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Transform Your Body and Health with Author, Speaker and Coach Jason Atkinson!


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The Holistic Approach with Dr. Colter EP#120

This week Dr. Colter returns to the show to share his insight on what it takes to achieve true health and wellness. I also announced the winners of the RSP Nutrition contest. Here’s an article from Dr. Colter’s blog that explains why a total lifestyle approach is essential to success.

Who doesn’t believe the ANSWER to weight loss , is PRIMARILY found in FOOD. Although this seems to make common sense, in reality, it is a MAJOR MISTAKE! Let me prove this with a simple analogy. If a person wanted to get an “A” in HISTORY or MATH (as a FINAL AVERAGE GRADE,) would: abstaining from […]

via UNDERSTANDING WHY FOCUSING ON “FOOD” ALONE WILL NEVER ACHIEVE LONG TERM WEIGHT LOSS — All About Healthy Choices

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Melissa McCourey RSP Nutrition Interview EP#119

Today’s guest, Melissa McCoury is a NASM certified trainer, figure and bikini competitor and all-around expert on anything pertaining to performance nutrition. She answers some questions about intermittent fasting and how to use a cyclical ketogenic approach to accelerate your results. Follow @fitfirstlady_rsp on Instagram now for a daily dose of inspiration!

We’re partnering with RSP Nutrition to give away 2 bottles of Quadralean and 2 bottles of RSP L-Carnitine to 4 lucky winners. Winner will be announced next Friday 8/4 on the podcast and on my Instagram account. Melissa and I will judge the best answer to the question “What else could RSP stand for?” Be creative, be funny but keep it clean. (😊 Remember the game you used to play with letters on license plates while traveling on the highway?) Most creative answers win!


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Weight Training 101

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Most people think weight training is only useful if you’re trying to “get big” or “bulk up”. The idea that weight training can also be helpful for getting lean and improving general health is one that is still catching on.

Here are the facts: Your body composition (the amount of lean tissue you have relative to your overall body weight) is the main determining factor in how you look and even in the level of health and fitness you are able to attain. Muscle tissue is highly active metabolically speaking. It requires more energy to maintain and thus creates an increase in your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). That’s the rate at which your body burns calories, even at rest.

Fat (or adipose tissue)  on the other hand, is basically an inert substance. Think of it as a storage reservoir of energy. Your body won’t tap into that stored energy unless it becomes necessary. While you can create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving around more (ie. cardio) weight training is a much more efficient method since the activity itself uses more energy and the resulting increase in muscle tissue creates an even greater demand for energy.

So, now that you know why building muscle is important, it’s time to learn exactly how to do it. The basic premise behind progressive resistance training is very simple:

“In order to increase the size and strength of your muscles, you must continually apply resistance against a demand that exceeds your current limitations.”

You probably know that training your entire body is better than just training isolated body parts. You probably know that it’s important to give equal attention to pushing and pulling movements to ensure balanced development. You probably know that you should train your upper and lower body. There is no shortage of online workouts and thousands of books have been written on the subject.  What you may not know is that in order to improve, you must continually strive to exceed your current level of development.

In the gym, this means continually adding more weights, completing more repetitions, or both.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much physiology but there are two main types of muscle fibers:

  • Type I Muscle Fiber. Also known as slow twitch fibers, type I muscle fibers use oxygen more efficiently and can be used over longer periods of time ( think endurance). These are our smaller, least powerful muscle fibers that have little potential for hypertrophy.
  • Type II Muscle Fiber. This is the fast twitch type of muscle fiber that can burn energy quickly for short bursts of strength. These are our larger, more powerful muscle fibers that have a great potential for hypertrophy or growth.                                   (Source: International Sports Sciences Association )

So, the muscles that have the greatest potential for increase are composed of fibers that respond to heavier weights and a relatively lower number of repetitions (4-8). “Feeling the burn” by pushing for more and more repetitions is fine to warm up, to thoroughly tax a muscle or to induce a “pump” but it’s not optimal for increasing size or strength.

I created an outline of the exact workout technique I use. It’s called “pyramiding”. Basically, it involves starting with a lighter weight at higher repetitions (13-16) and adding weight on each set while reducing the number of repetitions on each successive set. If you would like to check it out, just contact me here and I’ll send you a copy.


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Reducing Stress for Weight Loss

primal

Many experts are now predicting that this generation of Americans may actually have a shorter life span than the previous one! For the first time in history, our very survival as a species is being threatened by an attacker of our own creation.

Everyone knows that stress kills. In the proper context however, stress also ensures that we take action and adapt. In our modern hectic lives, rather than saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths, we are assaulted on a daily basis by commutes and desk jobs.

This combination of inactivity and the increasing amount of processed foods we consume is killing us. The body can’t make a distinction between these perceived threats and the real thing, so it triggers the adrenal glands to produce a flood of stress hormones and sends us into fight or flight mode, a state in which we prepare to face an attacker or run away.

Not only do the excess calories from processed foods contribute an an ever-expanding waistline, many of these foods also contain artificial colors, flavors and preservatives that we are not equipped to deal with, so the body just simply stores them as excess adipose tissue (a.k.a FAT!)

Intense physical activity is the way our bodies are designed to naturally burn off excess stress hormones and other nasty toxins in the bloodstream. These hormones, like adrenaline, epinephrine and cortisol are there to give us a burst of energy when we need it most. Here are three keys to “maximize your exercise” and survive in the modern world. (In order to F.I.T. daily activity into your daily life just remember this simple acronym:)

Frequency: The first consideration is training often enough. I say treat it like brushing your teeth and make it a daily habit. At a minimum you should strive for about 2-3 hours of focused activity per week.

Intensity: Any effort is better than none, but as you progress you should strive for higher and higher levels of intensity. Aim for 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate (220-your age).

Teamwork: In times past, we had to band together in tribes in order to survive. Find a group or individual to partner up with and push each other towards staying consistent with good health habits.

Do you have a tip or technique that helps you exercise more consistently? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment below


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How to Break a Weight Loss Plateau

 

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I’ve been doing some research lately on a phenomenon known as Metabolic Adaptation. Basically, it’s what happens over time when your body catches up to a lower calorie intake or increase in calorie burn due to increased activity. In a nutshell, your metabolism adapts to the new level and you may no longer lose weight as easily or even begin to gain weight although you are still eating less and exercising more.

I experienced this personally a little over a year ago and my initial reaction, like that of many people, was to eat less and train harder.  The key to resetting the metabolism however, is a little more counter-intuitive than that.

A basic principle of biology is at work here. Known as homeostasis, it’s the concept that all organisms (including us) strive to maintain internal conditions. An area of the brain known as the hypothalamus regulates everything from body temperature to appetite control and resting energy expenditure. In order to override this survival mechanism and continue progressing, you must do the one thing every athlete fears, eat more and train less…

You will definitely want to increase calories slowly to stimulate the metabolism, especially if you’ve been in a caloric deficit for a long time. Here are some rut busting techniques you can use:

Carb-cycling- Alternating days of lower and higher carbohydrate intake dictated by your training schedule can effectively reset production of hormones, such as grehlin and leptin,  that play a major role in appetite and thermogenesis.

Cheat to Win – The classic “cheat day” can play a major role in convincing your body that starvation is not imminent and that it’s ok to release stored body fat for energy.

Train Slow and Low – Reducing overall training volume (especially cardiovascular intensity) can be helpful during periods of metabolic rest. The technical term for this is periodization.

For a more scholarly look at this topic I invite you to read this article from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. As always, I welcome your questions or comments below.

I created an outline of the exact meal plan I used to maintain a weight loss of over 60 lbs. If you would like to check it out, just visit the free downloads page and click on the Nutrition, Training and Supplementation Guide.

To order a free customized body composition analysis and nutrition report that will show you how many calories you burn each day and exactly how to eat and train to maximize your metabolism,  contact me here!


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Best Supplements for Burning Fat and Building Muscle

 

bcaas-dosages

Provided your training and nutrition are in check, supplements can help you gain an advantage and take your physique to the next level. Here’s a quick list of the ones I take and recommend. I wish to stress that nutritional supplements are not a replacement for a workout program or attention to detail with diet, they merely complement these components of an overall program.

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Protein:  (Post-training / Daily)  

  • Involved in every physiological process in the body.
  • Provides raw material for muscle growth and aids in recovery following intense training.
  • Helps with a feeling of fullness
  •  Requires more energy to process than carbohydrates or fat.
  •  Consuming six meals of whole food per day can get expensive, time-consuming or impractical.
  • Provides an alternative to sweets or processed junk foods  300

 Energy & Metabolism multivitamin/vitapak with fish oil: (Pre-training / Daily)       

  • Provides all essential micronutrients to protect against cell damage and aid in repair and recovery.
  • Contains key ingredients to speed up metabolism and increase calorie burning while decreasing appetite.
  • Fish oil helps reduce inflammation, ease joint pain and improve circulation.

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Creatine / Creatine Nitrate NO3 (Pre-Training / Daily)

  • Creatine enhances muscle strength and improves recovery time between sets.
  • Nitric Oxide acts as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessel walls creating better blood flow and circulation.

 

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Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) Pre or Post-Training

  • Triggers muscle protein synthesis in response to training.
  • Provides electrolytes which are depleted during intense workouts.
  • Aids in recovery.
  • Can prevent muscle tissue breakdown during training if consumed before a workout.  

White Fine Powder Substance same as Drug or Poison                                 

L-Glutamine  

  • Most Abundant Amino acid in the body
  • Prevents muscle tissue breakdown and muscle-wasting (especially at night).
  • Rebuilds muscle tissue and aids in immune function.

testosterone-booster

Testosterone Booster (Men)

  • Increases muscle building environment in the body.
  • Provides strength, energy, and mood support.
  • Key hormone involved in fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Added benefit of increasing sex drive

                                                                                           female-six-pack-abs

     

Probiotic

  • Prevents bloating, cramping and gas.
  • Breaks down food and improves absorption of nutrients.
  • Plays a key role in immune function.

   This list is by no means exhaustive and I don’t want to give the impression that I take every single one of these products each day. Every individual is different and needs to take the time to research the ingredients to develop a program that works for him or her. If you need some solid recommendations on nutrition, training, mindset or supplementation, don’t hesitate to email me or comment below:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


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The Secret to Fat Loss

burn-fat

The “secret” to burning fat is that there is no secret. It takes dedication, determination and above all discipline. Of course, this is common knowledge. The main shift in thinking that needs to take place is going from the idea of simply eating less to that of eating more and burning more.

thermostat and human hand

The body has a complex set of metabolic processes that help to regulate internal conditions or homeostasis. This includes things like body temperature, heart rate and body weight / composition. In order to reestablish your “comfort level” you have to work with the body rather than using “shock tactics”.

To lose weight and keep it off you must reestablish your set point. This involves creating a slight calorie deficit. This is most easily attained by focusing on the quality of the foods you eat, making sure to include plenty of lean protein and non-starchy carbohydrates like vegetables. There is also room for naturally sweet “indulgences” like fruit and honey, for example. The real problem with most of the foods we eat is that they’re not really foods at all, but  man-made garbage posing as food.

Increasing your activity levels will also help trick the body into releasing stored fat for energy rather than holding onto it for fear that starvation is imminent. Think of exercise (especially weight training) as the “spark” that sets the fat burning reaction in motion.

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I’m really big on the idea of sustainable results. If you make progress only to slip back into your old habits, what’s the point? In order to truly be as healthy as possible you must make healthy habits a part of your lifestyle.

 

I created an outline of the exact workout and nutrition techniques I use. If you would like to check it out, just visit the free downloads page and get the ebook version of Finding a Better Balance.