Get Better Naturally

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


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Downsizing Aja Long Ep #205

Aja Long has lost an incredible 55 lbs and transformed her life with the help of the Keto7X coaching program and the Get Better Naturally podcast! Listen as she describes the decisions that have shaped her life for the better.

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Quick Start Keto Guide

Here’s a new episode I recorded for beginners or for those who need a refresher course on the basics. Please share this link with your friends and family members who are new to this lifestyle. There is so much bad advice out there!

I have a degree in health science education and put this program together for free to help people understand how to do this in a safe and sustainable way.

If you want to schedule a free 30 minute coaching session to customize the plan to your individual needs visit the Coaching tab in the main menu.

Click here to download the FREE BONUS PDF with show notes from today’s episode.

Never miss an episode! Subscribe by email or directly on Soundcloud  Tunein Podomatic or Castbox 

 

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The Holistic Approach with Dr. Colter

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

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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What’s on the Menu for Burning Fat?

macronutrientsRight now, the world of nutrition science is converging on a few new and novel ideas. Some of the most popular trends at the moment are paleo, primal, ketogenic, carb-cycling and intermittent fasting, just to name a few.

After years of study and practice I’ve determined there are no hard and fast rules to any of this. (They’re more like suggestions actually). A healthy diet is more of a result of what you don’t eat rather than what you do eat. The common factor in all of the popular diets I just mentioned is this:

Eat Real FoodThere you have it! I know this is a revelation for many people but food isn’t the problem, it’s the solution.

The real problem isn’t excess calories. It’s not even excess sugar or fat or any other nutrient. The real problem is excess manufactured foods. When real food is taken out of its natural state, whether ground up powder-fine as with flour or having tons of sodium or other preservatives added as with canned foods, it’s the same effect.

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At one time, I would have devoured a whole pizza without giving it a second thought.

When I first began my journey from being obese to attaining a healthy body weight.  My initial changes were things like substituting a protein shake for my nightly bowl of ice cream or other sweet indulgence. This was a step in the right direction. I started measuring the sugar I put into my coffee instead of just mindlessly pouring it in. Later, I replaced the sugar with honey since it’s a natural product and is absorbed more efficiently. Now I don’t sweeten my coffee at all. I put MCT oil and butter in it and drink it black just before my morning workout to jump start my fat burning for the day.

I have eliminated whole categories of foods, for example abandoning soft drinks completely. (I haven’t had a soda in over five years and I don’t miss it at all.) I cut back on all types of fast food and completely eliminated anything from McDonald’s menu in particular. Here’s why:

Screenshot_20170525-113321Recently, I’ve also ditched all flour and grains from my diet completely. These types of changes are not for everyone. No, I don’t suffer from IBS, Celiac or any other inflammatory condition. I just believe that the health risks of consuming grains outweigh the benefits.

So what’s left after making these changes?

Variety of fresh fruit and vegetablesThe foundation of my diet (and any truly healthy diet in my opinion) is vegetables. Tons and tons of vegetables. Along with a few fruits, these provide loads of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plus, they fill you up without all the extra calories or negative effects of processed foods.

10401886_413228245485337_2640373231153992868_nI eat meat as a source of protein along with eggs and some dairy, mostly because of the demands from weight training and other forms of exercise. I don’t count grams or macronutrient ratios anymore because I think doing this probably leads to unnecessary over consumption of these foods but I get an adequate amount to rebuild and repair muscle tissue and maximize nutrient intake.

betteravacadoFinally fats! (I saved the best for last.)😁When people first hear about approaches like ketogenic or high fat diets, their first thought is something like “Yeah! All the cheese and bacon I want!” Well….not exactly.

The best sources of fat are from plants. These are things like olives, olive oil, tree nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and macadamias, coconuts and of course my beloved avocados! I don’t think a little butter or cheese will kill you but I don’t eat a stick a day either.

Some healthy fats can be found in animal sources too. For example, omega 3 fatty acids from fish are great for heart health, brain health, circulation and as an anti-inflammatory for reliving aches and pains in the joints. Also, the fat from grass-fed and free-range animals contains less omega 6 fats and higher amounts of omega 3’s than those fed a grain based diet.

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Which leads me to my next point. Not all plant-based fats are healthy either. Commercially produced industrial seed oil such as soy, corn, and canola are rich in omega 6’s and are highly inflammatory in the human body. This brings us back to where we began. “Fake foods are the real problem.” and you can quote me on that!

You may also enjoy reading:

Origins and Evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century Loren Cordain, S Boyd Eaton et al. from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 

This is the original research paper that sparked the current interest in ancestral health practices and popularized what has become known as the “Paleo” movement by proposing that coronary heart disease and other metabolic conditions are due to excessive consumption of Industrial Era foods (such as cereals, refined grains, added sugars, refined vegetable oils, fatty meats, salt, and combinations of these foods) rather than being based solely on excess saturated fat consumption as was previously believed.

 


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Supplement Science: MCT Oil

pure mct oil Capture

After years of following the pattern of eating every three hours and combining protein and carbs at every meal I’ve finally jumped on the “Eat Fat Burn Fat” bandwagon and I’ve got to say I’m impressed with the results. It’s only been a few weeks and I’ve already burned through 10 lbs of body fat!

One tactic I’ve used to increase my intake of healthy fats while lowering my sugar consumption is ditching the honey and creamer in my morning coffee in favor of MCT oil.

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I quit putting regular table sugar in a few years ago, switching to honey since it’s a natural product and I feel it’s a healthier alternative. The fact remains however, it’s still a source of sugar and I know that taking it in first thing in the morning can’t be doing good things for my insulin levels.

I have to admit it was a bit of an adjustment going from my usual blast of morning sweetness to a slightly bitter drink. (A little almond milk blended in does help take the edge off). Here’s what I’ve noticed in the past few weeks after making the shift.

  • I’ve had more energy during my early morning workouts and feel like I’m using more body fat to fuel my performance.
  • I’m not as hungry during the day which signals to me that I’ve reduced the levels of insulin and glucose circulating in my bloodstream.
  • I’m dropping 2-3 lbs a week without increasing exercise intensity above my baseline of 45 minutes 5 times a week.

MCT oil is just a concentrated and convenient source of healthy fats I’ve added to my diet along with more egg yolks, olives and olive oil, almonds and other tree nuts, plus avacados.

MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) are fats that are naturally found in coconuts. They are more easily assimilated and rapidly digested than other types of fats since they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT’s are metabolized rapidly in the liver and encourage energy expenditure rather than promoting fat storage. Studies suggest MCT’s may help support a healthy weight and body composition.


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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.