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Archive for the ‘Diet/Nutrition’ Category

Gain Muscle and Lose Fat – Super Method #1

Posted by Joel Marion on August 18, 2010

In our last post on gaining muscle and losing fat we discussed that while these goals do indeed require different training and nutrition strategies, these strategies are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Meaning: You CAN lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously provided you use a strategic, timed approach.

Also in that post, I loosely gave mention to several different methods to achieve both goals simultaneously, and in these next few posts I want to take a deeper, more specific look at each.

Today’s method: MEGA Carbohydrate Loading

Click here to continue reading

HOW to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Simultaneously

Posted by Joel Marion on August 17, 2010

Yesterday we began a series on losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, and with that first post I posed the question:

Can it be done?

The answer? Yes. BUT, only with a VERY strategic approach.

Now, in order to understand how these seemingly mutually exclusive goals can be accomplished simultaneously, we need to understand a few things about achieving your goals in general.

First, your goals are a direct result of both your training and nutrition program.

Second, optimal training for fat loss and optimal training to gain muscle are different.

Third, optimal nutritional strategies for fat loss and optimal nutritional strategies for gaining muscle are different.

Let’s take a look at each.

Click here to continue reading

Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Simultaneously?

Posted by Joel Marion on August 15, 2010

The start of a new week…the start of a new blog series…about…

Gaining muscle and losing fat at the SAME time!

What inspired the topic?  Well, believe it or not, apart from the many “couldn’t care less about my body” folks lounging around the beach this past weekend, there were actually quite a few really good looking peeps sporting some pretty killer bods!

Lean and muscular – which I think most of my male readers would agree to be the “ideal” physique.

I mean, even if you’re female, you’re bound to want something similar – lean and “toned”, if you will.

Everybody wants a lean, sexy body they can be proud of…that’s why we do what we do.

But just how do you go about achieving THAT body?

Gain muscle first, then lose body fat? Vice versa?

OR maybe you might try to lose fat and gain muscle at the SAME time.

Unfortunately, 99% of people who try the latter option fail miserably.

Can it be done?

Yes. But ONLY with a very strategic approach.

Weight training + fat loss diet does NOT equal simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain.

Sorry, there’s a heck of a lot more to it than that.

Have you ever tried to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously?  What were your experiences?

Would you like to know how to REALLY lose fat and gain lean muscle at the same time?

At least 600 comments and I’ll be back before you know it to go over several critical components to simultaneous fat loss and lean body mass gain.  And as long as the comments keep coming, I promise to give you killer content on this subject all week.

Talk to you in the comments section!


P.S.  SNEAK PEEK:  Here’s one of the newest methods we’re using:

Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the same time <——- new method we’re using 

High Protein Banana Yogurt Waffles (Mmmmmm)

Posted by Joel Marion on August 13, 2010

Ohhhhhh yeah, killer recipe for your Saturday morning:  High Protein Banana Yogurt Waffles!

And if you don’t have a waffle maker, this tasty high protein batter works just as well as pancakes!

Enjoy :)

High Protein Banana Yogurt Waffles


1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 scoop of Prograde Protein (the Vanilla flavored, Stevia sweetened protein powder)
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 medium banana


Preheat a waffle maker.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and protein powder together. Add the yogurt, milk and vanilla extract. Shave in the lemon zest. Mix well for about 10 seconds. If the mixture appears too thick, add a little water (1 tsp at a time) to lighten.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana with the backside of a fork and then add it to the other wet ingredients. Mix all for another 10-20 seconds. If batter needs thinner consistency, add a little more water (again, 1 tsp at a time).

Pour the batter into your waffle maker and follow the cooking instructions that accompany your particular model.

If you do not have a waffle maker, this recipe works well as pancakes.

Makes 2 Servings

Super easy.  Super tasty. Super healthy.  And just in time for the weekend :)

Want 197 other delicious, fat-burning recipes for a whopping $4.95?

==> http://ProgradeStore.com/cookbook

As an act of good will our friends at Prograde have put together a kick-butt fat-burning recipe book, and you can get all 197 of them for under 5 bucks.  That’s a whole 2.5 cents per recipe.

It’s a one time payment and there is NO “catch”.  197 healthy and delicious (and EASY) recipes for under $5.  That’s all there is to it.

Do you have to buy it?  No.

Is it less than $5?  Yes.

Will it give you 197 new ideas to spice up your diet?  Yes.

The rest is for you to decide.

==> http://ProgradStore.com/cookbook

Be easy and enjoy the weekend (and the waffles!)

Your friend,


Simple Nutrition for Fat Loss

Posted by Joel Marion on August 11, 2010

Honeymoon is ON!  I’m officially relaxing on the beach with my beautiful wife (wow, crazy to say that!) in the Dominican Republic and my main main Craig Ballantyne has stepped up to the plate to deliver a killer article breaking down fat loss nutrition in to 3 EASY Steps!

Check it out!

3 EASY steps to Fat Loss Nutrition
By Craig Ballantyne

Nutrition is simple. Research even proves it. Let me show you how, just by taking a look at a few simple studies that destroy classic “nutrition myths” and prove eating whole, natural food is a simple way to lose fat.

The first myth to bust with scientific research is that “fruit makes you fat”.

This is such a joke, but I continue to hear it all of the time. What does the research say?

In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (85: 1465-1477, 2007) researchers put subjects into one of two low-fat diet groups. The only difference was that one group ate more fruits and vegetables. At the end of the 1-year study, the subjects who ate more fruits and vegetables lost more weight than the other group.

Moreover, the fruit-and-vegetable eaters reported being less hungry but were also able to eat more food (that is, they were able to eat a lot of low-calorie fruits and vegetables that kept them full all of the time).

Bottom line, fruit doesn’t make you fat. In fact, it helps you lose weight, as does eating more vegetables. That’s why fruits and vegetables are 2 of the 3 components of the Simple Nutrition Fat Loss Diet Foundation.

The other component of the Fat Loss Diet Foundation is raw nuts.

Now most people believe that eating nuts will make you fat, but research shows otherwise. According to a review study published in the Journal of Nutrition (138:1741S-1745S, 2008), nuts are associated with a lower body mass index. In addition, when subjects add nuts to their diet, it did NOT cause weight gain.

The researchers believe that nuts help fill you up (thanks to the fiber) and it’s possible that not all of the calories from nuts are absorbed into your body.

And finally, some research even found that it was easier for people to stick to a diet when nuts were in their meal plan.

Recent research has also shown that subjects lost more fat mass and had a greater reduction in their systolic blood pressure when they substituted almonds for complex carbohydrates in their diet.

(Reference: Wien, M., et al. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int. J. Obes. 27: 1365-1372, 2003.)

So despite the common belief that nuts will make you fat, there is no research to back that up.

In fact, nuts will help you stay satisfied and will give you fiber, healthy fats, and even some protein. And that’s why nuts are the third component of the Simple Nutrition Fat Loss Diet Foundation.

Once you’ve laid the foundation by basing your diet and meal plan on raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts, you can then begin to add whole grains, meat, milk, and even supplements, etc.

There is no “one best way” to eat. If you want to be a vegetarian, that’s fine. You can be lean and strong and sexy without eating meat. If you want to have meat every night for dinner, you can also lose belly fat with that type of diet too, however you must make sure that the meat is high quality, and you should understand that there may be negative health consequences to a diet high in processed red meat.

But with the Simple Nutrition approach, you’ll lose fat by eating healthy, high-fiber and low-sugar whole foods such as vegetables (broccoli, peppers, and greens), fruit (oranges, apples, strawberries, & blueberries), nuts (almonds, cashews, and walnuts), and whole grains (oatmeal and multi-grain bread). And you can also enjoy ample portions beef, chicken, & fish.

Plus, you get your cheat meals to look forward to and have them work their magic :)

Fat loss nutrition really is that simple.  Enjoy!


I love the way Craig breaks fat loss nutrition down in to SIMPLE, easy-to-understand guidelines that anyone can follow and implement.  In fact, Craig’s put together a really cool dirt-cheap resource detailing his complete “simple” approach that includes things like the his very own personal grocery lists and meal plans (the same one’s he uses to maintain single digit body fat year round)!

Definitely worth checking out if you’d like a true “insider’s guide” to simplifying your diet.

>> Simple Nutrition for Fat Loss <——- Click here to simplify your diet (and still get awesome results)

Catch ya soon!


P.S.  Drop a facebook comment or a “regular” ol’ blog comment below!

The Best Diet Tip EVER

Posted by Joel Marion on August 2, 2010

Today’s post is going to be short, sweet and to the point.

That said, it may be the most valuable piece of dietary advice that I could EVER give you.

You see, last night around 9:30 PM while watching my DVR-ed episoded of American Idol my appetite started acting up and I began to have some pretty intense cravings.

A couple minutes later, I found myself in the kitchen rummaging through the fridge, cupboards, and pantry looking for something to satisfy my hunger (yes, I’m human and I deal with cravings, too).

After scoping out what was available, I ultimately ended up eating some sliced grilled chicken and big portion of fresh green beans.

Do you know what stopped me from downing a bowl of ice cream or reaching for a bag of potato chips last night?

Simple.  These foods aren’t in my house.

Do you want to end your struggle with late night snacking (with the wrong foods) and increase your dietary adherence ten-fold?  Then here it is, the best diet tip I could ever give you:

Click here to continue reading

Are Artificial Sweeteners Keeping You Fat?

Posted by Joel Marion on July 29, 2010

Yesterday we covered much of research regarding the safety of aspartame and most other non-nutritive sweeteners, but what about their affect on weight loss?
Are artificial sweeteners keeping you fat?

Again, let’s take a look at what the RESEARCH has to say:

1. Kanders BS et al. An evaluation of the effect of aspartame on weight loss. Appetite. 1988; 11 Suppl 1:73-84.

In this study, two groups were analyzed: diet only and diet plus aspartame. In the end, the diet plus aspartame group resulted in 33% greater weight loss over a 12 week period.

2. Blackburn GL et al. The effect of aspartame as part of a multidisciplinary weight-control program on short- and long-term control of body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Feb;65(2):409-18.

In this study, researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed aspartame’s impact on weight loss and long-term maintenance of lost weight. Over a 19-week period, study participants regularly consuming aspartame lost more weight than those abstaining from its use. Moreover, the aspartame group was able to better maintain lost weight over a 2 year follow-up period when compared to the non-aspartame group.

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Actual RESEARCH (not hearsay) on Aspartame and Safety

Posted by Joel Marion on July 27, 2010

Alright, so I ended up causing quite a stir with my post about artificial sweeteners yesterday, and today I’m back to share some research as promised. When talking artificial sweeteners, there are generally two major concerns:

1. Safety
2. Fat Loss

Let’s discuss the research surrounding both. First up, safety.

1. Butchko HH et al. Aspartame: review of safety. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2002 Apr;35(2 Pt 2):S1-93.

In this 2002 paper, over 20 years since the food additive was approved by the FDA, a comprehensive review of all aspartame research to date concluded that aspartame is indeed safe when consumed by normal humans in acceptable amounts (more on acceptable amounts in a minute).

2. Magnuson BA, Burdock GA, Doull J, et al. (2007). Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 37 (8): 629-727.

Click here to continue reading

The TRUTH About Artificial Sweeteners

Posted by Joel Marion on July 26, 2010

Time: 7:12 AM.

Location: a little “fitness” event I attended a few weeks back in Austin, TX.

State: tired.

So what did I do? What 99% of the rest of the world does in that type of situation – I got myself a cup of coffee.

And THEN—believe it or not—I proceeded to pour the contents of two little blue packets to my morning cup of joe.

You should have seen the stares from the fitness crowd.

I immediately checked my zipper, but surprisingly, I was already all-systems-go on that front.


Why then the stares?

Well, it wasn’t but a couple seconds later when a friend of mine blurted out “you use that stuff??” as if I had committed some moral sin.

My reply?

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How much protein can you digest in one sitting?

Posted by Joel Marion on July 6, 2010

Research is good and research is bad.

Research is good because it can teach us a LOT.

Research is bad because most people don’t understand how to take the results of a study and analyze beyond the study to see how it fits in the big picture.

Fortunately, I will help do both with regards to the below study.

So, a team of researchers sought out to discover some stuff about protein:

J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Sep;109(9):1582-6.
A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects.

Basically, they wanted to see if a 90 gram serving of protein (about the equivalent of 12 oz of grilled chicken breast) would elicit a greater muscle building response when compared to a 30 gram serving (approximately 4 oz of grilled chicken, beef, etc).

The answer:  No.

The conclusion:  Your body can utilize approximately 30 grams of protein for muscle building purposes at a time.  Elite athletes and bodybuilders, perhaps a bit more.

So, does this mean that you should only eat 30 grams of protein per meal regardless of your calorie needs?


There are other factors that should be considered when determining your protein intake, independent of how much of that protein is able to fuel the muscle building process.

What we can, however, learn from this study is a very general rule:

It’s best to spread your protein intake out throughout the day, ala 6 meals with smaller protein portions than 3 meals with larger portions, because yes, there seems to be an upper limit to the amount of protein that the body can use toward rebuilding or building muscle at any one time.

Now, that number could certainly change based on whether the group was participating in regular, intense resistance training — I’m betting the amount would go up.  Perhaps 40 grams on average…maybe more.

Either way, you’re probably going to get better results by splitting it up over the course of the day.

Later this week, I’ll be back to answer the question “How much protein do I actually need anyway?”

And I think you’ll be surprised by the answer.

If you’d like to see that article, do two things for me:

1) Hit the Facebook “Like” button below, then…

2) Leave a comment in the comments section

At least 100 comments and I’ll be back later in the week with the “How much protein do I really need?” article.

Talk to you in the comments section!


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