A step-by-step guide to healthy eating and weight loss for 2019

According to Inc.com, 60% of us make New Year’s resolutions. The most common ones all involve dieting or eating healthier (71%), exercising more (65%), and losing weight (54%).

The unfortunate truth revealed from this survey of 2,000 people: only 8% are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolution and over half of respondents fail their resolution by January 31.

Why do most resolutions fail?

I don’t think it’s because people don’t actually want to succeed, or they lack the discipline or drive.

I think it has more to do with not knowing how to get from point A to point B (point A being where you are now and point B being where you want to be in the future).

Without a definitive plan for success, your chances of failure sky rocket.

Healthy Wheys is a website dedicated to living a happier, healthier life. I want to help you be the best version of you there is.

Considering my goals and the most common New Year’s resolutions, I want to increase your chances of success with you New Year’s resolution this year.

I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide on getting from point A to point B.

What follows is a detailed eating plan that will have you eating healthier and losing weight in 2019.

The science behind everything in this article

The meal plans you’ll find here are based on the science of intermittent fasting in combination with calorie restriction.

A study conducted in 2012 found that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction reduces body weight, decreases fat mass, decreases visceral fat, and improves many measures associated with heart health (i.e. LDL cholesterol measures, heart rate, insulin, and homocysteine).

The plan you’ll find in this article uses the same principles used in this study.

What you’re going to need

  • A good meal replacement shake

Meal replacement shakes are different than protein shakes.

To learn more about them, check out a previous article I wrote.

Meal replacement shakes have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. They can substitute an entire meal and not leave you feeling hungry and malnourished.

  • Nutritional supplements

A good nutritional supplement provides herbal and plant-based nourishment, contains ingredients that support mental and physical performance, adaptogens that help your body resist and adapt to stress, aids digestion, and boosts metabolism.

For a better idea of what you need here, please contact me.

  • Good sources of protein
    • Hamburger
    • Salmon
    • Grilled chicken
    • Steak
    • Pork chops
    • Meatballs
    • Haddock
    • Tofu
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Cottage cheese
    • Nuts and seeds

 

  • A supply of good fruits and vegetables
    • Spinach
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Garlic
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Kale
    • Green peas
    • Asparagus
    • Red cabbage
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Grapefruit
    • Pineapple
    • Avocado
    • Blueberries
    • Apples
    • Pomegranate
    • Mango
    • Strawberries
    • Cranberries

 

What you’re going to do

What follows is designed for a month: it’s a kickstart to healthy eating and weight loss that will get you on the right track. If you stick to it religiously, it will work. Just ask the people who took part in the study from 2012.

Here’s the broad outline of what your month should look like:

month meal calendar

Within the month, here’s what the perfect week looks like:

Day 1:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – yogurt (300g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – bunless cheeseburger (100g) and 1 cup of spinach with pineapple salsa (50g)

Day 2:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – cottage cheese (200g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – almonds (25g)

Dinner – salmon (150g), 1 cup of steamed broccoli

Day 3 (Intermittent fasting day):

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Nutritional supplement

Midmorning snack – 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch – Nutritional supplement

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – Nutritional supplement and cottage cheese (200g)

Day 4:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – cashews (25g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – yogurt (300g)

Dinner – steak (150g) and 1 cup of mushrooms

Day 5:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – 1 piece of fruit

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – 1 piece of fruit

Dinner – pork chops (150g) and 1 cup of red cabbage

Day 6:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – yogurt (300g)

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – pecans (25g)

Dinner – haddock (340g) and 1 cup of green peas

Day 7:

Wake up – Nutritional supplement

Breakfast – Meal replacement shake

Midmorning snack – 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch – meal replacement shake

Midafternoon snack – cottage cheese (200g)

Dinner – meatballs (200g) and 1 cup of brussel sprouts

Conclusion

It’s much easier to be disciplined and achieve success when you know exactly what it takes to get there. I want to give you the best chance of succeeding in 2019. I’d hate to see you join the 50% of people that give up on their resolution by January 31. Jump starting your nutrition and weight loss goals with the meal plan I’ve outlined will bring you roaring into 2019 like no other year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources and further reading

10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2019

Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women

Lifestyle and supplement hacks to boost mental performance

Your mental state has a huge impact on your performance. This holds true in life, in sport, and in your regular day-to-day workouts. Fortunately, your mind – much like any muscle in your body – can be trained.

Training your mind for success is just as important as any other facet of exercise physiology. If you’re not in an optimal mental state, your performance will suffer. If your performance suffers, you’re not going to see the results you want. It’s that simple.

This article is going give you a little bit of background about how psychology influences performance, then it will follow with some mental performance tips taken straight out of sport psychology and provide some information about a few natural ingredients that help boost mental performance.

How psychology influences performance

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

Psychological research strongly suggests your mental state plays a vital role in performance – positively and negatively. Psychological factors that impact performance are things like stress, anxiety, and tension.

1) Stress

Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional demand that takes the body or mind out of its comfort zone. Stress operates on a continuum: no stress isn’t good (if there is no challenge you cannot grow and develop), some stress is good (every person has their own optimal amount of stress), and too much stress is bad (the circumstances become overwhelming and you cannot perform).

2) Anxiety

Anxiety is a disturbed state of mind that includes physical symptoms – such as trembling, twitching, feelings of fullness in the throat or chest, feeling jumpy – and emotional symptoms – restlessness, worrying, irritability, among many others.

Much like general stress, some anxiety is good since it helps sharpen the attention. Too much or too little anxiety, however, and your performance suffers.

3) Tension

Tension is the physical manifestation of the internal mental state. Tension can be created by too much stress and anxiety. If you’re conflicted, overstressed, or overanxious it is reflected in your appearance or behavior as some, or all, of your muscles are in a partially contracted state. You lose fluidity in your movements making everything much more difficult as muscles combat one another across your joints.

As mentioned, stress and anxiety exist on a continuum. Too much or too little hurts performance. Like Goldy Locks, you need just the right amount.

The next section will provide you with a few tips to optimize your mental state.

Tips for boosting mental performance

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

1) Goal-setting

It’s easy to set goals that exacerbate stress, anxiety, and tension rather than optimize them. Goals that do this are lofty, vague, and unrealistic.

An example of a bad goal would be for me to say, “I want to cut 20% of my body fat.”

Yes, it may be attainable with a lot of hard work and dedication, but it sets me up for unnecessary mental anguish as it is just too much to work for all at one time.

Goals should be designed in small, achievable increments. A better goal would be for me to say, “I’m going to lose 1% body fat every week.”

Another important facet of goal-setting is breaking down the goal into a game plan. How exactly are you going to turn it into a reality? What are you going to do every day? What do you have to add? What do you have to sacrifice?

Goal-setting like this breaks down stress and anxiety into bite-size pieces and prevents them from becoming overwhelming. It also shifts your perspective to the process rather than the end goal, allowing you to build confidence as you work towards your ultimate end-point.

2) Routine

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

Don’t underestimate the power of a good routine. Your brain finds comfort in the expected and the less brain-power you have to use thinking about what you are going to do next the more brain-power you’ll have to devote to your performance.

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to go to the gym, developing a routine where it’s the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up can make it much easier as it becomes habit.

You can also create associations between activities. Certain playlists, for example, can be played every time you’re getting ready for a workout. Things like this are simple and seem trivial, but they are powerful tools to create a mental state conducive of your best effort in whatever task you’re performing.

Lifestyle factors like these can help ease stress and anxiety, ensuring you have just the right amount to be at your best.

Natural ingredients that boost mental performance

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

1) Caffeine

There’s a reason caffeine is possibly the most popular ergogenic aid of all time. Humans have been using it to feel more energized and alert for hundreds of years.

If you’re feeling low and need a pick-me-up, a cup of coffee can get you to the arousal state that will help you perform at your best.

It is possible to go too far, though. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and too much anxiety has a negative impact on performance.

2) Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba, in its supplement form, is derived from the Ginkgo biloba tree. It’s thought to increase blood flow to the brain and is linked to improving cognitive functions like focus.

3) Rhodiola Rosea

Derived from the herb Rhodiola rosea, this supplement has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time to promote well-being and healthy brain function.

Rhodiola Rosea is thought to benefit brain function by maintaining mental processing through the reduction of fatigue.

Conclusion

Your mental game is vital to performance. And performance can really mean anything. It could be your job, chores at home, your workouts, or even athletic performance. Whatever the task may be, having the tools available to reduce or raise stress and anxiety to their optimal level will help you always be the best you.

Please like the article if you enjoyed reading and found it useful; contact me if you’d like more information about lifestyle techniques and supplements linked to mental performance; follow the blog; and follow Healthy Wheys on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Cardio workout guidelines when you’re trying to gain lean muscle

Most people equate lifting weights with building muscle and cardio with shedding weight. Taking that even further, some people even think you should actively avoid doing cardio if you’re trying to build muscle.

While it may be true that overdoing the cardio can degrade muscle tissue, you certainly shouldn’t avoid the treadmill if your goal is lean muscle gain.

In fact, cardio is an instrumental part of gaining lean muscle (not to mention an important component for promoting overall health and wellness). So, it’s definitely something you should incorporate into your workout protocol.

The answer to the lean muscle gain, cardio equation lies in the balance and timing of the two.

With this article, I’m going to shed light on how much cardio you should do, what type, and when you should be doing it.

Follow these guidelines and cardio training becomes another tool you can use to enhance your ability to make lean muscle gains.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

How much cardio should you do?

Two. Maximum three days a week.

Any more than that and the balance of your exercise activity is too heavy on the cardio side.

The cardio training stimulus placed on your body will overpower the muscle building stimulus and your body will adapt to the cardio training stimulus (i.e. you’ll lose size as your body optimizes itself to perform for long periods of time and over long distances – think of what an endurance athlete typically looks like).

What kind of cardio should you do?

Not all cardiovascular training is created equal; depending on the intensity and type of training you do, you can specifically target different energy systems. Hitting them all systematically, provides a more holistic approach to cardio training; one that will supplement your weight training efforts, not work against them.

The three basic energy systems

Working muscles need energy to function. The most efficient source of energy is oxygen. We breathe it in from the air around us, it enters our blood system through our lungs, and our heart pumps it throughout our body. Muscles then use the oxygen to break down energy substrates.

Where our muscles derive energy from is largely dictated by the availability of oxygen.

1. Anaerobic alactic:

Anaerobic means “without oxygen”. Alactic means without the production of lactic acid (a byproduct that gives you that burning feeling in a working muscle).

The anaerobic alactic system is fast and powerful. It’s supplying energy for the first 6-15 seconds of exercise – before enough oxygen can make it to working muscles.

2. Anaerobic lactic:

The anaerobic lactic system is still functioning without oxygen, but is producing lactic acid.

It lasts for approximately the first 2 minutes of exercise, when the intensity of muscle function is too much for oxygen to keep up with.

3. Aerobic:

The aerobic system relies solely on oxygen to break down energy substrates in working muscle; it’s the main engine supporting efforts above 4 minutes.

Your muscles want to use oxygen and will default to it whenever there is enough around.

Muscles use the anaerobic alactic and anaerobic lactic systems to supplement energy production when enough oxygen isn’t available to working muscles (either because the muscle just started working and your respiratory system hasn’t caught up to the effort yet, or because the muscle is working at an intensity that respiration and the arrival of oxygen just can’t keep up with).

Workout protocols can be manipulated to target each of these energy systems.

High intensity sprints target the anaerobic lactic and alactic systems. Low intensity activities (e.g. jogging, hiking, slow bike ride, etc.) targets the aerobic system.

For the purposes of stimulating lean muscle growth and preserving muscle, two of your three cardio training sessions in a week should be high intensity sprints. The third should be lower intensity, aerobic focused.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

An example sprint training protocol:

  • 5x 40 meter sprints with a 2 minute recovery in between each sprint. Do 2 sets. Once you’ve done 5, take a 4 minute break and do the other 5.

These can be done on a track, open field, or even on something like a stationary bike.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix kamloops

An example aerobic-focused training protocol:

  • 20-30 minutes of steady-state activity. The heart rate should never exceed 60-70% of your maximum heart rate (220-your age).

When should you do cardio?

If your ultimate goal is gaining lean muscle, do your cardio training before you strength train.

Hypertrophy (muscle growth) is all about creating a hormonal environment in your body that supports anabolic (growth) processes.

Strength training is an anabolic stimulus while cardiovascular training is largely catabolic (breaking down). Hormones responsible for anabolic processes can block the effects of catabolic hormones, such as cortisol.

Doing your strength training after cardiovascular training can overwhelm the catabolic stimulus with an anabolic one. This means that when you leave the gym your body will be in an anabolic state – preserving muscle and supporting the gain of lean muscle mass.

Furthermore, getting your cardio training in before the workout gives you the opportunity to burn more calories over the course of the entire training session.

The initial elevation of your heart rate from the cardio session will increase your internal temperature and elevate the metabolic demands on your body.

This boils down to you getting more bang for your buck.

Conclusion

Cardio training is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle: the idea that you should skip it if you’re trying to put on muscle is not only false, it’s bad for your health.

To summarize all the information I’ve collated in this article: you should be doing cardio 3 times per week, two of those sessions should be sprints and one should be at a slower, more relaxed pace, and get it done before you move onto the weights and strength training.

Be sure to follow Healthy Wheys on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and contact me directly if you have any questions about supplementation, weight loss, training, and freeing yourself financially – I’d love to help you out. You can find my contact information through this website.