’s really no big deal. That is why you created the caloric buffer (#1) in the first place. It allows weekend freedom. So don’t fret it if you happen to consume some fats on the WeCan Weekend…it’s really no big deal in light of your whole week. If you are going to enjoy the cheeseburger, have it.

3) Stay active during the weekend- instead of just lounging all weekend consider body surfing, some beach volleyball, dancing or any other primal workout you can think of. This will further help channel the weekend nutrients.

4) Don’t forget to cycle in some waters during your WeCan Weekend. With the sodium manipulation along with the drinks you’re going to be looking pretty tight all weekend. Throw in some waters to keep the party going.

5) Consider shrinking your eating window if you are doing back to back to back partying. So if you happen to crush some pizza at 3am on Friday night…try not to eat breakfast the next day. … I won’t have my first meal til 3pm the following day. This doesn’t have to be done but it’s a good way to minimize the damage, allow a brief detox period and get you ready for another afternoon/night of fun.

I usually will wake up around 11am, get some coffee, hit the skimbaord for a few hours then get ready to do it all over again. Not saying this is what you need to do, but I find this schedule most enjoyable and it also helps avoid “crashing” mid-weekend.

If you want to have some breakfast on your WeCan Weekend, go for it…but generally my breakfast comes “late night” ha.

Closing Notes: Any ways, be safe, have fun and don’t get too carried away with cyclical dieting. If anything allow this to be a valuable tool the help you really enjoy your WeCan Weekend where you can forget about dieting, calories, your job and any other stress for a few days.

 

See you on Fire Island,

 

Gotm

 

Bonus 1:  I didn’t stick to this caloric deficit for 5 days straight.  I actually took a break from it on Wendesday Night. For alot of people a stint of dieting may lead to runaway hedonism once they re-introduce carbs or other highly palatable food.  So instead of going 5 days, I had a post workout “enjoy more” night so I was mentally prepared for a weekend full of hedonic temptations.  I don’t plan on avoiding the hedonic party but I’d rather concentrate on enjoying it rather than consuming.  For some people, a small break or reward mid prep-week will be a great way to have a more moderate intake during their WeCan Weekend.

salmon and baked potatoSalmon, baked potato was a nice main course

chicken and rice soupThis was also paired with some chicken and rice soup..

corn flakes..and topped off with a bowl of corn flakes w/ banana and cinnamon.

*Since protein, carbohydrates and alcohol aren’t stored to fat in the short-term alot of diets go wrong recommending exactly that, low-fat with ad-libitum carbs, protein.  I wouldn’t recommend this as our body has a unique we of upregulating the DNL process. (you can’t exactly avoid fat storage by having a low-fat diet).   You can use this to your advantage in the short-term (say on the WeCan Weekend) by keeping fats lower.   You will also notice my Wendesday night diet break did not have a ton of fats (besides the omega 3s in the salmon).  Btw, make sure to get your fish oils.  Remember a caloric surplus of just about any macronutrient combination will lead to storage, so keep the hedonic spurts short-term.

Bonus #2 Why this all works from a philosophical standpoint:  Beyond fat storage, cyclical dieting the WeCan Weekend is philosophically sound.  We inherently want what we can’t have so by restricting certain things for even a short period of time we upregulate our sensitiity to those things.  The WeCan Weekend is the opposite of alot of what was going on during the Week.  This is what makes it so much fun as it’s a true balance to your system.  You’ve actually set yourself up for enjoying the situation more based on the way the human mind self regulates to pleasure.   (This is why cyclical dieting is more philosophically sound then just “eating healthy of the same” every day).

Low Calories >>>>  Higher Calories

Restriction>>>> Freedom

Getting Things Done>>>> Social fun

Solitude>>>> Social Interaction

 

Find your balance..

Eat Less, Enjoy More

 

 

 

 

“Enjoy More”: It’s the WeCan Weekend whenever you want it to be

Over the past few years I developed a system known as “Eat Less, Enjoy More.” At its core, the system involves eating less on certain days (for fat loss, health, getting things done) paired with “Enjoying More” of life’s simple pleasures when it works best for you (for strength, re-inserting social hormones and simply because it’s awesome). 

 I commonly get asked : “How is this a better plan the classic 5 &2 model, i.e. Work week diet, weekend anything goes?”

The Cliff Notes version:  The “5 & 2″ fails to maximize the reward of enjoying more.    “Working for the weekend” has led us down a sub-optimal path for getting things done, body recomposition and  social fun.   You need to enjoy more when it works best for you, regardless of the day of the week.

Here is some more info on why you should “Enjoy More” before the WeCan Weekend rolls around:

Going 5 days without enjoying more is too long of a discount time frame.   It’s sub-optimal in terms of “delay discounting”:
  • The 5 &2 model is essentially delaying the reward of the “2-day The Weekend” to drive your 5 day work week action plan.  This comes with a steep price (or shall I say discount).  Similar to a present value calculation, the weekend is discounted mentally.
  • This mental PV calc is a primary driver to your action plan (getting things done, eating less (if fat loss is a goal)).
  • Although counterintuitive, the reward of enjoying more (eating more) mid-week makes the actions of eating less & getting things done much easier.   This cuts your discounting time frame in half, making the reward of “enjoying more”, more valuable.
  • We all have our “sweet spot” and it’s definitely not 5 days away.  It’s every  2nd, 3rd or 4th day, depending on your internal hyperbolic reward curves.

5 days doesn’t align with your personality:

  • We’re all unique people, so enjoy more when it works best for you.  (Our personality actually plays a big part in this).
  • Positive extroverts will probably do better with enjoying more every 2nd or 3rd day (in a moderate portion).
  • People who are more introverted may do better with a larger reward every 4th day (they don’t discount rewards as steeply).
  • If you’re right in the middle of the personality continuum, perhaps every 3rd day could work.
 Just because it’s not “The Weekend” doesn’t mean you can’t “Enjoy More”

Some “Enjoy More” Ideas:

•Larger dinner with your family

•Some extra snacks at a movie

•A piece of your favorite dessert cake

•A larger portion of what you normally eat

•Sweet potato fries with friends

•Some extra appetizers

•Going back for “seconds”

Closing Remarks: Don’t ever avoid a social situation to “stay on your diet”.  Instead, consider getting in a workout and making it an “Enjoy More” night.  You can always eat less and get things done tomorrow.  But for tonight…we enjoy more.

GOTM