Fit To Lead – Pre-Made Meals

You know that you will need to eat well in order to meet your fitness goals but it’s so hard.  My wife will attest to the fact that I complain about food all the time.  You have to think about what you’re going to have for breakfast, make it, eat it, clean up after yourself, then 4 hours later, do it again for lunch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking.  In fact, I’m a pretty darn good cook.  But it’s not my full time job and as such, I just don’t have time for it.  Chances are you don’t either.

So you find yourself headed out of the office to a restaurant.  If you have time you’ll go in and sit down.  You might find something healthy but then again there is really no way to know.  The other option is to drive through somewhere.  In which case, there is almost zero chance this meal will meet the requirements it needs to in order to carry you closer to your weight goals.

The answer to all this is to make your own healthy meals in a way that doesn’t take up time, tastes good, and is readily available when you need it!  This trick isn’t my own.  It is what every single really fit person is doing.  And now that includes you.

  1. Learn your macros – Macros are the percentages of carbs, proteins, and fats you should receive per meal.  Micros are what type of carbs, proteins, and fats those are.  For instance, there are trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats.  These all fall into the fat marco.  If you’re trying to gain muscle, your macros should be 55, 35, 10.  That’s 55% of your calories should be carbs, 35% proteins, and 10% fats.  If you’re trying to lose weight, it should be 10, 70, 20.  I’ll explain this further in another post later.
  2. Buy in Bulk – I shop at Sam’s once a week.  I buy tons of chicken, beef, pork ,fish, veggies (both canned and frozen), rice, pasta, and beans.  What I buy depends on what my weight goals are.  For fat loss I buy chicken, beef, and light colored fish like tilapia.
  3. Plastic containers – While you’re at Sam’s buy some plastic containers.  6 meals a day times 7 that’s  42 containers a week.  Now I make my dinner every night so I don’t need quite as many pre-made meals but plan ahead because you’ll be cooking a lot.
  4. Seasoning – You’re going to want a little flavor.  If you’re trying to gain weight, salt is fine, if you’re trying to lose weight stick to sodium free seasoning.  Mrs. Dash is perfect for this.
  5. Set aside an hour a week – It will take about an hour to make all your meals.  I eat the same type of meals over and over.  I make 5 breakfasts that are all the same.  Right now it’s egg whites, black beans, and spinach.  I make 15 other meals.  5 will be beef, 5 will be chicken, 5 will be fish.  I eat a different type of bean with each, for instance I may mix beef with pinto beans and another beef meal with black beans.  It’s a good way to change up the flavors.  Add a veggie to each meal too.
  6. Freezer room – Make room in your freezer.  This allows you to be flexible and not waste.  I freeze all my meals except for the next day’s breakfast.  The next morning I take a few to work and store them in the freezer there.  This way I have a meal at the office or at home.  It allows me to be able to find a good healthy meal when I need it.  And in the event that I do have to go out to eat, the meal I miss doesn’t go to waste.  I can just eat it next week.

Fit To Lead – Eating 6 Meals A Day

This is Part 4 of my Fit To Lead Series.  Today we’ll discuss eating more often.  What!  But this series is supposed to help you get fit and healthy.  Isn’t eating more often going to be counter-productive?  The simple answer is No.  The complicated answer is what follows.

 

We’ve all probably been there.  You’re on a “diet” and you’re eating like a bird.  You nibble on this, nibble on that.  You eat a salad, but you’re absolutely starving!  Would you be surprised to hear that I lost 20 lbs of fat last year and I wasn’t hungry once?  That’s right, I always felt nice and full.  It wasn’t like I was starving myself.  I didn’t feel the need to binge or feel worn out.  I felt completely normal, well except for the loose fitting jeans of course. One of my biggest contributors to being able to lose that much weight and not feel like I was starving was the addition of 3 extra meals per day.  By eating 6 times a day I was able to beat the diet blues and win the battle against fat!  Here is why:

  1. Smaller Stomach – your stomach is a flexible muscle that expands when it’s full and contracts when it’s empty.  That painful feeling you get after Thanksgiving dinner and 2 slices of pie, is your stomach being stretched out beyond its comfort zone.  Years of stretching the stomach like this will result in a larger stomach and yes, a larger gut.  But the opposite is also true.  If you don’t eat much, your stomach will shrink.  This is a good thing for two reasons.  First, it will make your gut look smaller.  And two, when you are used to small portions, your stomach won’t be willing to consume as much as before, therefore, you won’t be able to over eat even if you want to.  It will take a few big meals to stretch it back out again.
  2. Constant Supply – When you’re eating every 3 hours, your body will get used to having a constant supply of food.  Bodies respond in either a feast or famine type of reaction.  This is why many diets fail.  You starve yourself for weeks and your body thinks there is not enough food supply.  Then, when you return to eating normal, your body stores everything it can in preparation for the next famine.  By eating 6 times a day your body is tricked into believing that there is plenty of food and that there is no need to hang onto the fat you currently have.
  3. Less Bingeing – When you’re eating so many times a day your stomach is always full.  You may go through a small hunger stage while your stomach shrinks but once it does you’ll never feel hungry again.  Your body will digest your last meal in about 3 hours, then, you’ll eat again.  This constant feeling of being satiated will help keep you from binge eating since you’re not hungry.
  4. Minimizes unhealthy meals – since you’re not hungry, that dream of a cheese pizza will drift away.  Without your empty stomach conjuring up dreams of unhealthy treats you’ll have the will power to stick to the healthy stuff.
  5. Teaches portion control – eating small meals, say 250 calories each for a total of 1500 calories a day, teaches you and your body portion control.  Once you eat meals of this size for a while it will be very easy for you to recognize meals that are over 250, under 250, and so on.  Think about your last several meals.  Were they the same size, less, more?  They usually fluctuate.  As such it’s hard to have a size by which to judge a meal.

Give this a try and let us know how it’s going in the comments section.

4 Hour Body – My Favorite Meal

So Tim Ferriss discusses eating the same few meals over and over and over again in his book “The 4 Hour Body.”  But this can be a horrible, if not deal breaking, thing to do if the meals aren’t that good tasting.  I’ve been eating this “slow-carb” type of stuff for a while so I’ve had some time to come up with some meals that I happen to like.  This one is my favorite.

I call this delectable meal, Italian Pork Loin and Guacamole with Black Beans and Salad.  Below is the recipe:

 

Ingredients

Italian Seasoned Pork Loin – I purchase this item pre-marinated in the meat section of my local HEB

Can of Black Beans – preferably organic and low sodium

Salsa – Again purchased pre-made in the HEB produce section

Guacamole – guess what, pre-made.  I used Wholly Guacamole, 100 calorie packs

Salad – Organic Baby Spring Mix

Salad Dressing – Newman’s Own Lite Balsalmic Vinaigrette.

 

Preparation:

  1. I grilled my pork loin Medium Rare.  To make it cook quicker cut it into 1/2 inch slices.  It’s about a pound of meat so cook it all and save the rest for later.
  2. Warm the beans in a pot.
  3. Cut the pork loin into bite size pieces with a pair of scissors.  This is a bodybuilding trick.  It saves so much time to just quickly cut it all up before you eat.
  4. Squeeze half the package of Guacamole on top of the pork.  This is for the 100 calorie packs.  If you just cut a small hole in the corner, you’ll be able to squeeze out all the air and seal the package with a clip to keep your guac from oxidizing.
  5. Serve yourself some beans with a tablespoon of salsa on top
  6. Serve yourself some salad with 1 tablespoon of dressing.
  7. Total cook time was 20 minutes mostly because of the pork.  But once you’ve got it cooked, just place the rest in some tupperware.  If you’ve used your scissors and pre-cut the meat before saving it you can make this meal in less than 5 minutes using the microwave.

4 Hour Body – First 5 Days

Down 5 lbs in the first week!  I haven’t been able to update my readers on the last several days of progress with The 4 hour Body.  This post will serve as an update for the last few days.  I’ve been eating pretty much the same stuff I was eating the first day.  Of course my breakfasts have been the same since I made a weeks’ worth on Sunday night.  My lunches have been my pork loin.  I’ll create a post this weekend of the recipe so others can enjoy.  It has been my favorite meal so far.

A few night I have had steak.  I had NY Strip on Wednesday night and Filet last night.  I usually pair my steak with Broccoli and beans.  Wednesday was pinto beans (low sodium and organic) and last night was refried.  I was at a restaurant last night so the selection was limited.  The great thing about the “slow-carb diet” is you can pretty much always find something on the menu that will work, so you’re usually always able to go out to eat.

Before bed I take my supplements and consume 30 grams of miscellar casein proteins.  I pair it with a few celery sticks for fiber and I’m off to bed.

I’ve had my supplements now for only a full 2 days but they seem to be working well.   I’m completely off the EC stack, it’s a good thing too.  That stuff can be bad for your health and is dangerous.

I’ll be putting up an amazon store and will link the supplements there so you can easily navigate to them and make a purchase if you need to get them.  It’ll take me a little while to get it set up so please be patient for a week or so.

The hardest thing to do has been the cold showers.  I’ve taken 3 this week.  Kicking back in my easy chair with an ice pack on my shoulders and neck isn’t hard at all.  I’ll read or watch tv with my wife for 30 -45 minutes.  It’s no big deal and I think it’s helping.  I’ll work on the showers and let you guys know what I can figure out to make them not so painful.

 

My workouts this week have been:

Kettlebells and abs on Monday

Incline DB Press, Yates Rows, Drag Curls, and abs on Wednesday

Kettlebells and abs again on Friday

 

I must add that I am extreamely skeptical of this work load and feel like I could lose more if I were hitting the stair-master hard.  But I’ve got the gusto to stick to Tim’s plan and do exactly as the book instructs.

My biggest mess up…. I have a Twix candy bar waiting in the pantry for Sunday.  Never buy your treats early.  It just makes it harder to avoid falling off the wagon.  If the temptation wasn’t even there it would probably be easier to keep it out of my mind.

On the flip side, Sugar Free Jello is a life saver.  When you get that insatiable urge to snack on something sweet, here is your fix.  My personal favorite is orange flavor.

The 4 Hour Body – My Experience

January 2009, at a Barnes and Noble in Midland, Texas, I was searching for a book by a blogger I had come across.  I read a ton of his posts and his approach to life was much like my own.  Turns out he had a book that was on the best sellers list for some time so I figure I should check it out.  I meandered down the aisles repeating in my head “Ferriss, Ferriss, Ferriss” until I found it!  Timothy Ferriss.  The book was “The 4 Hour Workweek.”

The book is an incredible read and my go to gift for any new graduate.  The ideas shared in the book, paired with the resources in the end of each chapter, creates a roadmap for anyone setting out to design their life.  Anyone who is at a major, life altering, position should read it before heading forward.

A small part of the book discusses Tim’s “slow-carb diet.”  My body type is not inclined to build muscle, so after years of self-trial, I have found that the best way for me to add muscle is to lift heavy and eat like a horse, of and don’t forget to take your multi, as my misc buddies would say (reference to bodybuilding.com’s misc crew).  This inevitably creates a little unwanted fat.  At my worst, I end my “bulk” at 15% body fat.  It’s around this time of year (late winter) that I start my “cut.” I begin trying to lose the fat I gained, but keep as much of the new muscle as I can.

Tim had been right about so many other things in his book, I thought, why not give his “slow-carb diet” a try.  Much to my surprise, it proved to show amazing results.  I was down to my ideal 7% bodyfat in just a couple of months, with minimum muscle loss.  It took me maybe 8 weeks, and I’ll admit, I didn’t know exactly what to do other than what to eat.  For instance I didn’t know what type of workout I should be doing, what other foods were off limits, ect.  Enter “The 4 Hour Body.”

Come to find out Tim and I share more than just interest in hacking business and lifestyle, we share a deep desire to figure out how the human body works to maximize our results.  We both try this through extensive self-trial, he, mores o than I.  According to him, he has spent more than $250,000 trying all these new ideas out.  But he’s gotten it down to the good stuff, and that’s what he’s put in his book.

This section of my blog will be almost like a diary that gives you a day by day how to, so you can also lose the fat!  I’m not going to tell you what to do, I’m just going to tell you to buy the book.  Instead of spelling out every detail of the book as I post, I’ll assume you have the book and that you have or are reading it.  This section of my blog will simply be a log of what I’m doing and how my results are.  I’ll add in some tips and tricks that I find helpful.

Make sure to follow me on twitter as well, @JaysonFeltner, so you can get my updates.  I post pictures of what I’m eating, my feelings, thoughts, and of course, my progress.

Why am I doing this?  Reading the book, Tim must have lost 1000 pounds!  I know that he did like I do, and would test something and lose fat, then try something else and gain fat, back and forth.  So all together over the years he’s lost a lot of fat.  But what does it all look like when you combine everything in the book into one fat loss crusade and try to drop the pounds?  Can someone really lose 20 pound of fat in 30 days while still gaining 10 pounds of muscle?  Heck, we’re going to find out!

Subscribe to my newsletter in the box just under my photo on the right side.  This will get you my updates delivered right to your inbox.  Enjoy the Journey!

Fit To Lead – Pick An Hour

This is Part 3 of my Fit To Lead Series – Pick An Hour.  If you’re anything like me, your days are hectic and rushed.  From the moment you wake up, to the second you fall asleep, you’re doing something.  Where in the world are you going to find one hour a day to exercise?

I’ve battled, and still do battle, this issue.  Let’s face it, there is never a perfect time to go to the gym, or head outside for some sports activity.  There are many things in our lives that are vying for our attention and more often than not, we can’t fit them all into our day.

Moreover, exercise doesn’t show us any immediate results.  As a society that is used to instant feedback, something that takes weeks, months, or years, is hard for us to give priority to over something that shows results instantly.

But we know we need to exercise.  Some of the world’s greatest leaders cite exercise as one of the main things that helped lead to their success.  We all know Boone Pickens is a fan of it, he built a gym in every office building he has ever owned.  George Bush, used to run 3 miles every day and left The White House with a heart as healthy as a man in his 30’s.  President Obama shoots hoops, Micheal Hyatt runs marathons and 5Ks, Sir Richard Bronson works out every day!  Heck, Bronson once told a group of influential business leaders that he believed exercise was the most important thing a person can do to increase their productivity.   He says it adds 4 hours of productivity to his day every time he exercises.

Ok, so it’s important.  But how can we ever find the time?  I’ll give you some suggestions.

  1. Pick an hour – it doesn’t matter if it’s 9am to 10am or 2pm to 3pm.  Just pick 1 hour out of your day and make it your goal to work out during that hour.
  2. Organize your day – keep the hour you chose in your mind and choose your tasks in a way that allows you some free time, or at least flexible time, around the hour you chose.
  3. Destroy Distraction – Don’t check emails right before your hour or make a business call.  Activities like this tend to lead to action.  You have to follow up with another email or create a quote.  Don’t allow yourself to get distracted.
  4. Find your Escape – if you’re available 30 minutes prior, leave!  Look for opportunities to duck out as the time approaches. Don’t wait until the clock strikes 9am to leave.  You may find yourself tied up.
  5. Don’t start a task – make sure anything you do 30 minutes prior to your hour, isn’t going to take more than 30 minutes.
  6. Review and Adjust – you may find that you don’t have energy at a certain time, or your company seems to be busy at one time but not another.  Continue to search for an hour that will work well for you.  I used to work out at 2pm, but found that I was missing too much key activity at the office.  I have found through trial and error that 10 am creates the least impact on my ability to be successful and achieve what I want to during the day.

 

Leave a comment below letting us know when you like to exercise and why, so maybe others can learn from your experience.