Archives for September 2013

TWR Episode 002: “Nutrition for Weight Loss – Your Macros and Food Quality”

Episode 002:  "Nutrition for Weight Loss - Your Macros and Food Quality"


On Today's Episode we wrap up the topic of Nutrition for Weight Loss, and give you a brief overview of the recommended breakdown of macros in a healthy nutrition plan as well as provide you with examples of some foods to eat in order to provide your body with high quality fuel. The topics of discussion have been outlined below for you to easily follow along. Please leave us your comments and questions below, as well as any new topics you would like us to cover in future podcasts. Enjoy!

New Site Features and Workout Programs Coming Soon:

  • Printable Workouts and Tracking Sheets
  • 30-day Eating Plan
  • 10K Mud Run Training
  • Circuit Training 2.0
  • Female Lifting Program
  • Dumbbells Only Home Workout Program

On Episode 001 of the Podcast, "Belly Fat - The Safe and Effective Way to Lose It", we talked about how to determine your needed quantity of calories for a fat loss plan, as well as some other fundamentals of weight loss, health, and fitness. If you haven't listened to the first episode, we highly recommend listening to it before delving into this episode.

Nutrition for Weight Loss - Your Macros and Food Quality

Is the Quality of the Foods I Eat Important? We say "Yes, it is."

As far as weight loss goes, the quality of the foods you eat may not play a very important role in whether or not you lose weight. However, the quality of the foods you eat will play an integral role in both how you feel and how you perform during your workouts. If you are not on a fat loss plan, meaning you are not eating at a calorie deficit, than the quality of the foods you eat becomes even more important, not only to your overall health, but also to the way that your body processes those foods.


What are Macros and How Much of Each Should I Eat?

Macronutrients are:

1. Proteins

2. Carbohydrates

3. Fats


Protein: 15-25% of your total daily intake

Made up of Amino Acids (Some we need to get from our diets, others our bodies make) Complete proteins, containing all 9 amino acids, are found in animal sources. In charge of 2 very important things in the body:

  • Protein Synthesis (Muscle Building)
  • Cellular Catalyst (Cellular Function) - prioritized over Protein Synthesis

Not having enough Protein in your diet will result in your body not building muscle, and if it is too low, could lead to muscle breakdown.

Too much Protein in your diet paired with too few Carbs will result in your body breaking down protein for energy. This can be beneficial short term for fat loss since it is more work for your body to breakdown the Protein for energy than Carbohydrates, however,  it causes added stress on your liver and kidneys and could lead to digestive issues. Not recommended for those with known health problems related to the liver and kidneys. We recommend a more balanced approach to your macros.

Your Protein intake should be between 15-25% of your total intake depending on your goals. We aim for right around 25%.

Foods for Proteins: Lean meats, fish, milk, eggs, dairy, beans, legumes, nuts

Complete Proteins(from animal sources) contain all 9 amino acids and so consuming them every 3-4 hours will help ensure that your body has all the amino acids it needs. To determine how much (grams) of Protein to eat at each meal, we recommended finding your total daily Protein grams and distributing them throughout the day pretty evenly.


Carbohydrates: 50-60%  of your total daily intake

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel. They are easily stored as glucose in the liver and bloodstream and used primarily for energy in intense activities as well as throughout the day.

  • Triggers Insulin release
  • Taken up into muscle with Amino Acids

Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Simple Carbs are foods like sugar, fruit juices, honey, candy, etc. These are taken up into your bloodstream very rapidly. Since our liver and muscles absorb at a gradual rate, excess simple carbohydrates that can not be used immediately will be stored as fat.

Complex Carbs are usually fibrous foods such as whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, brown rice, etc. There are many gluten free alternatives for those with gluten sensitivities and/or allergies. These are slow digesting foods and therefore a slower rate of absorption. This allows time for your liver and muscle to replenish their glycogen stores and use them at a later time for energy.

Tip: When shopping for food, read the labels. If a boxed item has ingredients that you can not pronounce, you probably want to avoid eating it.


Fats: 25% of your total daily intake

Sometimes get a bad rap as being unhealthy, but having some fats in your diet is essential for certain body and brain functions.

3 Types:

  • Saturated Fat - primarily in animal sources
  • Unsaturated Fat - primarily in plant sources
  • Trans Fat - found in hydrogenated oils, fried foods, processed foods - AVOID eating!

Although we do need some fats in our diets, fat that is not used for body functions will be stored as fat unless you are on a calorie restricted diet, in which case you will burn it for energy through the day. Fat is used as the primary source of energy for low-intensity activities such as walking, light jogging, low heart-rate cardio, and general daily activities.

You will burn roughly the same number of calories running vs. walking 1 mile, however the source where those calories is burned from will change. Running will pull more energy from your carbohydrates, where walking will pull a higher percentage of the needed energy from fat.

Foods for Fats: Lean Meats, fish, milk, dairy products, cheese, eggs, nuts, olive oil, cooking oils, seeds, nut butters, etc.


Weight loss happens primarily in the kitchen. About 80% of your fat loss will be determined by what and how much you eat.

  • Quantity determines weight loss
  • Quality determines how you feel, how you perform, and overall health

For an extra boost in your fat loss program, avoid eating carbs within 3 hours of bedtime since any that don't get used will get stored as fat. This is not as important on a calorie restricted diet.


Tip for Muscle Building: "Force Feeding" - consume about 100-200 calories of simple sugars (100% fruit juice, natural honey - not candy) immediately following a muscle building workout (4-6, 8-10, or 12-15 rep ranges) and then do low level cardio for about 20-30 minutes.

The theory is that since your body can not burn and store fat at the same time then the simple carbs can not be stored and will be forced into the muscle, stopping further muscle breakdown and beginning the rebuilding process.

Protein Supplements and Post-Workout Shakes: 

What you eat ALL day long is important, however, your pre- and post-workout meals are two of the most important meals of the day. You should consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours prior to working out, and then again as soon after your workout ends as possible to stop muscle breakdown and begin the rebuilding process.

Protein shakes are not necessary for building muscle, but having enough protein and carbohydrates is. Protein shakes can be a good way to ensure that you get your post workout protein in right away since they are convenient and do not require refrigeration, but needs to be consumed with complex carbs as well. A good post workout meal will contain both adequate amounts of protein and complex carbs. Some post-workout shakes contain both. Protein supplements are not needed, but can be a great way to make sure that you consume enough protein through your day if you otherwise have trouble consuming enough protein through the day.

For workouts that are lower intensity and/or cardio based, it is not as important to eat immediately after (though you should have a meal soon after completion), however, it is very important that you drink water.


To get a glimpse into what a common day of eating looks like in our house, visit our Healthy Diet Sample Plan page. Be on the lookout for additional information on meal planning being added to the site and the Sugar Detox Meal Plan that will be coming soon as a bonus when you sign up for a new subscription to the site!

Thanks for joining us again today. Please feel free to comment below with any questions about this episode or any other topics you would like to hear us discuss. We hope you have enjoyed the show and until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!

TWR Episode 001: “Belly Fat – The Safe and Effective Way to Lose It”

Episode 1: "Belly Fat - The Safe and Effective Way to Lose It"

lose belly fat

On today's episode, the very first episode of Health and Fitness Podcast, we will share with you some very important answers to the question of how to lose belly fat. We will be sharing the fundamentals in order to help you achieve your health and weight loss goals in a way that is not only safe, but also realistic for maintaining without sacrificing all the many things in life that you enjoy.  The topics of discussion have been outlined below for you to easily follow along. Please leave us your comments and questions below, as well as any new topics you would like us to cover in future podcasts. Enjoy!

Key to Losing Belly Fat:

You can NOT spot lose - in order to lose belly fat, you must lose body fat all over.

There are 2 parts to Fat Loss:

  • Nutrition - this is the most important aspect of weight loss, and more specifically, fat loss.
  • Fitness - This serves as a supplement to nutrition, though they do go hand-in-hand and will yield better results when incorporated together

Our main focus for today will be on Nutrition.

Nutrition - Also has 2 parts: Quantity and Quality. Both are very important, but when looking to achieve fat loss, our main focus getting started is on quantity. (Disclaimer: This does not mean that we believe you should forsake the quality of your foods and strictly focus on quantity. It is simply where we begin when creating your fitness plan. Our philosophy on food is that food is fuel for our bodies and we should feed ourselves high-quality fuel. We will go into further detail on food quality at a future date.)

Quantity - how many calories minimum do you need each day?

Knowing this is the key to successful fat loss (especially belly fat), muscle gain, increased performance, etc. When first setting out on a fitness journey to accomplish weight specific goals (muscle gain, fat loss) you need to find out what your maintenance needs are.

Tools Needed for Calculating Maintenance Needs and for Gauging Fat Loss:

  • Scale
  • Body Fat Calipers

To find out your current Maintenance Calorie needs we use a very simple equation recommended by the NFPT which subtracts your pounds of body fat from your total weight in pounds and then multiplies that number by 11 to calculate your absolute bare minimum daily caloric needs. (Current Weight - (Current Weight x Body Fat %) = Lean Body Weight(LBW). LBW x 11 = minimum daily calories.) From there we are able to figure out how many calories a day you will need for fat loss, maintenance, and/or muscle gain. Please keep in mind that each person has individual needs and these calculations serve merely as an estimated starting point. Your needs will vary based on many factors and will need to be adjusted according to those needs. 

There is a secondary equation from the National Association of Sports Nutrition that we recommend if for some reason you are unable to obtain your body fat %. This equation will simply use your current weight, current age, and sex to estimate your recommended daily calorie needs for fat loss. This equation provides a pretty good estimate for calculating your fat loss calorie needs, but is not as accurate as using your body fat % will be.


  • Weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything and wearing as little as possible.
  • Take the simplest Body Fat % measurement possible. (ONE measurement - rough estimate that gives a starting point that will be useful for you to track your progress.) Using the simplest measurement makes it easier to get a more consistent measurement each time you take it and allows you to do it yourself.
  • Take your measurements (weight and body fat) on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at the same time of day and under the same conditions
  • Do not base your progress strictly on what is shown on the scale. This measurement is the least reliable for tracking FAT loss and for that reason can be very discouraging. When incorporating resistance exercise into a weight loss plan, you will experience muscle gain as well as fat loss and so the reading on the scale is not a good indication of progress. That is why we HIGHLY recommend getting body fat calipers and using them to track your fitness progress.

Ex. John is a 200lb male with 20% body fat

current weight - 200 lbs

(estimated) body fat% - 20%; LBW - 80%

body fat in lbs - 40 lbs. Fat

current weight - body fat in lbs = 160lbs LBW

 John has a Lean Body Weight of 160lbs - To find out John's minimum daily calorie needs: 160lbs x 11 =1760 calories - we should have had our calculation already done before recording. 160x11 does not equate to 1900 calories. =)

If John eats less than 1760 calories, his body will start to break down muscle. To cover daily activities such as work, walking around, running errands, etc. (workouts are not included in this) we need to add 500 calories to his bare minimum needs. So John should eat 2360 (not 2400) calories a day to maintain where he is at.

 3500 calories = 1 lb body weight

Create a deficit of 3500 calories a week in order to lose 1lb - cut 500 calories a day - does NOT include calories expended working out

While on a weight loss program, it is up to you whether that comes from fat or muscle stores.

If you add resistance training into your weight loss program, you remind your body that you need the muscle and so it will not pull from muscle to make up for the deficit. However, since you already created a 500 calorie per day deficit with your diet, you need to eat back the calories that you burn during your workouts so that your body does not break down the muscle you are working hard to build.

Ex. John is eating 1760 calories a day in order to create the 500 calorie per day deficit needed to burn 1 lb of body fat for the week. On Monday, he completes a Circuit Training workout that burns 500 calories. So on Monday the total number of calories he needs to eat is 2360 calories. This will leave him with a net calorie intake of 1760, which creates his 500 calorie deficit from his maintenance needs in order to lose that 1 lb of fat.

To achieve a lean, tone, strong, healthy body the key is a balance between a healthy calorie restricted diet and an exercise program that incorporates both cardio and resistance training.

Do NOT do extreme dieting for long periods of time. Extreme cutting may cause a big drop in your weight in the beginning, but after too long you will cause your body to switch into starvation mode and as a result is your body will slow down your metabolism, hang on to fat, and not allow you to lose weight. If you want to build muscle and burn fat you need to adequately fuel your body.

reduce belly fat with a healthy weight loss program

While on a new weight loss program, especially when changing your eatinig habits as well as exercising, you may see greater weight loss on the scale during the first week or two that will then slow down and usually taper off to the 1-2 lb a week loss thereafter. This is where utilizing body fat calipers to track progress will be even more important. A lot of the initial weight lost in the early weeks of a program is water weight, as your body begins to flush out the excess. This will be the case especially when you are adequately hydrating your body. If you drink enough water, your body will not hang on to excess water.

Water is Very Important: especially during a weight loss diet.

3 liters - 1 gallon a day is recommended

Rapid Weight Loss is difficult, can be dangerous, and is very hard to sustain long term. There is no magic pill, magic diet, or overnight solution to weight loss. Slow steady weight loss and lifestyle changes will help you to lose the weight in a healthy manner and teach you a new way to live that is healthier and allows you to keep off the weight lost.

Lifelong changes are difficult and sometimes the slow realization of results can be discouraging, but the benefits you gain from making these changes and sticking with them are well worth it.

  • Less pain
  • more energy
  • ability to do things you weren't able to do before
  • better overall health

Find Motivation - Accountability partners, online communities, Before and After pictures/collages, group fitness classes, etc.

Don't Give Up! If you have a misstep in your program, pick back up right where you fell off the next day. Small bumps will come along, but your ability to keep moving forward and not be knocked off track will pay off big time in the long run.


Quick Tips:


1.  Go to They also have an app for your smartphone. This is an excellent tool for monitoring your calories. You can track what you eat and what you burn during exercise. Great for tracking and seeing what you are eating as well as how much you burn during your workouts. This is a great way to remain accountable to your program and your goals. There is also a social community.

2. Drink water - Make sure you are getting enough water for the day, and also that you are drinking it steadily throughout your day. This is great for your entire body and will help with your weight loss. Drinking enough water will ensure that your body does not retain excess water and will help to maximize your performance and your weight loss goals.



1. Ladies: Do not be afraid to lift! If you want to lose fat and achieve a lean, toned body, resistance training is crucial. If you are creating a caloric deficit for fat loss, it is very unlikely that you will "bulk up."  Generally, it is much easier for females to lose muscle than it is to gain. Muscle growth will speed up your fat loss and help you achieve the tone and definition you want.


Thank you for joining us and please comment below with any questions or comments about this episode as well as any other topics you would like to hear us discuss or questions you need answers to.

Until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!


Just a Quick Update

1-IMG_8665This week marked the first week of our Pre-Launch Test Group. If you are still interested in joining in it is not too late to do so. Click here to fill out the interest form and official Terms and Conditions.

(If you have already submitted your interest but have not received your username, please check your inbox for an email titled "Pre-Launch Test Group Confirmation." This email provides the Terms and Conditions and allows you to set up your username. If you have not received this email, please contact us via the form below right away so we can get you set up.)

By now, most of our programs have been converted to the new layout as you will see by exploring throughout the site. We also announced the release of our very own podcast coming soon where we look forward to discussing the ins and outs of fitness and nutrition and answering all your most pressing questions and concerns. We are hoping to release our first episode in the next couple of weeks. Please send any questions or topics you would like us to discuss in future episodes in the form below and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss the podcast once it is aired!

We are also working hard to release some new programs for inclusion with our Premium Services; two of which are the long anticipated Mud Run Training Extreme, for getting in shape for the grueling Mud Runs that boast lengths of 10K and greater, as well as our Circuit Training 2.0 which will be a step up from our first, and most favored Circuit Training program.

In addition to these and other programs we are also planning to bring you articles, reviews, Trainer Q&As and much, much more. We would love to hear from you and know what types of programs you want to see added to the site, as well as any other features you would like to see brought to Total Workout Routines in the coming months. Please feel free to send us your comments, questions, and requests so that we can tailor the site to best help you on your fitness journey.

Until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!

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